October 27, 2013

A series of restless farewells and all the things we gave up

The title of this entry suggests that Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan film I’m Not There is partly a eulogy for the 1960s, an idea expressed in his excellent commentary track on the DVD. As is the extent to which it is a collection of quotations – about a man who is himself a collection of quotations, or at least shows himself to the world that way. “I don’t think there’s anything in the script that’s actually my own.” I like this movie more each time I see it and the experience is deepened by listening to Haynes – director as Dylan scholar and film historian – talk about it. These are the films he names, mostly as influences. Some are inevitable and some less so:

Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
Dont Look Back (DA Pennebaker, 1967)
Eat the Document (DA Pennebaker, 1972)
8 ½ (Federico Fellini, 1963)
A Face in the Crowd (Elia Kazan, 1957)
Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
Masculin Feminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)
Meet John Doe (Frank Capra, 1941)
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (Martin Scorsese, 2005)
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Sam Peckinpah, 1973)
Performance (Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg, 1970)
Petulia (Richard Lester, 1968)
Poison (Todd Haynes, 1991)
Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995)
Serpico (Sidney Lumet, 1973)
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (Todd Haynes, 1987)
Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998)
The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)