>Prepare yourself for an unbelievable acid trip


I’m Not There (2007) – Todd Haynes newest film is more complex than what I thought it could be. I remember very well many pre-release reports that claimed the film was nothing but a Bob Dylan biopic where the famous folk singer is portrayed by six different actors, including a woman (Cate Blanchett) and an african-american child (Marcus Carl Franklin). The movie trailer and advertising seemed bizarre enough, but if you’ve had the same feeling, God, you haven’t seen anything! The final result is actually more bizarre than I could have ever imagined. This is not a biopic at all, not even a non-traditional one, as some people would like to say so. The six different stories take part in very isolated atmospheres, one so independent to another that it’s almost like if the entire movie consisted of six short films, that somehow connect themselves in one single and obvious subject – The countless layers of Dylan’s personality, in particular, many phases of his personal life and career.

Despite the very efficient editing, the film is nonetheless caothic, and I believe that’s how it was meant to be, as Haynes’ concept is so abstract that makes it impossible to hide its idiosyncrasy. This is not a film to be easily followed by those who don’t possess a single Dylan album at home and are not aware of the most known happenings in his life and musical career. Haynes is a great admirer of the singer himself, and here he plays of “Guess what this is about” in many frames. I assume that the film will be more transparent for those who have a deep knowledge on Dylan’s biography and musical work. For the ones who are as clueless as I am on this topic, I’d advice you to enjoy this acid trip without making any further questions. Focus on the ensemble cast, the chameleonic cinematography and of course, the soundtrack.

All Dylans are captivating on screen, but it’s particularly impossible to take our eyes away from Cate Blanchett’s messy hair, dark shades, black skinny suit and unseparable smoke. There’s a moment in the film that I could actually forget Jude Quinn was being played by a woman, I saw a male character and I believed him. A slightely feminine/childlike/innocent male, but still, a male. The sequences where Blanchett acts along with Michelle Williams are few, but memorable. Not only because of the great australian actress’s presence, but for Michelle, who walks around in shift dresses, black opaque tights and incredible heels, in a clear Haynes version of Edie Sedgwick, a much more critical and negative one though. Phisically transformed in many aspects, she deserved more recognition for her short, but yet, remarkable performance. For the rest, the great quality this film possesses is the fact it is refreshing, after all, the last thing contemporary cinema needs is another biopic in the modes of Ray or Walk the Line. As a movie critic wrote, “If you’re so tired of the old, then here is the new. Embrace it, or please shut up”. I don’t know exactly what to think.


P.S.: If you haven’t seen Hairspray yet, and all you want is a couple of hours of fun and light entertainment, here’s the movie for you. This is the sort of film that puts a smile on people’s faces. By the time I left the theater, I even felt like dancing! And even in some parts of the film as well. The newcomer Nikki Blonsky is adorable as Tracy, a teenage girl who isn’t afraid of pursuing her dreams despite of what people would say. Among the veterans’ cast, I loved John Travolta as Tracy’s mom, he gives one of his best and most charismatic performances in a long long time. Watch the trailer here.

13 Comments to “>Prepare yourself for an unbelievable acid trip”

  1. >Ainda não vi "I'm Not There", mas estou bem curioso para conferir a visão do Todd Haynes sobre o astro da música. Já "Hairspray" é muito divertido mesmo, sem dúvida uma das melhores surpresas do ano. Do elenco, gostei muito do Travolta e da Queen Latifah. E a Blonsky é adorável, tomara que consiga uma indicação ao GG amanhã.Abraço!

  2. >Wow, my anxiety towards I'm Not There only gets worse. I really, really want to see it. It's a good change to see a biopic that doesn't follow standars or clichés, I'm really a fan of audacity, and wit, and this movie gives a particular flair and style thats entices me. I'm dying to see it. Envy you actually. rsrsrsrsHairspray I saw and loved it completly. It's an arousing musical so alive and witty, and I actually felt like dancing too. John Travolta is back to his old grand days with this, and so is Michelle Pfeiffer, the perfect villain.I hope both filmes apear on the Golden Globes list tomorrow.And yes, Psycho is a brilliant piece of work. And it's my first Hitch ever. I'm in love. Bye

  3. >Romeika, para quem teve dificuldades em "entender" o filme, você fez um ótimo texto. Adorei. Não acho que "I'm Not There" seja o tipo de filme que fará sucesso com o público (e, consequentemente, a Academia), mas acho que está destinado a ganhar uma aura cult.E "Hairspray" é tudo isso mesmo que você disse. Deixa a gente feliz, a gente canta, a gente dança. E Nikki Blonsky é um achado. Só espero que ela não fique marcada por esse papel.

  4. >I don't know if I'll be giving I'm Not There a try (I'm not such a Bob fan), but Hairspray was quite cute in a brain-numbing way.

  5. >Vinícius, e ela conseguiu! Mas certamente perderá pra Cotillard, tão estranho ela indicada a musical, vejo "Piaf" como um drama..Wally, parece que "I'm Not There" só conseguiu uma indicação pra Blanchett, mas isso não me surpreende, visto que um projeto do tipo dificilmente conquistaria os votantes dessas premiações mainstream, penso.Kamila, concordo quanto à questão da popularidade do filme. E obrigada! Escrevi aqui somente a minha percepção em linhas gerais, pq das "citações" do diretor, só reconheci a Edie Sedgwick, e um trechinho ou outro de uma música do Dylan jogada num diálogo. Pra quem é fã e grande conhecedor do cantor deve ser bem divertido ir desmontando esse "quebra-cabeça". Mas acho que mesmo sem conhecimento algum, como eu, ainda é possível apreciar o filme. Emma, being a Dylan's fan doesn't really matter when it comes to enjoy or not the film. I've even heard of hardcore Dylan fans who hated the film, whereas some people who don't really know anything about him loved it. It's pretty relative..

  6. >EU não conheço nada do Bob Dylan. Somente algumas coisas mais clássicas. Acho que vou ficar boiando no filme. 🙂

  7. >I like the cast in I'm Not There.I'd be totally lost because Iknow nothing about Dylan'slife or career.

  8. >aah!! you're back!! yayes!! that means more great posts coming up from you again! ^^ and oh, i've never heard of i'm not there. i wonder whether it's in cinemas in aust yet? or has it gone and left that i didn't know about. i'm gonna check it out .

  9. >Nossa….estou surpreso!Pensei que I'm not there seria um filme bem aceito no sentido de "comercial" mesmo! Apesar de confiar no Haynes e no seu talento para fugir a padrões comerciais…Bom saber isso…quero muito conferir o filme!Velvet Goldmine e Safe são obras excelentes…espero gostar ainda mais de I'm not there!Não vi Hairspray…!bEeijo!

  10. >hey there! I just bought the Hairspray CD! Haha what a coincidence! Can't wait to watch John Travolta.

  11. >I love hairspray, it was much better then I expected!!

  12. >Não vi ainda nenhum dos dois filmes mas me empolgo pelos dois, principalmente a cinebiografia do Dylan, que estou aprendendo a gostar. Mas acho que só vai estrear por aqui ano que vem. E Hairspray devo ver assim que puder. To precisando mesmo de "some couple hours of fun", esse final de ano tá sendo complicado pra mim. Abraços!

  13. >Rafael, faço das suas palavras as minhas, ainda que "complicado" tenha vários sentidos. Abs! 🙂

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