2014-09-14 - 8:53 a.m.
We saw I'm Not There the other night. It was billed as being inspired by the many lives of Bob Dylan. Since he has had only one life -- already famous at 19 and evidently a musician practically from birth -- the story spends a lot of time on his fantasy lives. Beautiful visuals and of course the music is splendid so it would be easy to dismiss as a "get loaded" movie.
Cate Blanchett got the best role -- when he's at the height of his fame, apparently also at the height of his drug abuse, generally behaving badly and having a blast being obnoxious on the way to the motorcycle accident.
To me it's striking how much she recreates not just the Bob Dylan of those days but the Alex Turner of our day. It really does make you believe in reincarnation, although I don't think that's the right name for it, since one person doesn't have to die before the next is born. I would express it as there are only a limited number of human types but there are 7 billion humans alive, so it's an inevitability that even the most unique among us get repeated. I'm sure some philosopher or religious person would know the right term for it? Of course both Dylan and Turner consciously modeled themselves after James Dean, which accounts for some of the physical similarities...
One hopes Turner can avoid the motorcycle accident. Maybe he can. He seems much more limited -- more cautious -- than Dylan. No known opinions on anything... If "I'm Not There" is a good title for a Dylan biopic, it would be a great one for Turner.
On the other hand, he loves to pose with his motorcycle collection and since he never really seems quite sober, it does make a person worry a little.
Anyhoo, one of the concluding lines of the movie is fairly chilling, "It's like you got yesterday, today, and tomorrow all in the same room." Even more so, years after the movie is made, and we see Dylan has been mirrored by another "great lyricist, voice of his generation" who has been famous from age 19 -- his whole adult life -- and really knows how to do nothing else. You're not a special snowflake indeed! Nobody is. I suppose if there is effective immortality then you can't be...life is a hall of mirrors.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright 2002-2017 by Elaine Radford