50th Anniversary – 1967 Groovy Movie Flashback
7:15 pm | Music/Documentary | 1 hr 36 min
In 1965, the iconic troubadour Bob Dylan toured the United Kingdom at the age of 23, and director D.A. Pennebaker was allowed behind the scenes to provide one of the most intimate glimpses of the private and frequently cantankerous songwriter. The film chronicles Dylan’s concert appearances, hotel room conversations, and transportation downtime, pulling back the curtain on the folk messiah at the end of his relationship with Joan Baez and on the cusp of his creative shift toward rock music.
The film features Joan Baez, Donovan and Alan Price (who had just left the Animals), Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman and his road manager Bob Neuwirth. Marianne Faithfull, John Mayall, Ginger Baker, and Allen Ginsberg may also be glimpsed in the background. The film shows a young Dylan: confident if not arrogant, confrontational and contrary, but also charismatic and charming. Notable scenes include:
The opening scene of the film also served as a kind of music video for Dylan’s song “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, in which the singer displays and discards a series of cue cards bearing selected words and phrases from the lyrics (including intentional misspellings and puns). Allen Ginsberg makes a cameo appearance during this episode.
In 1998 the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. In a 2014 Sight & Sound poll, film critics voted Dont Look Back the joint ninth best documentary film of all time.