I'm Not There, Todd Haynes' new film, a 'biopic' of Bob Dylan, is out. Leaving aside for a moment what a 'biopic' is – is it like biowarfare or a biohazard? – it sounds from the reviews to be at least as complicated as Velvet Goldmine. Six different actors playing six different people who are not quite Bob Dylan star in iconic scenes from Bobby's life. One of the actors is Cate Blanchett, who is apparently female. (One of the others is black, of course.)
I'm all for females playing male roles – I would have loved to have played Iggy Pop in a 'biopic' if I'd been asked when I was within fifteen percent of the right body fat – so this movie is going right on the rental list. (I don't go out much.)
I'm foreseeing one problem, however, which is that I don't actually know any iconic scenes from Bobby's life. I might have a bit of a struggle fitting the funhouse mirror versions back into the linear narrative later on. It wasn't a problem with Velvet Goldmine, which, although difficult, was right out of my grab-bag of iconic moments. Almost a checklist of them, in fact. And I only know about 30% of Dylan's music. Maybe less. Yeah, I missed out. Sue me.
Here's Cate Blanchett in a taxi in a scene from the movie.
Just for comparison, here's the real Bob Dylan in a real taxi from real life. He's drunk and getting taken apart by John Lennon's (rather rusty) razor wit.
It was tough to be one of Lennon's heroes on a day when you didn't quite measure up to his expectations.