catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 7, Num 2 :: 2008.01.25 — 2008.02.08


Grant’s recommendations 1.25.08

FILM: I’m Not There

Directed by Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Far from Heaven), this fictional biography documents Bob Dylan’s mythical life journey as it runs parallel to American cultural history in the 20th century.  If you have read Bob Dylan: Essential Interviews and seen the classic Dylan documentaries Don’t Look Back and No Direction Home, you are equipped to follow the twists and turns of I’m Not There as it jumps back and forth from one Dylan persona to the next.  If not, you will still find this film curious and magical.  Haynes displays his understanding of Dylan’s life and artistic themes by casting six different actors to play the singer in seven major periods of his life.  The film uses actual interviews with Dylan and great Dylan songs performed by himself and others.  I’m Not There raises issues of identity, the blurring of fact and fiction and the role of Dylan as an American spokesperson.  This is one of the most definitive interpretations of Dylan’s life and art that I have seen so far, not because it explains Dylan so much as highlights the major moments that have shaped Dylan and America from the 50s to the 80s.  From the rise of the 60s counter-culture to the disillusionment of the 70s to the media’s acknowledgment of the born-again Christian phenomenon in the late 70s and early 80s, Dylan participated in it all.


FILM: Idiocracy

You may know Mike Judge’s work from King of the Hill and Office Space.  In Judge’s 2006 dark comedy about a future in which human beings have devolved into idiots, Luke Wilson plays a time traveler who finds himself in a world of people who speak a mix of Redneck and Valley Girl, who have turned almost every word into a sexual innuendo, where the number one show on television is called Ow, My Balls, where hospitals are run like fast-food joints and the president is respected because of how many beautiful girls he has on his arms.  There isn’t much of a story here, but you will definitely laugh through the whole thing.  And when you take a look at TV in the year 2008, you’ll realize just how relevant this film really is!

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