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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Why I don't watch TV.

I still feel pretty lousy. Look for the latest installment of Beyond Left Field when I feel better. Editing other's work is a chore for me. I just don't feel like doing it right now.

I distinctly remember the last time I turned on the television in my house. It was 2 or 3 years ago and I was feeling under the weather. It was before the cable company switched over to a digital feed and we were still getting free cable. That doesn't mean that I haven't watched any TV in 2 or 3 years, but I only watch rarely and I never turn it on. At the time I last turned on the tube, the Discovery Channel was having a big "Barbarian Week" promotion. I sat down and watched barbarians on the Discovery Channel for 2 or 3 hours.

Well, I was feeling under the weather again, so I plopped my excessively large butt down on the couch and watched some television the other day. There's not much on TV on a Monday night if you don't have cable. "The Antiques Road Show" was the best I could find, so I watched it. That lead into American Masters "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" directed by Martin Scorsese.

Dylan and Scorsese, how could you go wrong? The film featured rare footage, and never-before-seen performance footage. The film wasn't overbroad in its profile either, the film centered on Bob's early years exclusively. There were a multitude of guests: Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez to name but a few, surely such a showcase of big names would be worth watching.


What a stinking pile of dung. It was as if a first year film student had put it together with no editing help.

Bob Dylan's is an all American story about a man who started with nothing, came from no where and became a superstar. A man who was the artistic focal point of a generation, or two. A man who is one of the most well known poets in a century. A man who will be talked about for decades after his death, and whose influence in music will be felt for many, many decades.

And Scorsese came up with this pile of dreck to honor Dylan? None of the rare footage has any context. If you didn't know that Dylan's electric phase was met with jeers, most of the rare footage would leave you scratching your head. Much music from various bands is featured in the piece, little of the non-Dylan music is explained as to why it is important to Dylan's musical influence, or why we are listening to it.

Several people are extensively interviewed, all of them are identified when they are first introduced then never again. I found it impossible to remember who was who and what their relation to Dylan was. I suppose for a Dylan fanatic, all the names would have meant something. Although I recognized some of the names, I quickly forgot who was who.

Haphazard and disjointed. Scorsese should be ashamed.

That was a Scorsese production? I'll be dipped. I saw bits and pieces of the show and thought it was terrible.

Freshman film school quality indeed.
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