Martin Scorsese’s Bob Dylan Film Rolling Thunder Revue Is One of the Most Truthful Movies You’ll See in 2019

In a world where cries of “Fake news!” are themselves often fake, we have reason to be wary of tricksters and grifters, of snake-oil salesmen and rambling preachers. But we can always trust Bob Dylan, a career card sharp whose deck is a stack of half-truths, full truths and outright fabrications perpetually being reshuffled. His whole career has been an invocation to pick a card, any card: Which Bob Dylan did you get today? Only sometimes is he the Jack of Hearts. There are 51 other possibilities, and that’s not even including jokers.

Martin Scorsese’s delightful and wily possible-documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, made for Netflix, gives us a good half of those Dylans, and probably more. It’s the most truthful movie you’ll see in 2019, because it swears on nothing but the Gospel of Bob, and in more than 50 years of singing, songwriting and much, much touring, he has never promised us anything beyond pleasure and illumination. That means he has never broken a promise, not even when he went electric in 1965, in Newport—hardly a betrayal, that was just Dylan being busy being born. In late October 1975, Dylan began a ramshackle tour designed to bring his music to smaller auditoriums, where he could play “for the people.” Scorsese’s film is a sort-of document of that roughly seven-month tour, undertaken by Dylan and a ragtag bunch of performers including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and Roger McGuinn, as well as Allen Ginsberg and mystery-woman violinist Scarlet Rivera.

Rolling Thunder Revue blends tour footage—plucked from Dylan’s 1978 weirdo epic Renaldo and Clara—with contemporary interviews, anchored by Dylan himself, the Bob Dylan of today. His hair is a grizzled tumbleweed tuft; he wears one of his signature bolo ties and a riverboat gambler’s jacket with black spangles on the lapels. Early in the film, an off-camera interviewer asks him about the meaning of the Rolling Thunder Revue. “I don’t have a clue,” he says. “It’s about nothing, it’s just something that happened 40 years ago. I don’t remember a thing about Rolling Thunder—it happened so long ago, I wasn’t even born.”

Liar, liar, pants on fire. Just about everyone knows Dylan was born in 1941 as Robert Allen Zimmerman, of Minnesota. Why would Dylan tell such an outlandish lie? Why would he not? That’s barely the beginning of Scorsese and Dylan’s hoodwinkery: The

Source:: Time – Entertainment


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