Posted at 3:11 PM on November 7, 2007
by Euan Kerr
Producer Christine Vachon got straight down to business during the question and answer session after the Walker Art Center's screening of "I'm Not There" last night.
It's the Todd Haynes film 'inspired by the many lives of Bob Dylan' as the opening credits put it.
Vachon said while they were very careful to get all the rights for the music in the film, and while Dylan's manager gave the go-ahead, neither she nor Haynes ever met Dylan, nor do they know if he has seen the film.
"We gave him a DVD," she said, "But we don't know if he's watched it." She says some people believe Dylan will never watch it. Others can't imagine how he wouldn't immediately pop it into a player.
Vachon said the film was inspired by director Haynes decision to move across the country to a new home in Portland Oregon. Heaynes listened to Dylan as he drove and became fascinated by the personas Dylan has adopted and discarded over the years.
"The thing that drew Todd most was not only that Dylan recreated himself, but he shed the old personality like a snakeskin, with no sentimentality," Vachon said. Haynes could play with that she said.
The film uses several actors to play the Dylan character in intertwined stories from different parts of his life. Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchette, and newcomer Marcus Carl Franklin all take on a role, none of them called Bob, but all of them clearly Dylan.
Blanchette has attracted a great deal of attention for her portrayal of Jude, the Dylan besieged by the press in London early in his career.
"How great is it that the person who plays the Dylan that people most recognize is female? " Vachon asked.
I don't think that Bob will ever watch this film. He's that kind of guy. He's not nostalgic. He never looks back.
Who knows if he'll ever see it? As far as "looking back", goes, well, he's still playing songs he wrote in 1962! I'd say that's looking back.
If he ever sees the film, I hope he's says something about it. That would only be polite.
But, then, this is Dylan we're talking about.
Of course he watched it. What, some hot director makes an offbeat movie about you to much hype and you're not gonna watch it ? I don't know that he'd go public with his commentary about it though, at least not directly. He's probably thrilled about being the subject of a critically acclaimed film cause he's a star and what star doesn't want to remain a star, the topic on everyone's lips, in a good way, of course.