This is the ultimate look at Bob Dylan’s concert tour of England in the spring of 1965--one of the most intimate profiles of an artist ever put to film. This definitive set includes the remastered classic film by D.A. Pennebaker, a brand-new, hour-long look at Dylan, and the original 168-page companion book to the film. More than just a concert film, DONT LOOK BACK is a window into the spirit of the 60s, and one of the poet-musicians whose words and songs defined it.
Both a classic documentary and a vital pop-cultural artifact, D.A. Pennebaker's portrait of Bob Dylan captures the seminal singer-songwriter on the cusp of his transformation from folk prophet to rock trendsetter. Shot during Dylan's 1965 British concert tour, Don't Look Back
employs an edgy vérité style that was, and is, a snug fit with the artist's own consciously rough-hewn persona. Its handheld black-and-white images and often-gritty London backdrops suggest cinematic extensions of the archetypal monochrome portraits that graced Dylan's career-making early-'60s album jackets.
Pennebaker's access to the legendarily private troubadour enables us to witness Dylan's shifting moods as he performs, relaxes with his entourage (including then lover Joan Baez, road manager Bob Neuwirth, and poker-faced manager Albert Grossman), and jousts with other musicians (notably Animals alumnus Alan Price and Scottish folksinger Donovan), fans, and press. It's a measurement of the filmmaker's acuity that the conversations are often as gripping as Dylan's solo performances. Grossman's machinations with British promoters, Baez's hip serenity, a grizzled British journalist's surrender to the fact of Dylan's artistry, and the artist's own taunting dismissal of a clueless sycophant are all absorbing.
With the exception of the studio recording of "Subterranean Homesick Blues," the live performances (including five newly restored, complete audio tracks excised from the original film but included on the DVD version) are constrained by crude audio gear. Their urgency, however, is timeless, as is Pennebaker's film, a legitimate cornerstone for any serious rock video collection. --Sam Sutherland
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.