Saturday, July 29, 2006
Random Splices: Bob Dylan film “I’m Not There” gets underway July 31
News of movie productions getting underway is run-of-the-mill when it comes to assembly line Hollywood. The one standout is Todd Haynes’ forthcoming biopic about singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, “I’m Not There.” Production begins July 31 in Montreal, Canada with plans to wrap sometime in November. The finished film will reach audiences in 2007 after an anticipated premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Part of the film’s appeal is the starry ensemble of talent who will portray Dylan at various stages of his life: Christian Bale, Richard Gere and Heath Ledger. Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore and Charlotte Gainsbourg fill out the supporting roles.
Granted, much of the early excitement revolves around Blanchett playing Dylan, by the far the toughest undertaking in her impressive career. Todd Haynes, easily one of the most distinct and talented of American filmmakers working today, is always reason for joyful anticipation. The fact that Haynes is reuniting with his “Far From Heaven” cameraman Ed Lachman is a bonus.
But the core source for all the “I’m Not There” excitement starts with its colorful subject. Dylan on film has been something of a disappointment. He co-wrote and starred in the recent comedy “Masked and Anonymous,” playing a veteran singer, but not one moment was believable. But Haynes overcomes the challenge of Dylan’s stiff on-screen presence by reaching out to others to bring the singer/songwriter alive. No one knows for sure how “I’m Not There” will turn out. The one certainty is that it will be a must-see.