Scorcese ain’t no mug.
As well as most of the best gangsta films since forever, he made a couple of music documentaries, one about the Stones, and the other one about Dylan called No Direction Home.
I rewatched it again recently.
Best things about it were:
2. The advent of folk music and the cultural a-bomb exploding out of Greenwich village in the 60s.
3. Allen Ginsberg the beat poet saying that when he first heard Hard Rain, he cried.
4. Footage of crowds everywhere booing Dylan and shouting Judas! at their idol, when he decided to go electric and perform with a 3-piece band, instead of doing his classic solo with acoustic guitar and harmonica act.
5. Dylan being told someone was about to shoot him, because of this.
6. The general feeling that this man was one of the most important things that happened in the 20th century. That he wasn’t human. That he was only a portal, for something far bigger beyond our understanding. Someone upstairs chose him to be the messenger. As one of his friends said, ‘Look… I like to give credit where credit’s due, but Dylan don’t deserve none. You know when they say ‘the hand of the Almighty reaches down and taps you on the shoulder and all that, well the Almighty kicked him in the goddamn ass. You only need to look at him to see there’s something of the holy spirit in him’.
At one point Dylan looks into the camera and says…
And then adds…
If you can understand this, you’re gonna be alright, I think.
Perhaps what he was saying was that every single thing that happens to us, every little detail, be it good or bad, all elation or tragedy or fear or love or lack of it, even sitting in your Y-fronts alone as the rain thrashes against the window thinking you can’t go on while you calculate how many days and hours and minutes until the first robin of spring appears and bounces gingerly from one shivering branch to the next and says whaddup I’m back, even when you’re not doing anything you’re still somehow doing something. Each one of these moments is integral to your state of becoming.
They are all ingredients that make up the dish. The dish never gets cooked, it is one long drawn-out session in the kitchen that lasts a lifetime. Important thing is to keep adding ingredients. At times it tastes awful, at times it’ll be michelin-starred. But we’re never there. We’re always becoming.