I just finished Bob Dylan’s ‘Masked and Anonymous’ from Netflix. What a great and strange movie. Where to start? It is a cast of thousands of stars; Luke Wilson, john Goodman, bob Dylan, Jessica Lange, Christian Slater, Val Kilmer, Mickey Roarke, Jeff Bridges, Giovanni Ribisi, Ed Harris… too many to mention (and many in rolls so tiny you won’t know it was them until they are gone). The storyline is strange and basically simple. I wouldn’t be able to say much without giving away key plot points, and I want you to see it… so we will leave those points out.
So what do we have? Amongst other things, we have many Dylan performances which are phenomenal. I have to say as a life long fan of Dylan who listens to nothing after 1965, Dylan sounds great. I have been hearing Dylan got his voice back for years, but didn’t believe anyone. After I saw Dylan in college back in 1990, I was so disheartened I planned to never see him again. He was like a terrible parody of himself.
As promised, he sounds terrific. Good news, Dylan is still quite strange. I had to see the movie because I haven’t seen Dylan speak or smile or sing or do anything useful in forever. My loss, Dylan is back… and is still super strange and cryptic. It’s like a Cohen brother’s script with David Lynch brought in to punch it up for genuine awkwardness and sheer freaky vibe.
So I recommend this movie, unless you think acting is Sandra Bullock or that a movie has to have vin Diesel in it. It is true film, not just a movie… but an experience. I wouldn’t expect anything less from Dylan. There is also something to be said about the soundtrack, which is mind blowing. Regrettably the one on sale is a paltry eight tunes. The movie itself was packed with at least 20 songs. Half were Dylan singing re-workings of his own material, and the other half was really strange covers (like My Back Pages in Japanese). In fact, if you dig good Dylan… you should see the movie just for the soundtrack. Better yet, do what I do with half my other music DVDs. I run the movie and leave the TV just to hear the music pumped through my little home theatre.