The Dylan movie is, predictably, fantastic. If you’ve seen the EMP exhibit, you’ll recognize some of the footage as the same interviews are used. I didn’t really notice any repetition though, so you’ll want to see both. Here is the David Thomson review of the film I mentioned a couple weeks ago. He thinks it’s one of Scorsese’s best films ever. While I’m not ready to go that far, yet, he does make some interesting points about the film and Scorsese’s career.
I also picked up Greil Marcus’s book on The Basement Tapes, ‘The Old, Weird America’. After reading the first couple of chapters, it’s very good. It picks up right where the documentary leaves off, a wacked-out Dylan ends his tour, gets in a motorcycle accident, spends months locked up in Woodstock with The Band playing bizarre little folks songs wholly different from what he’d been doing from 1964-66. He also specifically connects The Basement Tapes to the two albums of folk covers Dylan made in the early 90s, Good As I Been To You and World Gone Wrong. I just bought the first one, but World Gone Wrong was the first Dylan album I ever bought. It’s a terrific little album that never gets mentioned as one of Dylan’s best, but probably should. Those albums led directly to Dylan’s revitalization in Time Out Of Mind and, especially, Love And Theft, just as The Basement Tapes revitalized Dylan after the whole crazy “Judas” tour and led to John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline and SelfPortrait.