Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Martin "I'm Still Here" Scorsese

After watching the Scorsese/Dylan "collaboration" on PBS last night, I have to agree with Devin McKinney's assessment. The film is more than comparable to 'The Last Waltz', the one is a template of the other - in cinematic inertia, soporific interview-narrative, and an utter contempt for aesthetic and emotional effect. Obviously loathe to take an expansive view of Dylan's body of work, or to draw some kind of inspiration from anything interesting Dylan ever said or did as a youth, he opts instead for trotting out weathered folkie-chums, uninteresting childhood acquaintances, and most atrociously, Allen Ginsberg. Like Dylan (and other idols of the '60s experience), Scorsese lusts after his own departed muse, and gives up any chance he has of capturing the humanity and complexity of a figure whose art is as humane and complex as any in contemporary music. That the film's most inspired moment was circumventing the annoyingly sentimental story of a young Dylan rushing to the deathbed of his own inspiration, an infirmed Woody Guthrie, while probably a deft directorial move, suggests something about Scorsese's creative state.

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