I walked away from I’m Not There.
23 minutes in, I got up from my seat, said to myself “I don’t have the energy for this shit,” and left the room.
I don’t walk out of movies.
Hell, I managed to sit through The Spirit, and that was one of the most vile movies I’ve ever seen (in the theater, mind you.)
Then again, I paid to see The Spirit, and we all know how cheap I am…..
*Ahem!* I believe “really cheap” is the answer you’re looking for.
Anyway, I walked out of I’m Not There because, after 23 minutes of trying my damndest, I just didn’t get it.
I’m not all that familiar with his music, and my basic impression of him as a person is only characterized by the various imitations and caricatures I’ve seen on King of the Hill and the like.
Needless to say, I don’t really have any sort of connection or appreciation of Bob Dylan, nor folk/60’s music in general.
Anyway, coming into the movie, I assumed that this might effect my enjoyment of the film to some degree.
Turns out that was only a minor point, as the art house clusterfuckery of this movie served to overshadow any sort of issues that the Bob Dylan soundtrack could’ve brought about in my mind.
From what I can tell, the basic concept of the film was supposed to be a series of vignettes detailing the life and times of Bob Dylan, as portrayed by a number of big name actors, while at once referring to each of these actors by names that are not common amongst one another, and most certainly not Bob Dylan.
Confused yet? Good, now you you know how I felt.
Aside from an opening sequence that shows us all of the actors portraying not-Bob Dylan in the film, namely Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw, (if you’re like me you only know half of those names) the first real shot we get of not-Bob Dylan, is a goofy close-up shot of Richard Gere’s eye opening.
Richard Gere would make no other appearances within the 23 minutes of the film I managed to survive.
After that we start following some 11 year old black kid, riding the rails and playing guitar for people.
The black kid is included in the opening sequence of the film, standing amongst the actors that play not-Bob Dylan, leading me to believe he was supposed to be some sort of analogy to Bob Dylan, but for the most part I was just confused.
Moreover I was confused by how the kid acted and spoke like an adult despite his age.
That was just odd.
Know what else is odd?
Watching said black kid fall off a bridge, into a river, get swallowed by a fuckin’ sperm whale, and then watching said scene transition to a woman, whom we’ve never seen before at this point in the movie, standing in a literal air bubble.
Know what else is odd?
Heath Ledger’s package on camera for no fuckin’ reason, that’s what!
No, you don’t get a picture for that one, perv.
In the 23 minutes I saw of I’m Not There, I couldn’t establish any sort of order or context to any one scene.
The movie would hop around from scene to scene, subject to subject, and actor to actor, such that I couldn’t begin to follow it.
All I know is that there was a shit ton of Bob Dylan music playing over virtually every frame I sat through, some of which was being sung by Christian Bale, imitating Bob Dylan.
Rest assured, despite the relatively star studded cast, this is not an actor’s film.
The one moment of the film that I enjoyed was when a woman told the little black kid to “live his time.”
I’m Not There is a prime example of why I don’t pay attention to artsy or independent films.
I just don’t get them.