Don’t get too excited yet; this ‘leaked’ image may or may not be official marketing for Todd Haynes’ very ambitious biography of Bob Dylan. I really hope it is legit, though, because it gets several things quite right.
First, it’s eye-catching, and presents several of the actors without resorting to duly despised big heads. In repping the actors, it also alludes to the nature of the film, in which multiple performers appear as Dylan during various points in his timeline. And of course, it calls back to Dylan’s second most famous appearance, in the clip for Subterranean Homesick Blues.*
Not that I actually expect many people are excited about seeing this, which is really the reson for this article. I’m just looking for a reasonable excuse to raise awareness of the film. Whether it’s good or bad (and there are solid 50/50 odds at work) I think it’s safe to assume we won’t see anything like I’m Not There from another director this year. Yeah, we saw something like it not long ago (Palindromes) but this seems to me like a much more purposeful, measured reason to cast a role from several personalities, and with multiple genders.**
After all: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere and more playing Dylan? How can that not catch your interest?
Todd Haynes is one of the most consistently interesting people working, and I wish that it didn’t take him so long to go from one project to another. Velvet Goldmine may have been crap (ambitious, promising crap, though) but Far From Heaven and Safe are wonderful, vastly under-appreciated films. Even if this is more Velvet Goldmine than Far From Heaven, I won’t feel guilty at all about promoting it during a year so full of obvious cinmatic bullshit.
See a slightly larger version of the poster here.
*His most famous, sadly, being That Drunk, Fucked-Up Old Guy Who Can’t Give A Decent Show Anymore. He’s been doing the rounds with that one for a while now.
*Man, how fantastic if a similar attempt would come out of a country like Thailand, where gender identity is much more varied/fractured than in the west? I’d love to see Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s (Tropical Malady, Syndromes And A Century) version of this movie, if I could stay awake through it.