July 24: Masked and Anonymous was released in 2003
“When I made the Bob Dylan movie, I wanted to make a Bob Dylan movie that was like a Bob Dylan song. One with a lot of layers, that had a lot of poetry, that had a lot of surrealism and was ambiguous and hard to figure out, like a puzzle.”
– Larry Charles
Masked and Anonymous is a 2003 comedy-drama film directed by Larry Charles, who is better known for his writing on successful TV sitcoms, Seinfeld and Mad About You and for executive producing episodes of The Tick and Dilbert. The film was written by Larry Charles and Bob Dylan, the latter under the pseudonym “Sergei Petrov”. It stars iconic rock legend Bob Dylan alongside a star-heavy cast, including John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Lange,Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, and Michael Paul Chan.
The film received mixed reviews from critics.
It is such an underrated movie! …and with some fantastical musical numbers of course.
BF: Why does your voice change so much? From the country albums to Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid to the way you sound on tour…
Bob Dylan: That’s a good question. I don’t know. I could only guess, if it has changed. I’ve never gone for having a great voice, for cultivating one. I’m still not doing it now.
~Ben Fong-Torres interview (Jan 1974)
TC: Your music often seems to get ignored as compared with the emphasis that’s placed on the lyrics, but there have been some really nice instrumental passages like Pat Garrett and Billy The Kid, for example.
Bob Dylan: Yes, I just did a bunch of tracks with Dave Stewart that have no lyrics, and you don’t even miss the lyrics, really. They’re just different chord patterns that make up a melody. My records usually don’t have a lot of guitar solos or anything like that on them. The vocals mean a lot, and the rhythm means a lot, that’s about it.
~Toby Creswell interview (Jan 1986)
Here is the brilliant “Knocking On Heavens Door” scene from the movie:
Eat The Document premiered at the New York Academy Of Music, February 8, 1971.
Eat the Document is a documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1966 tour of the United Kingdom with the Hawks. It was shot under Dylan’s direction by D. A. Pennebaker, whose groundbreaking documentary, Don’t Look Back, chronicled Dylan’s 1965 British tour. The film was originally commissioned for the ABC television series Stage ’66.
Eat the Document includes footage from the infamous Manchester Free Trade Hall concert, wherein an audience member shouted “Judas!” during the electric half of Dylan’s set. Dylan’s band during these shows were The Hawks (later to become The Band). Songs from various shows throughout the tour featured in the film include “Tell Me, Momma”, “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)”, “Ballad of a Thin Man”, and “One Too Many Mornings.”
Other scenes include Dylan and Robbie Robertson in hotel rooms writing and working through new songs, most of which remain unreleased and unpublished. Among these songs are “I Can’t Leave Her Behind”, which was later covered by Stephen Malkmus for the I’m Not There soundtrack.
The film also includes a piano duet with Johnny Cash performing Cash’s “I Still Miss Someone”.
September 3: I’m Not There the Bob Dylan film was released in 2007
“Yeah, I thought it was all right. Do you think that the director was worried that people would understand it or not? I don’t think he cared one bit. I just think he wanted to make a good movie. I thought it looked good, and those actors were incredible.”
– Bob Dylan (about the film)
I’m Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by the life and music of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan’s public personas: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw. Production notes published by distributor The Weinstein Company explain that the film “dramatizes the life and music of Bob Dylan as a series of shifting personae, each performed by a different actor—poet, prophet, outlaw, fake, star of electricity, rock and roll martyr, born-again Christian—seven identities braided together, seven organs pumping through one life story.”
July 17: Yellow Submarine the film was released in 1968
Yellow Submarine is a 1968 British-American animated musical fantasy comedy film inspired by the music of the Beatles.
The film was directed by animation producer George Dunning, and produced by United Artists and King Features Syndicate. Initial press reports stated that the Beatles themselves would provide their own character voices; however, aside from composing and performing the songs, the real Beatles participated only in the closing scene of the film, while their cartoon counterparts were voiced by other actors.