This nearly four-hour surrealist odyssey (232 m.) is written, directed and starring Bob Dylan himself.
|Bob Dylan, Sam Shepard
|Bob Dylan, Sara Dylan, Joan Baez
|Howard Alk, David Meyers, Paul Goldsmith
|Bob Dylan, Howard Alk
|January 25, 1978
There is a myth about this film, it is considered to be incoherent and confusing, well, it isn’t. Everytime I see it, it strikes me as a unified vision, one man’s vision, where he puts different kind of film stocks and styles together to create an entertaining and, yes, demanding movie. The film is a mixture of fantastic concert footage, documentary style film (dealing with the Hurricane Carter case), and ficitonal, seemingly improvised footage.
Never let me go:
Drawing structural and thematic influences from the classic film Les Enfants du Paradis, Dylan infuses Renaldo & Clara with lots of shifting styles, tones, and narrative ideas. Similarities between the two films include the use of whiteface , the recurring flower, the woman in white (Baez), the on-stage and backstage scenes, and the dialogue of both films’ climactic scenes.
Also evident is the Cubist approach of the two films, allowing us to see the main characters from the different perspectives of various lovers. This also echoes some of the songs from this Dylan period (Simple twist of faith and Tangled up in blue coming to mind). Running time is also relatively similar.
It’s a free associating epic that feels pulled straight from Bob Dylan’s brain, Renaldo and Clara is a work of misunderstood genius.