Unearthed Bob Dylan Content Highlights Criterion’s ‘Dont Look Back’ upgrade
On Tuesday, D.A. Pennebaker’s legendary and groundbreaking documentary of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of Britain, Dont (sic) Look Back, will be released and upgraded as part of the Criterion Collection. The film is available as either a blu-ray or 2 DVD set.
While the film has been upgraded and expanded multiple times over the years, the Criterion edition features not only improved quality, but even more additional content than the Docurama 2 DVD version. While fans will want to hold on to the older edition for some content not included here, the most important supplementary features did migrate over to the Criterion Collection release.
Among the new material included in the Criterion Collection edition:
AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH BOB DYLAN: Interviewed by Jeff Rosen in 2000. Short but typically Dylan, intended for the Martin Scorsese documentary, No Direction Home. “I’ve always had more dedicated fans in England,” said Dylan.
SNAPSHOTS FROM THE TOUR: Newly unearthed footage not included in any previous edition. Content includes TWA flight; Dylan explaining a William Burroughs inspired cut-up writing technique; Dylan and tour manager Bobby Neuwirth in striped, hooded robes; manager Albert Grossman interview; live performance of “Mr. Tambourine Man;” looking for a newspaper; Joan Baez taking young fans in a car to meet Dylan; Marianne Faithfull and Baez singing the Rolling Stones’ “As Tears Go By” while Dylan types in the background; Alan Price of the Animals, producer Tom Wilson, and Grossman, talking about the blues; Dylan and Baez hotel jam singing Webb Pierce’s “More and More,” the Delmore Brothers’ “Blues Stay Away From Me,” and the traditional British folk song “Young But Daily Growing;” Dylan typing “Jack O Diamonds,” wearing his Highway 61 shirt, while Ben Carruthers and Benny Kern (of Ben Carruthers and the Deep) can be seen composing the music; and backstage footage of Dylan singing “Slow Down” (Larry Williams/the Beatles) while playing the piano.
NEW PENNEBAKER/BOBBY NEUWIRTH INTERVIEW: Discussing how Neuwirth met Dylan at a folk festival, Neuwirth’s responsibilities as tour manager, the phenomenon of fan adulation. Pennebaker talked about how Dont Look Back was originally going to be a concert film until he heard Dylan talking offstage. There’s also raw outtake footage from the followup documentary, Eat the Document, with Dylan singing “Ballad of a Thin Man,” and footage of Neuwirth and Pennebaker in a hotel room. Pennebaker quoting Dylan: “You’ve got your film, now I’m going to make a film, and I’m going to direct it.” Neuwirth: “It had nothing to do with reality … He discovered the harmony of a band … He might be shy in real life, but not in the spotlight.” Pennebaker said he felt as if he was still making Dont Look Back, but didn’t know who would ever edit it? Ends with footage of Neuwirth at the Gaslight in 1971, filmed by Pennebaker.
PENNEBAKER/GREIL MARCUS INTERVIEW 2010: Highlights include discussing the “Subterranean Homesick Blues” opener, the scene with Donovan, finally finding a film distributor who had previously specialized in pornography, and Penny’s documentary about Dave Lambert.
PATTI SMITH explaining the importance of Bob Neuwirth in her early career, how her mother bought her a copy of Another Side of Bob Dylan (“I had found my guy … Dylan was the whole package. … He was like Arthur Rimbaud, alive.”) Smith memorized the dialogue from the paperback version of the film. Smith discussed meeting Dylan at the Bitter End. “I was becoming myself … I was creating my own pyramid, and I had to move him over.. Dylan seeing us was helpful to getting signed … I had to release the thread, and let my Bob Dylan balloon go off to become myself.”
New booklet with rare photos and an essay by Robert Polito.
Of course the original commentary, the five live audio tracks, and 65 Revisited documentary, are all included.
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Photo courtesy of the Criterion Collection.
Of the dozens of Dylan Internet sites … Expecting Rain … and the examiner.com Bob Dylan blog by Harold Lepidus are the best places for up-to-the-minute Dylan news – David Kinney, “The Dylanologists: Adventures in the Land of Bob.”(Simon & Schuster, 2014)