Don't Look Back Review

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Documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, which includes appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan


D. A. Pennebaker’s celebrated documentary film of Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of Britain allows us to see the enigmatic Dylan persona virtually in the process of formation. This is also one of the few documentaries to develop a sense of narrative, thanks to the “British Dylan”, Donovan, whose peripheral prescence is the source of much amusement.

Classic scenes include that Dylan’s manager Albert Grossman and promoter Tito Burns negotiating with TV companies; Dylan’s verbal laceration of both a hapless hack from Time magazine and a student ligger; and the Subterranean Homesick Blues lyric-card-discarding scene that effectively forms one of the first non-performance rock videos.

Wonderfully revealing and mythologistic.