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Dont Look Back (1967)

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Reviews: 35 user | 50 critic

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

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Title: Dont Look Back (1967)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself
Albert Grossman ...
Himself
Bob Neuwirth ...
Himself
...
Herself
Alan Price ...
Himself
Tito Burns ...
Himself
...
Himself
Derroll Adams ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Howard Alk ...
Himself
Jones Alk ...
Herself
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Storyline

Portrait of the artist as a young man. In spring, 1965, Bob Dylan, 23, a pixyish troubador, spends three weeks in England. Pennebaker's camera follows him from airport to hall, from hotel room to public house, from conversation to concert. Joan Baez and Donovan, among others, are on hand. It's the period when Dylan is shifting from acoustic to electric, a transition that not all fans, including Baez, applaud. From the opening sequence of Dylan holding up words to the soundtrack's "Subterranean Homesick Blues," Dylan is playful and enigmatic. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

24 February 1968 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Don't Look Back  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Several scenes in "Don't Look Back" were parodied, shot for shot, in Tim Robbins' film "Bob Roberts". These include the "Wife of the Sheriff of Nottingham" scene, and the segment in which Joan Baez is singing "Percy's Song" while Dylan composes on a typewriter in the background. In "Bob Roberts", Tim Robbin's is updating his investment portfolio on his computer while his lover sings about "Marching For Ourselves". Other unmistakable references include the "Subterranean Homesick Blues" parody and the motorcycle "accident". See more »

Quotes

Bob Dylan: You know the audience that subscribe to TIME Magazine, the audience of people that want to know what's happening in the world week by week, the people that work during the day and can read it, its small, alright and it's concise and there's pictures in it, you know? It's a certain class of people, its a class of people that take the magazine seriously, I mean sure I can read it, you know, I read it , I get it on the airplanes but I don't take it seriously. If I want to find out anything, I'm ...
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Featured in Cinéma Vérité: Defining the Moment (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
one of the best rock documentaries ever made
20 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the documentary that gave meaning to the term "cinema-verite";

a term used to describe films that looked as if they were happening in real time. This is one of those films. It is a gritty black and white documentary that follows the legendary Bob Dylan during a tour in England. This is not a conventional rock documentary where we are shown endless concert footage and interviews with musicians talking about their philosophies and the meanings of their songs. Instead, the camera follows Dylan in a frenzy capturing every detail of social interaction with his fans, entourage, and the press. Dylan appears arrogant but it is no surprise when Pennebaker allows us to see the hypocrisy and greed of the outside world. A memorable moment in the film involves a fan whose invited himself backstage to meet Bob Dylan. He asks him absurd questions such as "what is your attitude on life?" Dylan decides to tease him and the conversation gets pretty ugly. Nevertheless, it is an important scene to the film because it shows us how difficult it is for a superstar such a Dylan to keep a smile and act nice to everyone. Do we gain sympathy for Dylan? We do because we see how alienated he feels among even his closest friends. We also feel a sense of envy for his ability to be so unapologetic and rebellious about his attitude. He is honest but he also has to protect himself from the public. After a Time magazine reporter asks him whether or not he cares what he's saying . Dylan attacks him and then tries to give him a straight answer . "Do you think anyone who comes to these concerts is looking for anything other then entertainment?" The next day, Dylan hears a quote from the papers that describes him as an anarchist. The sequence of these events show clearly how Dylan is at a loss with the public's perception of him. He can't just be himself. He wants to come across as a guy like anyone else but his sarcastic and meaningless interaction with the press only makes things worse. The film also includes appearances with Joan Baez, Donovan, Allen Ginsberg, and Dylan's sleazy manager Albert Grossman. I've seen this film dozens of times and I still see something new with every viewing. It is a true masterpiece.


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