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The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival (2007)

An unvarnished chronicle of Bob Dylan's metamorphosis from folk to rock musician via appearances at the Newport Folk Festival between 1963 and 1965.

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An unvarnished chronicle of Bob Dylan's metamorphosis from folk to rock musician via appearances at the Newport Folk Festival between 1963 and 1965.

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7 December 2007 (USA)  »

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The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965  »

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NOT Disappointing
20 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I cannot believe that this film has only 82 votes and 3 comments! This is an amazing concert film. If you're frustrated with all the music movies where you only get to hear 30 seconds to a minute of each song, this is the film for you. There is no fancy camera work, no distracting lighting, no peripatetic moving the camera from place to place, like we'll be bored if we just see the singer singing the song. Much of the time you see Dylan's face in close up, as if you were sitting on stage. And every song he sings you hear from the opening to closing chords. It's a special treat to see the young Johnny Cash, but he's not the focus of this film, so we only see part of a song. Same for Joan Baez. Other than that, no other performers than Dylan.

There are no interviews, no crowd closeups, no explanation of anything. The performances just speak for themselves in a way you probably haven't seen before, even if you've seen all the other Dylan films. You might even hear a song or two you haven't heard before, and you get not one but two complete performances of Mr. Tambourine Man. The change in Dylan's appearance, voice, and music in the course of just three years is amazing, and seeing it without commentary just seems "right" to me. You don't always need to hear someone explain what you can see for yourself.

The sound and picture, while black and white, is amazingly high quality, even without considering the era from which it was all recorded.


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