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DVD Review: NO DIRECTION HOME- BOB DYLAN

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NO DIRECTION HOME- BOB DYLAN

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS:   207 minutes, 7 never-before-seen full length Bob Dylan performances, guest performances, unused promo spot, and more

STUDIO:  Paramount/ Apple/ Spitfire Pictures/ PBS

RELEASE DATE: 9-20-2005

Bob Dylan is a legendary genius.   He found his path to what he wnated to do with his music no matter what people thought of any changes he did.  NO DIRECTION HOME- BOB DYLAN is a captivating documentary from Martin Scorsese that chronicles Bob's early years from 1960 to his rise to pop stardom in 1966.  You hear from Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seger, Allen Ginsberg, and others with their thoughts on Bob Dylan during the 1960s.  Also Bob tells the story about how he finally met Woody Gutherie.  Music clips from Bob Dylan performances, Bob Dylan interviews, and music from people who influenced Bob help make this documentary come even more alive.   Definitely one of the best documentaries I watched and much better than anything martin has directed.

The DVD allows you to go to any clip of any Bob Dylan performance featured in this documentary which is a pretty good thing if you want to see a certain song clip.  Bob was beating to his own drum and didn't get why many folk music fans thought he was a traitor when he did many of his songs electric instead of austoic.  Even Pete Seger wanted to trash the amps with an axe when he heard folk music being backed by a Blue's band.  Bob wanted to do the music his way and he was always out to try new things.   A few of his songs became hits when other artists recorded them (like the Byrds with Mr. Tambourine Man).  Bob has great creative talent as each song has something to say.  He had full control over where he wanted to go and didn't go in directions he didn't want to go.   I could easily imagine the documentary being a basis for a bio-pic on Dylan's early years.  Even without a film on Dylan's life, this documentary is a fascinating lock at Dylan and the era when he was starting to make the music that made hima talent to be reckoned with.

VIDEO: 1.33:1 Full Screen

The transfer is good, but it is hard to judge a little due to all the various conditions of old clips (from the era and Bob Dylan performances/clips from the time.  The mordern day interview material is in top shape, but the older material is a mixed bag.

AUDIO:  English 5.1 DD, English 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English

You have a choice of hearing the documentary in 5.1 or 2.0.   You can hear what's being said and some subtitles are presnt when the director thinks it might be hard to hear or understand what is being said.  The music performances are great sounding.

SPECIAL FEATURES:   The extras are on disc two.  They include seven never-before-seen full length Bob Dylan performances only available on this DVD, a work-in-progress song that Bob was working on in a hotel room in Glasgow, Scotland, four guest performances (by Mavis Staples, Liam Clancy, Joan Baez, and Maria Muldaur), and an unused TV promo spot for "Positively 4th Street).  Even without these extras, the DVD is worth alone for the great documentary on Bob Dylan's early years.

FINAL ANALYSIS:  This DVD is a must for Bob Dylan fans and others should give this DVD a try for a fascinating look at one of the most creative musicians of the 20th century (and a look at the 1960s).

this DVD Review is (c)9-16-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts).  Look for additional content (and news) at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com