I’m Not There
starring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whinshaw, Charlotte Gainsbourg, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams
screenplay by Todd Haynes and Oren Moverman
directed by Todd Haynes
I don’t know about this film. It’s confusing and I definitely did not like it. I watched it all, though. It is extremely rare for menot to watch a film in its entirety after I have paid to rent it, no matter if I do not like it. The same is true of books. It is extremely rare for me not to finish a book once I have opened it. Truly, I have only ever stopped reading two books (both novels), and perhaps stopped watching an equal number of films mid-way. This is a kind of art film, featuring some famous personalities - Billy the Kid, Woody Gutherie, Arthur Rimbaud - inserted into a time frame contemporary with the young Bob Dylan.
I accept chaos. Chaos does not accept me.
I remember when I’m Not There was favorably reviewed in the newspapers. Playing a male role, Cate Blanchett plays a character modeled after Bob Dylan. The movie is based on Bob Dylan lyrics or, inspired by his 1960’s-era songs. But there is no story, which bothers me, because I am a conservative kind of guy who still looks for things to make sense. That does not mean that I do not accept chaos. It just means that I think chaos does not accept me. Anyway, instead of a coherent narrative what we have instead are more like vignettes: four or five lives set to Dylan’s poetic lyrics. Crazy, man!
I don’t know why a person of Richard Gere’s talent was even in this film, because he doesn’t seem to add anything to it. And I must say that this is the first film in which I have seen Heath Ledger (1979-2007), the Australian actor made famous as the gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. He died this year in New York City of an accidental prescription medicine overdose.
One thing I did learned fromI’m Not There are the Seven Simple Rules for Life in Hiding. Who knows when they will come in handy.
7 Simple Rules for Life in Hiding
1. Never trust a cop in a raincoat.
2. Beware of enthusiasm and of love. Each is temporary and quick to sway.
3. When asked if you care about the world’s problems look deep into the eyes of he who asks. He will not ask you again.
4. Never give your real name.
5. If ever told to look at yourself, never look.
6. Never say or do anything the person standing in front of you cannot understand.
7. Never create anything. It will be misinterpreted. It would chain you and follow you for the rest of your life. It will never change.