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I’m Not There

"All I Can Do is Be Me...Whoever That Is" 

Year: 2007 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from I’m Not There

Director: Todd Hayes

Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Ben Winshaw, Marcus Carl Franklin

I’m Not There is the Golden Globe winning, Academy Award nominated biopic based on the colourful life of the iconic Bob Dylan. Director and Writer Todd Hayes presents the complex seven stages of the famous singer-songwriter’s life, by creating seven different personas, played by a host of exceptional actors; Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger and Christian Bale to name a few. They each play a different side of Bob Dylan in his private life or his public role; Dylan as poet, prophet, rock star, outlaw and fake. This serves to create a truly spectacular filmic experience, cleverly merging his most famous quotes, his most beautiful songs and his phases in love, life and philosophy.

The film begins with the story of ‘Woody Guthrie’, the black boy who sings of better times to come, carrying about a guitar-case labelled ‘this machine kills fascists.’ Jack Rollins, the folk singer cum preacher, trying to convert and guide people to the way of his Lord. Jude Quinn, played by a truly mesmerising Cate Blanchett who not only imitates the style of Dylan’s walk and stature, but also his voice and personality to perfection, as the falling rock star, too involved in the heady heights of celebrity and rejected by his fans as a sell-out. Heath Ledger plays Dylan the divorcee, separated by the strains of fame from his wife, played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Richard Gere plays an elderly Dylan/ the outlaw Billy the Kid. Each ‘Dylan’ plays his or her part to perfection, shot in black and white, Technicolor or 16mm colour stock.

Watching this film not only tells you a lot more about the artist’s life than you could ever discover from his pictures and interviews, but it also treats you to a whole spectrum of cinematic techniques- spanning the techniques discovered and explored throughout the iconic artists lifetime. I’m Not There has been critically acclaimed as a masterpiece both for its poignancy of plot and the clever shooting, fantastically innovative script and amazing performances.

Whether a Dylan fan, or just a fan of a truly inventive and imaginative cinema experience, go see this truly amazing film. Aside from the awards, it’s a thought provoking, clever film with an awesome soundtrack, which will leave you running to HMV for a Bob Dylan’s greatest hits CD at the nest opportunity. Truly un-missable.

Believe Me.

Jemima Bowers

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Screenings of this film:

2007/2008 Summer Term (35mm)