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A great documentary, like any film, needs to erase the furniture you’re sitting on, the floor, the walls, the temperature of the room, hunger, stress, responsibilities, ego — the complete tangible and intangible context that exists off-screen.
Martin Scorses’s “No Direction Home,” is an incredible eraser. But when I initially sat down to review the two-part, 208-minute documentary that spans the early evolution of Bob Dylan’s career, I had my doubts.
I love much of Dylan’s music, from his self-titled debut with its witty folk standards to his more stream-of-consciousness lyrics of the mid-1960s and 1970s. “Subterranean Homesick Blues” is on my running play list in my iPod.
However, no matter how big a fan I am, I never have three-and-a-half hours to devote to something as non-essential as watching a movie. So, when I pushed the play button, I was utterly unprepared for how introspective, how unadorned, how revealing the film is.
And after the end credits, I didn’t feel like I had done something as non-essential as watching a movie.
I felt like I had been as close as most of us will ever come to having a long, deep, personal conversation with a folk/rock song writing legend.
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