How to See One of the Year's Best Films for Free
PBS stations around the country will be airing the two-part nearly four-hour Martin Scorsese documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan this coming Monday and Tuesday evening as part of the American Masters series. The DVD of the film is already available. This is one of those beautiful pop-culture moments where two great artists collaborate, and each of them shine even brighter because of the finished project. In the first half of the film Scorsese expertly compiles archival footage and interviews in order to present how Dylan rose to prominence singing folk songs and writing songs that were so of their time they were adopted by so many as the soundtrack to many of the seismic social changes the country was experiencing. As educational and interesting as this first two hours is, it doesn't feel very much like Scorsese. That problem disappears immediately in the second half as Scorsese begins to edit with a quicker pace making the audience feel the claustrophobia Dylan himself is experiencing. Although this hour and a half covers just about 18 months of Dylan's life, one gets the sense of how much he aged during this time. When all is said and done, the film makes Dylan a little more knowable, even if there is no greater understanding of how he created such amazing songs. There is a wealth of never before seen footage in the film, as well as some outstanding and rare television appearances and performance footage on the DVD. Quite simply, No Direction Home is one of the best films of the year.