4.2 (39 votes)
DVDylan ID: D003
Recording type: ProShot
From British television, transferred to NTSC.
Number of discs: 2
Running time: 03:55
Video standard: NTSC
Authoring: DVDs with menu and chapters are circulating
Two DVD set.

This is one of the most profound explorations if the myth of the 'true self' I know of--right up there with Nietzsche, Beckett and Derrida on the subject. Believe none of this drivel about the film you hear on the net, but believe Dylan when he says--"Americans are lazy, not wanting to watch a 4 hour movie. They want art to be like wallpaper, putting in no work." Amen.

Reviewed by acristofani on 28th November 2007

Please understand that I am a huge Dylan fan and bought this VCR on Ebay for over $50 as it is practically impossible to get anywhere at all. I recently went to one of his '07 concerts and can even put up with his very croaky voice. Now I know why Dylan does not want this horrendous piece of ???? out there.

First, just for practical points, beyond the "meaning"-which seems actually very common-place and not at all difficult to understand--all the technical qualities about this film are extremely poor. The lighting is so bad in some parts that you can't even see the people in the scenes. The sound, especially for Dylan's and Sara's words is horrible, in most places I couldn't only hear half of what they were mumbling. The camera-work, again, is terrible and has the feel of a very bad home movie. I suppose one could argue "well, it was only 1975," but to that, I say, pshaw. Actually, the technicalities of even the movie Earthquake which was shown playing at some local theaters as the man-on-the-street interviews were going on, were better than this film. Here again, we don't know who the cameraman is. Sometimes it sounds like Dylan and sometimes ???? This has no meaning to me whatsoever, only that the filming was horrible.

As to the meaning, I do not agree that it was this "surrealistic, cubist thematic masterpiece" and we, the poor dumb public are just too stupid to understand. And that there are all these layers of understanding here. I think it was pretty obvious that it was a simple tale of a love triangle and love gone wrong in general as well as fleeting glimpses into Dylan's mind of his thoughts and feelings about women in general. And, to make up for all these technical guffaws, Dylan maniacs have made up some existential, surrealistic nonsense, when I see it only as purely badly executed filming.

As far as HIS performance, he appears to be a catatonic, mumbler and does not exude one ounce of emotion, surreal or otherwise anywhere. Actually, his "film presence" if there is such a concept equates with a walk-on.

The ONLY redeeming part of this film was bringing to light the plight of Ruben "Hurricane" Carter, which was just so masterfully done a few years back with the stellar performance by Denzel Washington. What this had to do with the movie is extremely far-fetched. If Dylan is equating himself with Mr. Carter since perhaps he feels imprisoned by his celebrity and fans, that is a very big stretch. Ruben Carter has character and integrity that far surpasses most of the population of this country and certainly that possessed by Mr. Dylan.

Also of note, Joan Baez seems like the only person alive here (excepting the gypsy). Sara Dylan seems totally pretentious and condescending, but then at least she doesn't come across as a complete automaton, as all the others do.

Some say that Dylan's musical performances make this film passable, but even here, they were very poorly filmed with bad sound. Even the 1965 "Don't Look Back" bare bones performances (technically speaking) were captured much better and with much more connection than these.

Actually, Bob Dylan should hire people to snatch up all of these copies of Renaldo and Clara and have them destroyed. My interest in this came from seeing bits of it on Utube. This is more than enough to see and understand this film. Don't waste your money for anything more.

Dylan needs to stick with what he is best at: writing and performing music-period.

This did teach me something though. Just because something is out-of-print may not mean it is particularly valuable--it could be just lousy and that is why it is no longer available.

Reviewed by Sedonalady on 14th September 2007

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