Renaldo and Clara


With the forthcoming release of I’m Not There, which chronicles the life of Bob Dylan in it’s own unique way-most of the recent photos that have come from the set look comical to say the least-perphaps a look at Dylan’s own first film Renaldo and Clara is in order.

Renaldo and Clara (1978) -the four hour version-is a much better movie than the critics claimed-despite having a chunk of docu-style interviews about Hurriance Carter which are too long, thrown into the centre of it.

It explores the relationships Bob Dylan, playing his alter ego Renaldo, has with women.In a telling scene Rob Stoner as the ‘rocker’ tells a woman “Dont come between me and my music.”

Renaldo is feckless (he trades Joan Baez for a horse-joke on Joanie) and torn between various brunettes who appear similiar. Finally towards the end of the film we see Bob and Sara Dylan getting hot and heavy, but tender, although the movie ends with Renaldo all alone, laying on the ground, one leg crossed over the other, like a child.

Beautifully styled-well you’ll never see Bob looking as good in his orange scarf, patchwork coat, jeans and fedora hat as Renaldo, although Sara Dylan looks haggard,which makes you wonder what the hell she went through as Mrs. Bob Dylan-the movie is surreal, joky, dreamy and European.

Dylan explores identity, past lives, motifs, the rose and ice, of course it’s all about Bob Dylan, the confusing changes just try to mask over the obvious.

And the on-stage performances are electric!

Renaldo and Clara-synopsis

Renaldo and Clara wikipedia



  1. Holyhoses Rob

    Doesn’t he keep doing that thing, though, where you’re in the middle of a performance and enjoying it, and then it cuts away to one of the interminable improv scenes? Wasn’t there a shorter version that was mostly concert footage?

    I had that DVD they issued with the Live 75 CD, of hiim singing “Tangled up in Blue” in whiteface, and Isis, too. Both are fantastic, but I lent the DVD to someone I think, and never got it back. Or I’ve lost it.

  2. I got the DVD of Renaldo and Clara just after Xmas in Dublin. I agree, the concert scenes do cut back to the ‘drama’ and I think that’s the films flaw, there was too much included, that with slicker editing coud have changed the film for the better. Having said that, it really just needed (I think) SOME fine tuning, I wouldnt have cut it down to two hours. I’ve also seen the film Les Enfants du Paradis, which was supposed to have influenced Dylan & that is three hours long, I think & it’s a great b/w French film.

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