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!