THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR: BOB DYLAN LIVE AT THE NEWPORT FOLK FESTIVAL (TV)
(director: Murray Lerner; cinematographers: Murray Lerner/Stanley Meredith/George Pickow/Francis Grumman; editors: Alison Heim/Einar Westerlund/George Panos/Pagan Harlemann/Howard Alk/Murray Lerner; cast: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash; Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Murray Lerner; Columbia; 2007)
“If you care to see the brash young Dylan as he evolves onstage as an artist and moves on from his early folk success, this is just a great film to see that.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Murray Lerner (“Message to Love: The Isle of Wight Festival”/”From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China”) directs this live performance concert at the Newport Folk Festivals in 1963, ’64 and ’65. It was in 1965 that Dylan sent shock waves through the folk establishment by “going electric.”
The footage, thankfully without any talking heads, includes Dylan adhering himself to the Pete Seeger protester side of folk music with the following tunes sung in 1963: “Talkin’ World War III,” Only A Pawn In Their Game,” and “Blowin’ In The Wind.” In 1964 he sings: “Chimes of Freedom,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “It Ain’t Me, Babe” (with Joan Baez). In 1965 he turned abstract and his electrified performance was greeted with a chorus of boos. It included the following songs: “Maggie’s Farm,” “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”
The concerts are not done in a chronological order, as they veer back and forth in dates and from day and night concerts. If you care to see the brash young Dylan as he evolves onstage as an artist and moves on from his early folk success, this is just a great film to see that. It lets you see for yourself those controversial Dylan “Newport” concerts and allows you the freedom to make up your own mind without those endless interpretations that are more about those writing it than the music.
REVIEWED ON 1/20/2008 GRADE: A https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/