Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who Plays Joan Baez?

Unlike many people of my generation, and the one just before it, I'm not religio-crazy for Bob Dylan. There's a lot of his music that I like, primarily his early electric period of the mid-60s, but I've never regarded Dylan as some kind of folk mystic or pop shaman. Dude penned some clever, catchy lyrics, and pulled a musical 180 on his devoted flock when he was at his acoustic peak, which is cool, but I don't see the godhead angle at all. My blindness, perhaps.

That said, I'm looking forward to Todd Haynes' upcoming Dylan biopic, "I'm Not There", in which several actors play the legend at various points in his career. The most intriguing casting has to be Cate Blanchett as Dylan from my favorite period of the mid-60s. In the clip below, she does look like Dylan, but her voice is a little too reedy to be accurate. The real surprise in this clip, however, is David Cross as Allen Ginsberg. Cross is a deadringer for the poet, until he talks, and then he's David Cross from "Mr. Show". Ginsberg's voice is hard to capture, but Cross doesn't even try, not here anyway. Still, I wonder why he never did Ginsberg till now. He has the look nailed.

For the real Dylan, and the real Ginsberg, I highly recommend Martin Scorsese's documentary, "No Direction Home". If you love music, you'll love that, or my name isn't Neal Cassady.