Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So What Was "Masked and Anonymous" Really About?
Speaking of Masked and Anonymous, as terrible as it is -- and it's plenty terrible -- it's worth noting that it's a long way from the bottom of the Dylan filmic barrel, not when we still have Renaldo and Clara (unseen by me) and Hearts of Fire (unseen by anyone, near as I can tell, although the soundtrack LP, seen at right, was apparently released in England) to kick around. The highlight -- in the DVD, anyway -- comes in the bonus material, when the various actors are asked what they think all this foofaraw was actually about; Val Kilmer responds, "I think it's based on the teachings of Donovan."
Still, one scene has stuck with me, when Jeff Bridges, playing a famous magazine journalist, scores what he thinks is an important interview with Jack Fate, played by Dylan and based on Dylan and much like you'd expect Dylan to be if he'd been a political prisoner for several years. Despite the fact that Jack Fate is submitting to the interview to promote some sort of benefit concert, Bridges' first question is: "So what were the Sixties really about?" (That's a paraphrase, although probably a pretty close one, and there ain't no way I'm watching the whole thing again just to get that quote right.)
Dylan wrote the script himself, you know, along with future Borat director Larry Charles, under the names Sergei Petrov and Rene Fontaine, respectively. So it's fairly safe to assume that he actually has been assaulted with questions like that right from the get-go of an interview. And it really does sound like something some butt-headed self-important journalist would ask Bob Dylan. I wonder, are there other sequences that reflect Dylan's interactions with us mere mortals? Hmm, maybe this is worth seeing again.