Give the Anarchist a Cigarette


courtesy of Killer films

Cate Blanchett Shines In Todd Haynes’ Surreal Bob Dylan Chorus Line

Greetings and salutations* film nerds and nerdettes ...

Newsflash:  Per the advice of my untrustworthy publicist, Poppa H has decided to undergo a Hollywood Name Change before fancifully fleeing the country to avoid capture by my growing legion of grabby “super-fans” who this summer seem to be grabbier than ever. Sounds like a good idea doesn’t it?

While I’m down here frantically changing my name in the curdled armpit of democracy Governor Schwarzenegger thoughtfully named the Charles Bronson Federal Building, one thing I will say is I’ve definitely been out-swarthied by the masses. How the hell am I ever going to fit in underground? How many days in-between do I have to go without showering? I would hasten to guess, some of these dudes here never do.

The stink here … could literally clear a New York City Taxi Driver Convention in a hot minute. I need a distraction. While I smell something that resembles curried shit, how’s about we shoot the shit about another mega-entertainer of genius-like proportions who also underwent a “voluntary” name change, had a frightening legion of “super fans” and enjoyed fleeing the country from time to time. I’m talking about one of my Subterranean Beatnik Heroes - Robert Zimmerman, also known as the immortal Bob Dylan ...

courtesy of Killer films

I’m Not There

All you discerning cinephiles with a rocking taste for what’s cool should have Todd Haynes’ newest film I’m Not There on your aesthetic radar. Due out this October, I’m Not There is a very cool re-imagining of the legend and mystery surrounding the enigmatic career of our boy, singer/songwriter Bobby D. What makes the picture unique is six actors, from Christian Bale to Richard Gere to (yes) Cate Blanchett, all get a crack at the title role during vignettes where Dylan plays to mythic reputation in several contrasting periods throughout his life. 

On our journey, we see how the evolving poet, conscience, moral referee, preacher, folk singer, activist, rock star and threat to society was able to have a profound influence on the world, without really trying. So many thought Dylan had the answers, when it turns out he didn’t, they showed no mercy.

courtesy of Killer films

“If I wasn’t Bob Dylan, I’d probably think that Bob Dylan has a lot of answers myself,” Bobby Z said. What people didn’t dig on was that Dylan was the exact opposite of the way people viewed him. To them his songs were anthems; to Bobby Z they were just songs ... “People have a distorted view of me, a voice of a generation I couldn’t relate to … You begin to feel like an imposter when someone thinks you’re something you’re not.” 

What an interesting pairing: a reluctant savior who never came to his audience and an audience who always came to him … Todd Haynes’ cinematic meditation is worth checking out if you’re in the groove. Want another pearl from the reluctant man? “I got nothing to say about these things I write, I just write them, there is no great message ...”

courtesy of Killer films

Oh Bobby Z, you’re a quote machine! Let’s try again shall we? When some media drone from the film Don’t Look Back suggests Dylan was an anarchist because his songs didn’t offer any solutions, what was Dylan’s response? “Give the anarchist a cigarette …” Rock and Roll! Cut, scene, print!

Until next week, this is Poppa H signing off.  Be bad and stay in trouble baby*.

Wacky Hollywood Name Changes
•    Bob Dylan aka Robert Zimmerman
•    John Wayne aka Marrion Morrison
•    Cary Grant aka Archibald Leach
•    Judy Garland aka Frances Gumm
•    Lucille Ball aka Diane Belmont
•    Audrey Hepburn aka Edda Van Heemstra Hepburn
•    Tom Cruise aka Thomas Mapother IV
•    Woody Allen aka Allan Konigsberg
•    Tony Curtis aka Bernard Schwartz
•    Kirk Douglas aka Isidore Demsky
•    Goldie Hawn aka Goldie Studlendegehawn
•    Michael Caine aka Maurice Micklewhite
•    Albert Brooks aka Albert Einstein
•    Peter Lorre aka Lazlo Lowenstein

Bob Dylan DVD Picks to Click
•    Don’t Look Back - (1967) Dir. Pennebaker
•    The Last Waltz (1978) Dir. Scorsese
•    Renaldo and Clara (1978) Dir. Dylan

Billy Friedkin Film Fest (Castro Theater) - September 4th to 13th
•    Boys in the Band (1970)
•    Bug (2006)
•    The Exorcist (1973)
•    Sorcerer (1977)
•    The French Connection (1971)
•    To Live and Die in LA (1985)
•    Cruising (1980)

Happenings Round Town
•    Rescue Dawn (2007) Dir. Herzog – Opera Plaza
•    The Simpsons Movie (2007) Dir. Silverman – Everywhere
•    Rocket Science (2007) Dir. Blitz – Embarcadero
•    2 Days in Paris (2007) Dir. Delpy - Embarcadero

Volume 26 Footnotes*
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.
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