Thursday, October 7, 2010

Renaldo and Clara

I have to say this movie eluded me completely. Will have to track down a copy.

THERE'S an insolence about "Renaldo and Clara," the four-hour film written and directed by Bob Dylan and featuring members of his Rolling Thunder Revue, that is not easily ignored. Mr. Dylan, who has a way of insinuating that any viewer who doesn't grasp the full richness of his work must be intellectually deficient or guilty of some failure of nerve, has seen fit to produce a film that no one is likely to find altogether comprehensible. Yet for anyone even marginally interested in Mr. Dylan—and for anyone willing to accept the idea that his evasiveness, however exasperating, is a crucial aspect of his finest work — "Renaldo and Clara" holds the attention at least as effectively as it tries the patience.

From a 1978 review by Janet Maslin, NYTimes

Here's a clip of the oft-mentioned Tangled Up in Blue from the movie.


  1. I have never watched any of the Dylan documentaries but am now quite intrigued thanks to our readings. What follows is a clip from that movie:

    Never thought Joan Baez could look so elegant!

    I shall have to watch it and the rest of the movie/documentaries Dylan appears in.

  2. No Direction Home by Scorsese is very good, trip. Don't Look Back is of course the classic.

  3. In the Wilentz audio book 'Renaldo & Clara' was mentioned in disc 5. The author said it dealt with the themes of alienation, integrity, and knowing oneself and that it was inspired by 'Children of Paradise':

    Dylan was reported to have claimed to been inspired by carnivals and fortune telling. Interestingly, the carnival is known for featuring people who are deformed or underprivileged but who succeed despite their shortfalls. The earlier movie was a study in artistic resistance to socially imposed conventions. I would suppose that 'Renaldo' must be in line with this theme.