Adapting the life and talent of Bob Dylan to the biopic genre was an inevitability. It is hard to see how anyone could stop it from happening. For all the failed markups of The Beatles, The Beach Boys and the big names around the 1960s, pulling off a dissection of The Voice of a Generation is no small feat. I’m Not There plays with the format of traditional detailing. Dylan defines a meaning or passage of time for so many people, spread across generations. To adapt that correctly, no one man can portray Dylan, and that is what director Todd Haynes gets right with I’m Not There. As Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again plays through the opening credits and the passages of time cross the screen, I’m Not There springs to life.
Thirty years before Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid stormed cinemas, the view of the Old West was one of rewarding heroes in difficult circumstances. Henry Fonda and John Wayne had done much to present the genre as a place for respectable big shots to throw their weight around, get the girl, shoot the bad guy and be home in time for an inevitably large glass of whisky. But that was thirty years ago. Those last flickers of respectable, full-bodied heroes swaggering through dusty streets were lost, and in its place, the anti-hero antithesis of Clint Eastwood and the twirling villainy of Lee Van Cleef had produced stronger results. Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid performs the latter of the two mindsets, its anti-heroes are likeable, but not all that redeemable.