Friday, February 09, 2007

We Can't Wait #6 I'm Not There

Iconoclast auteur Todd Haynes already has a couple of masterpieces under his belt. He returns this year, 5 years after his last (Far From Heaven) for a film ruminating on the life of Bob Dylan. You may recall that Haynes first found infamy with a biopic on Karen Carpenter (played by Barbie Dolls) that is now a bootleg hot item --he didn't have the music rights. This time, music rights secured, the film will not be banished from existence. Bob Dylan himself approves and will be played --or rather "aspects" of him will be played -- by seven actors including Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere. Can this film make more than $11.00 at the box office? i.e. will the heavy duty Dylan star-package plus movie stars help audiences connect with Haynes's experimental filmmaking?

My blog friends, do you have any idea how much I quiver with anticipation when a new Haynes film drops into view?

Gabriel: I'll admit that I don't totally get the high concept here...but I would follow Todd Haynes anywhere. Heck, even when he's bad, he's still great. Arguably the smartest American filmmaker of his generation. (As to Nathaniel's other question -- will it make money? -- the answer is probably not, unless the Oscar race picks it up and runs with it.)

JA: Haynes really is the ringer here. He's built up enough good credit to last him the rest of his career. Add this oddball mix of actors to this bizarre concept and how could anyone not be at least curious?

That said, by "anyone" I mean "anyone who's seen/enjoyed a Todd Haynes film before" which answers your box office question quite thoroughly, I think.

Joe: Yeah, I’m taking a lot on faith here, seeing as it’s Todd Haynes. One of my favorite aspect of Haynes as a director is how he’s able to pull really great performances out of his actors (Julianne Moore, Toni Collette, Patricia Clarkson, Julianne Moore, Julianne Moore). I wonder if the different-actors-playing-Dylan gimmick will help or hinder that.

Lulu: Haynes makes me twitterpated. Solondz' Palindromes proved that the device of a multiply cast role can be an enthralling exercise; Haynes clarity and deftness with actors could make the exercise into art.

I'm so there.

Nathaniel: We'll all be there. Will the readers be?

Ruminate or let an aspect of yourself ruminate in the comments...

previously on "we can't wait"
#7 Margot at the Wedding, #8 moved to 2008, #9 The Golden Compass,#10 Grindhouse, #11 Bug, #12, Sunshine, #13 Southland Tales, #14 300, #15 Hot Fuzz, #16 Stardust, #17 The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, #18 Spider-Man 3, #19 Rendition, #20 The Bourne Ultimatum
Intro -films that didn't make the list

Todd Haynes related stuff
Happy Birthday Todd -on his 46th * National Coming Out Day proud queer trailblazers in movies & television * Far From Heaven wins the gold lots of loot at the 2002 Film Bitch Awards * The Whitakers vs. The del-Mar-Twists Far From Heaven vs. Brokeback Mountain

tags: Bob Dylan, Todd Haynes, Julianne Moore, movies, Cate Blanchett, oscars, Karen Carpenter, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger


J.D. said...

Why is Bob Dylan an australian woman?

I honestly don't get that.

? ? ?

Anonymous said...

Because the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced Cate Blanchett is literally - not just figuratively - a chameleon.

J.D. said...

Good point.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel you are wanting to see it even if it has Cate in it? I thought you hated her?

Anonymous said...

I really don't see this being good. It's so cool that they are trying something new with this, but unless they get this perfect, it is going to be too wierd for it to go anywhere.


i don't hate Cate Blanchett. That is a charged that has been trumped up against me by her evil legion of obsessive fans.

I merely don't think she is right for every role in the known universe.

That is all.

adam k. said...

Well, if Cate wasn't right for the role of Sheba Hart, a case could easily be made that she isn't right for the role of Bob Dylan either. It is a BIT of a strech ; )

But I am still totally there. I bet this movie COULD actually make some good money if it's marketed properly (good luck) and capitalizes on the subject and stars. But the public often seems to shun great and seemingly box-office-friendly films when they're done in any kind of unorthodox way (Children of Men, anyone?)

Also, everyone in this montage is so sexy looking. Cate in particular is looking hotter than usual. And Heath and Christian are scrumptious.

I agree that Todd Haynes = genius. I'm VERY VERY proud to share his alma mater... er, at least it will be my "alma mater" in about 4 months.

Jason Adams said...

I just want to second a specific part of what Adam just said: that's a really hot picture of Heath up there. Lookin good. That is all.

Anonymous said...

I'm all over this. Exciting cast. Hopefully part of Julianne Moore's return to glory in 2007 (I know she's said it's a small role, but I'm hoping it's small in a William-Hurt-in-A-History-of-Violence kind of way so she can get some awards buzz, even it's just to help her Savage Grace campaign.

Anonymous said...

this will suck.

Anonymous said...

This film is probably the one I am most excited about next year...I studied Dylan a fair amount in college as an American musical icon - and his chameleon-like image. The cast, the director, and the idea...oh, I hope it's good.


i'm coming from almost the opposite place Julia. I know very little about Dylan but I love Haynes enough as a filmmaker that I'm looking forward to learning about him in a nontraditional way.

Ammonart said...

I'm sure this would be a box office smash if he used the special kids from Palindromes instead! They can already sing and they'd be a bargain to sign on!

Glenn Dunks said...

ammo, LOL.

I'm in the same position as Nat. I'm not really familiar with Dylan so it will be interesting. Are all these actors going to sing? Cause that will be interesting.

I really am looking forward to this movie (I'd look forward to anything by Todd Haynes though). Much like the previously mentioned Southland Tales, even if it is a disaster (which I don't think it will be) then it will surely be a fascinating one.

I don't see the problem with the casting of Cate. Don't they say every man has an ounce of femininity inside them? And the fact that she's Australian shouldn't be of any concern. I mean, Ledger is too. And Bale is British.

J.D. said...

Seriously, am I the only one scared about the aussie chick playing Bob Dylan?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?


Or is Todd Haynes weird?

Anonymous said...

The thing is with Dylan is that throughout his career as a musician - he's constantly changed. He had his folk stage, then gave the folk crowd the middle finger at Newport when he went electric. He goes from writing protest songs, to love songs, to songs about a woman leaving in a matter of years. He was born Jewish, then went through his born again Christian phase...reinvention remains the only consistent thing in Dylan's career.

So the idea of the actors playing the personas of Dylan, in my mind, is one of the only ways to have a film depict his life. Dylan's changed, and in the film, the actors will change - literally, and I really can't wait to see how Haynes handles this :)

Glenn Dunks said...

What's the deal with her being Aussie that's scary? I scream 'Prejudice!'

...not really, but why should he be portrayed by an American male?

J.D. said...

I'm not prejudiced, I'm just saying she's an aussie chick. Playing Bob Dylan. ? ? ?

Actually now I understand the concept from julia two comments up.

It actually makes sense now.

Now it looks good. Very nonconventional. I like that.

J.D. said...

And she's been Aussie, American, British, German, Elvin, and probably Chinese, so Bob Dylan is like the only nationality she hasn't done?

Beau said...

It has Ben Whishaw playing him as well. As if I needed more reason to catch this flick.
Looks to be original, if nothing else.