Walker Art Center

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I’m Not There

Directed by Todd Haynes. Introduction and post-screening conversation with Greil Marcus.

Inspired by the life of Bob Dylan, Todd Haynes’ stunning directorial achievement I’m Not There brings together six actors playing characters who craft a unique response to the elusive artist in different phases of his life, career, and persona. Cate Blanchett, in an Academy-Award nominated performance, and Christian Bale (the literal Dylan), Richard Gere (Dylan and Billy the Kid), Heath Ledger (an actor haunted by the legacy of Dylan), Marcus Carl Franklin (Dylan in Woody Guthrie mode), and Ben Whishaw (Rimbaud as Dylan) are set in the political and cultural reality of the era, and filmed in the cinematic styles of the 1960s. Award-winning I’m Not There is “a profoundly, movingly personal film, passionate in its engagement with the mysteries of the recent past.” (New York Times) 2007, 35mm, 135 minutes.

Introduction and post-screening conversation with Greil Marcus

“Greil Marcus’s work is very likely the most imaginative criticism being done, but it’s more than that: it’s a light in dark times.”—New York Magazine

In 1968, Greil Marcus began publishing criticism in Rolling Stone, becoming the magazine’s first record review editor. He served as the book columnist from 1975 to 1980 and went on to be a contributing editor. Best known for being a pop music critic, he has also written extensively on literature, art movies, and politics in such publications as Artforum, Interview, the New York Times, Esquire, Salon.com, and Village Voice.

Greil Greil Marcus’s first book redefined the genre of rock criticism. Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (1975), is widely considered one of the finest and most scholarly studies of rock music ever published. Nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, Mystery Train was called by the New York Times “a classic … full of passion and intellectual fervor.”

Other books include: Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (1989); Dead Elvis: A Chronicle of A Cultural Obsession (1991); Ranters & Crowd Pleasers: Punk in Pop Music, 1977-1992 (1993); The Dustbin of History (1995); Invisible Republic: Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (1997); Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives (2000); The Manchurian Candidate (2002); Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads (2005); and The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice (2006).

Greil Marcus served on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle Award (1983-1989). He has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, Princeton and the New School, has lectured throughout the United States and Europe, and is currently the Winton Chair Fellow at the University of Minnesota, teaching the seminar “The Old Weird America.”