True, Valid Death Off a Movie Screen: Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There

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Journal of Religion & Film, ISSN: 1092-1311, Vol: 12, Issue: 2, Page: 6

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Smith, David L
article description
Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There both analyzes and exemplifies the spiritual project implicit in Bob Dylan’s art. By splitting its subject into six characters, the film enacts Dylan’s refusal to adopt fixed descriptions of his art and identity. Its deeper interest, however, is in the reasons for that refusal. Chief among these is Dylan’s religious regard for an essentially mysterious truth beyond form, often identified with death and realized, in his own case, through a kind of selfless immersion in traditional music. In passing, the article notes numerous parallels between Dylan’s spiritual project and Emerson’s.