Numerous covers provide the backdrop got his career
“I’m Not There” is the pseudo-biographical account of Bob Dylan’s music and experiences. The film is not about Dylan himself, but rather the accounts of seven characters reflecting different stages of the musician’s life.
Ben Wishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Cate Blanchett and Richard Gere each lend their own personal faux to poet-outlaw-rebel-rockstar-born-again-Christian that is Dylan.
Throughout these eras, Dylan is replicated as an 11-year-old African American troubadour, a male (sort-of) rockstar and even an older societal refugee.
All of these characters allude to Dylan’s many literal-transformations of persona. The film’s epic 37-track soundtrack reflects this imitation and transformation, including songs by Dylan himself and covers from artists like Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Jack Johnson.
“We put out the word that if people wanted to give us covers they could do it, and we couldn’t guarantee that they’d make it into the film – but that’s why we ended up getting this unbelievable mix of artists,” said director Todd Haynes.
“Everything from Cat Power to Willie Nelson to Roger McGuinn – on and on these amazing people and that’s why the soundtrack has 19 additional tracks that were produced for the film but didn’t make it into the actual film soundtrack.”
Each song was especially produced for specific characters in the film to further demonstrate a point in Dylan’s life.
“Whenever any of the actors performed a song, I wanted a new cover (song) so that it wouldn’t be them lip-synching to Bob Dylan. And so what we did for particularly places where there were several songs or a whole set or sound associated with one of the stories, like the Jude Quinn story, we brought creative producers into the mix,” Haynes said.
Haynes brought on musical supervisors Randy Poster, who he had previous worked with on Velvet Goldmine, and Jim Dunbar to assist with the crucial musical aspect of the film.
Sonic Youth’s Lee Ronaldo, Joe Henry and Calexico also aided by producing much of the soundtrack.
“Lee Ronaldo from Sonic Youth, was the guy we elected for creating the electric sound, and he put a band together called the Million Dollar Bashers on the soundtrack (which) included a collection of incredible musicians from Tony Garnier, who is Dylan’s bass player currently, John Medeski, Smokey Hormel, who’s this unbelievable guitar player I actually went to high school with, Steve Shelley on drums and Tom Verlaine (Wilco) on guitar,” Haynes said.
The Million Dollar Bashers and Calexico provided most of the backing tracks for the film’s songs, also teaming up with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Iron & Wine and even Willie Nelson. Other standout tracks include The Black Keys’ rendition of “The Wicked Messenger” and Yo La Tengo’s interpretation of “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Devon Taylor at email@example.com.