I guess I’m busy dyin’

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Having been going to Jewish summer camp since I was nine, I have always been taught that Bob Dylan is the be all and end all of Jewish musicians (sorry Amy Winehouse, you were a close second!).

My counselors always seemed to skip Dylan’s late 70’s music though. Why? Well, a new documentary on Dylan should explain a couple of things.

Joel Gilbert’s new documentary, Bob Dylan’s Jesus Years: Busy Being Born…Again!, discusses the musicians somewhat strange years as a born-again Christian, though he has since returned to Judaism.dylanjesus.jpg

Stephen Hazan Arnoff of The Forward wrote a review of the film in which he is somewhat critical of Gilbert’s portrayal of Jews for Jesus in the film, but still captures the bizarreness of Dylan nonetheless. He writes:

The music from this period is as inconsistent as any Dylan has created — from rote melodies with clichéd images of devils, blood, baptism and unbelievers in tunes like “Property of Jesus,� alongside gorgeous tunes like “I Believe in You� and “Every Grain of Sand.�

If you check out the trailer for the film on its official website, you can also see how people at the time were also shocked and a tad freaked out by Dylan’s behavior. There are clips of people walking out of a show of his proclaiming that “they could have gone to church instead.”

I haven’t seen the film and Arnoff may be correct about the faults of the film, but the subject and footage just sound too fascinating to not be a cool film.

Posted on November 17, 2008

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