Bob Dylan is one of those rare artists that transcends generations, whose contributions to music will likely live long and prosper for decades after his death, if not centuries. His tour with Paul Simon was the first concert I ever attended and it’s been my unfair measuring stick to every other concert I’ve ever attended (including Paul Simon’s half of the same show), and the only other one that’s come close is the second time I saw him and that only comes close because he played “All Along the Watchtower” as his second encore. But that’s his music… Bob Dylan’s contributions to cinema, including those made in his image, are another story.
Dylan movies tend to run the gamut from good, bad, and ugly, and come close to his poetic brilliance when documentarians turn their cameras directly on the real man behind the characters and caricatures. They’re usually interesting, the one time. So,a movie that somehow attempts to adapt “Blood on the Tracks” — arguably one of Dylan’s best albums, along with “Desire,” “Blonde on Blonde,” “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” and “Highway 61 Revisited” — is at best a 50/50 prospect in terms of quality with even the best director. According to, Rodrigo Teixeira, one of the producers who obtained the rights to a Blood film, they’re looking for, “a filmmaker who can create a classic drama with characters and an environment that capture the feelings that the album inspires in all fans.”
There’s no indication if that means the producers intend to make a biopic about Dylan’s life during the making of the original album, divorcing his wife, or some other melodrama that plays out a similar story broken into chapters with “Fraser”-ian title cards like “Tangled Up In Blue” and “A Simple Twist of Fate.” At this point we don’t even know if the songs themselves will make up the soundtrack, but as long as they do not do a cover album ala Walk the Line that might be a good idea. Otherwise, why bother getting the rights to the album at all? Whatever Blood on the Tracks is going to be, I can’t help but feel like Jim Jarmusch should be involved. But Bob Dylan-inspired movies tend to gestate for quite a while, if they even happen, so we might not hear about this project again for a while.
At least, we can always hope.
Rob Payne also writes the comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter @RobOfWar, and his ware can be purchased here (if you’re into that sort of thing). He even named a story arc after Blood on the Tracks, even though it has less to do with marital strife and more to do with murderous magicians and werewolves.