Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Masked and Anonymous


This is a fairly incoherent movie, and not in a fun way. No surprise, since it was co-written by the star, Bob Dylan. One critic called it a collection of lines from Chinese fortune cookies. Dylan plays Jack Fate (heavy!) a washed up singer in some sort of future place that is very dismal and Orwellian. Or maybe it’s Mexico. Whatever, it’s the sort of mean streets that Dylan himself hasn’t walked in fifty years. The cast is enormous, name after name after name, each with a small part, many of them sounding improvised. I won’t bother naming them all here, but you’d know most of them. They all worked for scale for the chance to say they made a movie with Bob. The movie was shot in two days, and looks it. All the sound track is Dylan songs, some old stuff, some newer stuff. Some covers, some the Man himself. But the recordings seem to be from the last thirty years or so, since the man has devoted himself to mumbling, as if contemptuous not only of his own work but of his audience. So we get to hear cut-rate versions of Dylan classics like “I Mumble Mumble on the Mumble,” and “Jabber Jibber Frazmatazz,” and the beloved “Hey Nonny Nonny if you Mumble Mumble.” We lasted almost an hour, and then stopped punishing ourselves.