No Direction Home
No Direction Home opens up with a clip of Bob Dylan singing at a concert. The lyrics that he croons: ‘With no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone’ sets the piece for us. We suddenly cut to a black and white silhouette of a tree accompanied by Dylan’s voice over talking about how no one can make time stand still. We are then shown photos of what looks to be his childhood residence with the title card reading ‘Many years earlier’. It’s obvious from this opening sequence that this is going to be a retrospective piece that helps us get to know the man behind the legendary music.
As Dylan explains to us his first encounters with music, finding a guitar in his Father’s house, finding a mahogany radio with a turntable that he opened up to the record ‘Drifting too Far from the Shore’ (which plays in the background), he speaks about how after he listened to that record he felt like somebody else, perhaps like he wasn’t even born into the right family. This insight is interesting and gives us a look into the beginnings of a wonderful relationship with music for Dylan.
Next we’re shown images of his old hometown, grainy black and white images of an emptying place where the lively hood seems to have vanished. This is a nostalgic looks at Dylan’s childhood as he talks us through the cold winters he spent wearing several shirts to keep warm.
It’s clear from this introduction that the piece intends to be a nostalgic homage to Dylan’s childhood and how he grew up. From the first clip of him playing at the concert I imagine further into the film we may see more material of Dylan performing, and I assume there would be a lot more information about how exactly Dylan got into music. The way Dylan first speaks about music and how it changed him leads me to believe we will be shown this revelation that seems to have occurred within Dylan when music came into his life.
I think the opening scenes work well to tell us this is not just going to be about Dylan’s legendary career but about how that career came to be, as well as what influenced him and what made him the artist he is today. It seems to be that Dylan craved more from life then his ordinary upbringing could offer him and music came into his life at just the right time to provide that outlet. What came out of that combination was one of the greatest artists of all time.