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Renaldo and Clara revisited
http://www.expectingrain.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=73700
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Author:  Dylan007 [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 06:45 GMT ]
Post subject:  Renaldo and Clara revisited

Some random thoughts....Last night I dusted off my copy of R&C for the first time in a few years and made it though most off the first disc. I was motivated after listening to the rolling thunder bootleg series lately. The official boot of the music from the is amazing, while the movie tends to dissapoint. I'm amazed at how strung out everyone in the film appears, with the exception of Joan Baez. Guess I shouldn't be considering it was the mid 70s.
I was looking with a close eye to watch mick ronson's guitar work in the film. He's there, but there aren't many telling moments that really highlight his playing or technique. Granted, that's not what the film is about. It's a good time capsule of that era I guess, but what a mess they all seemed to be. Bob and Sara appear to both be in incredibly bad shape. Knowing that he did bott & desire before the tour, makes me curious about where their relationship was at the time and how much substance abuse drove a wedge between them. I googled some of the reviews of the film today (all bad) saw that David blue (the guy playing pinball sniffing quite often and talking a mile a minute about the early days) died of complications of the liver at age 41. Kind of sad. I walked away feeling depressed after watching. Never knew the tall skinny guy on guitar was none other than t-bone b., he made it out ok. What has been written about the film and its purpose or objective by Dylan biographers? Back when I used to read up on Dylan bios, I primarily focused on the 60s and dismissed this era. I find the first leg of the tour to be pretty amazing, but agree with most that it greatly lost something when it ventured into the south in early 76. Btw - Is ratso's book about the tour worth reading? Thoughts?

Author:  slimtimslide [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 07:09 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Ranaldo and Clara revisited

Ratsos book is great and a must-read item, somewhere there is another book to be written about it but i think it's too late now and the sam shephard effort isn't it at all. I disagree about R&C but I know im in the minority, i saw it as soon as it came out, and i can still happily watch it all the way through. ive never seen the edit version, though for interests sake i'd like to. Paul Williams, the ever reliable enthusiast, described it really well and understood it too so read him for sure - he thinks it is a masterpiece... on it's own terms it is wonderful, as a movie competing with other movies its not - but we dont judge bobs albums by other artists do we? i think its very sad that so much effort was essentially just rubbished by ignorant reporters seeking to put it in a box labelled 'dylan', i hope in the long run the people involved realize they did make something worthwhile. The drugs? who knows - coke is not a great drug for telepathy or empathy, it tends to isolate people. if one person in a relationship is doing it there will be a problem, often when both do it there are two problems. when harder drugs than that are involved (and im not sayin they were here) it is an impossible situation to move away from, if one person needs to straighten up they have to leave. when me and my partner of the time realized we had to get off, we had to split up - 8 years later. two addicts cannot clean up together. but im not sure that is relevant to R&C. There is much more to that film than drugs. People dont realize that audiences only started taking drugs a long time after musicians did, and for totally different reasons - on the road you use them to function, not to 'groove' or get high.. i think the lack of abuse these days has led to a very sterile scene at the top level, but generally the healthier you are the better you can play. Still, getting high is FUN. Of course R&C is indulgent - playing music at all is hardly essential for survival, but life without it is pretty dull..... it's a great film, if anything drugs diminish it but it doesnt seek to glorify their use, that point of view is brought to it by the viewer and is not inherent in the movie. sniff. do you like it? end of debate.

Author:  Voice With Restraint [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 10:42 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Ranaldo and Clara revisited

Well said.

Author:  Ain't Talkin' [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 22:42 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Ranaldo and Clara revisited

I've tried revisiting this movie from time to time and always get turned off by the unctuous, negative vibe throughout.

The music parts are good.

Author:  jimb727 [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 22:44 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Ranaldo and Clara revisited

I have it but have yet to watch more than 10 minutes of it.

But there's plenty of time.

Um, right??

Author:  SirDogg [ Sat December 22nd, 2012, 23:43 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

I've got it, but I really never got around to watch it yet :?
I've seen the performances though, and they're priceless!

Author:  doomedtoloveyou [ Sun December 23rd, 2012, 02:26 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

I've watched it several times and I do like it - very much. And slimtim's right - Ratso's book is a must-read.

Author:  Ain't Talkin' [ Sun December 23rd, 2012, 06:03 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

I read Ratso's book at some point, maybe 6-7 years ago, but I can hardly remember a thing about it. Like, there were no great revelations there.

Author:  goodnitesteve [ Sun December 23rd, 2012, 06:53 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

Ain't Talkin' wrote:
I read Ratso's book at some point, maybe 6-7 years ago, but I can hardly remember a thing about it. Like, there were no great revelations there.


Agreed. It gets praised up and down on here, but you're better off reading one news article from that tour.

Author:  slimtimslide [ Sun December 23rd, 2012, 06:58 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

im a fan of ratso which is probably why i like it - its as much his story as the tours, anyone familiar with kinky friedmans detective novels will know ratso as a character in them - that's why i got the book really!

Author:  My Echo, My Shadow And Me [ Mon December 24th, 2012, 13:47 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

Dylan007 wrote:
Some random thoughts....Last night I dusted off my copy of R&C for the first time in a few years and made it though most off the first disc. I was motivated after listening to the rolling thunder bootleg series lately. The official boot of the music from the is amazing, while the movie tends to dissapoint. I'm amazed at how strung out everyone in the film appears, with the exception of Joan Baez. Guess I shouldn't be considering it was the mid 70s.
I was looking with a close eye to watch mick ronson's guitar work in the film. He's there, but there aren't many telling moments that really highlight his playing or technique. Granted, that's not what the film is about. It's a good time capsule of that era I guess, but what a mess they all seemed to be. Bob and Sara appear to both be in incredibly bad shape. Knowing that he did bott & desire before the tour, makes me curious about where their relationship was at the time and how much substance abuse drove a wedge between them. I googled some of the reviews of the film today (all bad) saw that David blue (the guy playing pinball sniffing quite often and talking a mile a minute about the early days) died of complications of the liver at age 41. Kind of sad. I walked away feeling depressed after watching. Never knew the tall skinny guy on guitar was none other than t-bone b., he made it out ok. What has been written about the film and its purpose or objective by Dylan biographers? Back when I used to read up on Dylan bios, I primarily focused on the 60s and dismissed this era. I find the first leg of the tour to be pretty amazing, but agree with most that it greatly lost something when it ventured into the south in early 76. Btw - Is ratso's book about the tour worth reading? Thoughts?


The first thing you have to accept about “Renaldo And Clara” is that it is not a film “about” the 1975 tour. It is a movie about relationships and love and its many facets. Just like the movie that inspired it – “Les Enfants du Paradis/Children Of Paradise” (France 1945). “R & C” takes place in the world of rock music, “Children Of Paradise” takes place in the world of theatre, but “R & C” is not “about” rock music, just as “Children Of Paradise” is not “about” theatre.

You need to watch the movie several times to understand the system that was used to construct the film. According to Alan Ginsberg the movie was edited based on a system Dylan had laid out on index cards. There are recurring themes and motifs (the rose, the lady in white, the use of certain colors, the use of masks, “reality” vs. stage etc. etc.). Each scene was assigned one of those themes/motifs and the movie was constructed along those lines. Furthermore one interpretation sees the whole movie as Renaldo’s dream. Check the scene of Dylan as Renaldo “waking up” near the end of the movie. The dream interpretation would explain the dream-like flow of the film.

In order to get into the film it helps to study the movie that inspired it: the French movie “Les Enfants du Paradis/Children Of Paradise” (1945). A movie that also uses stage performances to comment on the relationships between the protagonists, just like “R & C”. “Les Enfants du Paradis/Children Of Paradise” also is a very long movie (approx. 200 mins). The famous “Rolling Thunder Revue” logotype was inspired by the opening title card of “Les Enfants du Paradis/Children Of Paradise”. Both films feature one of the leading characters in whiteface, both have a “woman in white”, both repeatedly use flowers as a prominent symbol, both alternate between on-stage, back-stage and “real life” scenes, the dialogue in “R & C” shares similarities with the dialogue in “Les Enfants du Paradis/Children Of Paradise” and both films use a cubist approach in that they present the main characters from the different perspectives of the other characters.

Author:  My Echo, My Shadow And Me [ Mon December 24th, 2012, 13:59 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

Bob Dylan in "R & C", Jean-Louis Barrault in "Children Of Paradise".

Author:  Mystical Child [ Sat March 2nd, 2013, 14:49 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Renaldo and Clara revisited

I do not have it and I have been looking everywhere for it with no luck. I would really like to watch it!

Author:  ragman99 [ Wed March 6th, 2013, 22:40 GMT ]
Post subject:  Re: Ranaldo and Clara revisited

Ain't Talkin' wrote:
I've tried revisiting this movie from time to time and always get turned off by the unctuous, negative vibe throughout.

The music parts are good.



Yeah, could have made a great concert film, with a few of the staged bits sprinkled in,
but they were going for something much more ambitious. The music parts are great.

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