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PostPosted: Tue March 20th, 2012, 03:10 GMT 
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When Trev listens to a Dylan song, he often tends to imagine that he, Trev, is singing the songs to people from his real life, as if he is starring in a musical where it's entirely appropriate to burst into song and express yourself whilst everyone stands around and listens.
I tend to think the normal thing to do, though, when you listen to a Dylan song is to enter into the world the song opens up for you, and if I listen to Blind Willie McTell then I can see a huge cinematic sweep of American history, and then the pan back to Dylan in his hotel room. But I'm sure some people visualise Dylan himself singing a song all the way through. Perhaps if they're listening to a show then they imagine they're at the show.
So what passes through your mind when you hear a Dylan song? Does a movie play out before you as if you're watching a screen? Or do you situate yourself at the centre of events? Are the images conjured cartoony or realistic? Does it soundtrack real life events that you remember? Does it evoke scenes that are not obviously connected to the song? Do you see abstract patterns? Shining colours in your mind? Is it a coherent narrative or a rapid succession of unrelated images?


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PostPosted: Tue March 20th, 2012, 06:14 GMT 
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Listening to Brownsville Girl, I visualize The Gunfighter with Gregory Peck.


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PostPosted: Tue March 20th, 2012, 08:40 GMT 
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Most of the time I think about insulating lofts when I am listening to Dylan songs. However Trev, you are right, sometimes one of Dylan's songs manages to evoke a coherent movie in my mind.

#1: "Black Diamond Bay", for instances, makes me see a movie in my mind. It is nothing special, though. When I listen to this song, the lyrics just turn into a realistic movie. The action is pretty close to the lyrics and I am just a spectator as I cannot identify with any of the characters in this song (gladly). It is a good movie, though!

#2: Then there is "Tangled Up in Blue", which was my first cinematic experience in a song ever and therefore I like it a lot. Just like "Black Diamond Bay", this song makes me see a realistic movie in my head, however this time I am not just a spectator but play the role of the narrator. (I don't know the other "actors", though). Anyways, I can see some parts of this cinematic song very clearly in my head, such as the verse where they abandon their car out West and split up on a dark sad night. There would be a shot showing the silhoutte of the parked / broken down car on some lonesome road. It is night and the wind is softly blowing through the pitch-black silhouettes of the trees in the background. And in front of the car the boy and the girl split up and go in different directions. Then there would be a shot showíng the girl's back as she is walking away and how she is suddenly turning around to look at him, tears in her eyes. She says her text, and then there is another cut, showing the narrator from the front, how he stops walking away for a moment, bowing his head in sorrow and you can see the girl behind him in the space above his shoulder... but then he continues to walk away. It is difficult to explain it, but it looks pretty in my head.

#3: Of course, "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" is a great cinematic song as well. When I picture it, I see elements of some old Westerns I have seen. I guess, Trev, you like this one too, right? The part with the "brand new coat of paint" refers to insulating lofts, doesn't it?

#4: The most sophisticated movie in my mind is "Visions of Johanna" though, which I am planning to turn into a short film sometime soon. I am still working on some details in the script, though. I have thought a lot about it and it is going to be really obsessed with details. Ironically I discovered the greatness of this song at the same time as I got into Hitchcock's movies. By watching his movies I have learned a lot about being a good director. Hence, I know exactly where I would position the camera in "Visions of Johanna", how I would use the vertigo effect/dolly zoom for a scene, how I would use colors to express emotions, how I would use lighting to create a certain atmosphere, and so on. If everything turns out the way I want it to be, it could be really cool.


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PostPosted: Tue March 20th, 2012, 11:43 GMT 
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When listening to "Million Miles" it´s like a scene from a rundown ballroom in the `30s or `40s. A band that used to be huge is playing on a big stage that´s already to big for the handfull of people in attendance. There´s a silvery backdrop that´s shining in the lights but it´s worn at the edges when you look closer. A barkeeper is shining glases `cause he´s got nothing better to do. The drummer of the band is still playing one of those really big and boomy bassdrums, although the young cat´s are into smaller things right now. There´s a gal on the dancefloor with a mouth that looks like bullet wound and she´s leading her partner who´s actually too drunk to lie on the floor. The singer of the band used to be a star before heartbreak and booze got the best of him and nobody cares that right now he´s singing his heart out. Two by two people leave and head for another joint and the song comes to an end. The singer takes a bow while somebody in the attics is applauding but is cutting it out immediately as he notices that he´s the only one. The band starts another song.


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PostPosted: Tue March 20th, 2012, 12:58 GMT 
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I've mentioned this many times before, but I'll always link "High Water" with 9/11. But not how most would figure.

Despite the tragedy, I found myself venturing out to purchase Love & Theft that day. After picking it up, a friend and I drove around listening to it. Later on I was advised to go fill up my gas tank and I found myself driving around trying to find a fill-up station; each place I came to was packed and frantic.

As I drove, "High Water" came on and fit the scene perfectly. There was just so much panic in the air. Dark chaos.

Don't think anything can compare to that.

On a lighter note - "Thunder On The Mountain" is a great visual song. I picture a bootlegger in Kentucky (circa 1930s) getting out while the getting's good.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 01:09 GMT 
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XRaylroad wrote:
The most sophisticated movie in my mind is "Visions of Johanna" though, which I am planning to turn into a short film sometime soon. I am still working on some details in the script, though. I have thought a lot about it and it is going to be really obsessed with details. Ironically I discovered the greatness of this song at the same time as I got into Hitchcock's movies. By watching his movies I have learned a lot about being a good director. Hence, I know exactly where I would position the camera in "Visions of Johanna", how I would use the vertigo effect/dolly zoom for a scene, how I would use colors to express emotions, how I would use lighting to create a certain atmosphere, and so on. If everything turns out the way I want it to be, it could be really cool.


If you need a loft with flickering lights, I will be delighted to help XRaylroad!


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 01:20 GMT 
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Most of the Time

I see a mid thirties urbanite doing his daily routine: shower, shave, shine with no spring is his step...off to work...some exercise...a tv dinner, then to the tavern for a nightcap...all the while trying not to think about a break-up.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 03:13 GMT 
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Blind Willie McTell leaves me haunting images of the old south and the United States in the era of its greatest shame. I love the song but it isn't necessarily a "pretty" song.

Brownsville Girl is a cinematic western... grew up watching westerns and while The Gunfighter comes to mind, the images so stereotypical of cowboy western flood my mind.

Moonlight is a beautiful, bouncy, jaunt of a song... and in this one I'm singing to the love of my life... I'm no movie star but I love the song and for the first time she's okay with a Dylan song... which is how I know I'm dreaming.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 04:07 GMT 
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Three of the best were mentioned. Tangled Up in Blue and Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts are all about people and events in a story, and that's what you think about, you visualize those people and events.

Moonlight is one of the best as far as imagery, and it's beautiful imagery, it's not just visual but seems to hit all your senses, and that's what you think about in that, while all along you are aware of the singer and his sweetheart and the whole purpose he is pursuing, it's the imagery which is the song's strong point. I sometimes imagine the singer is trying to accomplish his purpose by overwhelming the girl's senses. (This obviously means I take the singer to be a guy and the object of his endeavors to be a girl but it could go the other way around I suppose.)


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 08:38 GMT 
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Good of you to bring this to our attention, Trev. I like your style. If only other loft insulators would refer to themselves in the third person more often, loft insulation might occupy a loftier (did you like the way I subtly worked that in?) perch on the home improvement creative ladder.

To the question in hand: when it comes to visualisation of a movie, it's hard to escape Knockin' On Heavens Door. Whenever I hear this I somehow imagine Billy the Kid, played by a young Kris Kristofferson, eating plates of beans while surrounded by Mexican women, then eating dirt after running several of Pat Garrett's rods- I always imagine James Coburn in the role- at the denouement. What's remarkable is that I've since discovered that a movie was made starring these very same actors, based almost entirely on my visualisation.

The other one that always springs to mind is Love Minus Zero/ No Limit. Like everyone else here, I imagine, when it gets to the couplet 'The bridge at midnight trembles, the country doctor rambles' I am always put in mind of a combination of the 1945 noir classic, The Spiral Staircase, and the terrifying sense of existential man's anguish and isolation, as expressed in Edvard Scream's masterpiece, The Munch.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 13:27 GMT 

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i can only visualize the ones he did videos for. thanks, bob!


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 13:59 GMT 
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Untrodden Path wrote:
Moonlight is a beautiful, bouncy, jaunt of a song... and in this one I'm singing to the love of my life... I'm no movie star but I love the song and for the first time she's okay with a Dylan song... which is how I know I'm dreaming.



Really?

This has been discussed before and for me "Moonlight" is a murder ballad. I see Robert Mitchum with "Love" and "Hate" tattooed on his knuckels. But it´s not a b/w movie, it´s crimson tinted.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 14:15 GMT 
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Everything is broken / It´s all good

Sonny Pruitt is sitting in the morning at a truck stop in the Arizona dessert. He´s underpaid and overdriven. Lucky Tiger in his angel hair and Benzedrine for getting there. The waitress, she looks like Raquel Welch at seventy and she wouldn´t mind to go upstairs with Sonny but he´s just rambling on: "You know, everything is broken. But it´s all good." so she just serves him Eggs and sausage and a side of toast, Coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy, Chile in a bowl with burgers and fries...


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 14:22 GMT 
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This is a good thread... I often visualise movies in my head when listening to Dylan songs.

Strangely, when I listen to an old Dylan track from the 60's, the movie in my head is always in black and white... however, his stuff from the 70's onwards is always in colour... and even more bizarrely, his last two albums have made my head-movies appear in HD... the last one was in HD and 3D!

I only get mind-movies whilst listening to the Dylster... no one else... why is this?


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 14:45 GMT 
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Whenever I hear songs from Knocked out loaded, my mind imagines a movie with Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall circa 1985. Throw in Andrew McCarthy and you've got yourself a MOVIE!


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 20:43 GMT 
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Simple Twist of Fate - haven't you clearly pictured that couple on the park bench, the seedy hotel, the dark and rainy docks? Of course you have. (And tell that bloody parrot to shut up!)


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 20:53 GMT 
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^ Oh yes, "Simple Twist of Fate" is another one of those cinematic songs! I completely forgot about this one.


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PostPosted: Wed March 21st, 2012, 23:12 GMT 

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XRaylroad wrote:
^ Oh yes, "Simple Twist of Fate" is another one of those cinematic songs! I completely forgot about this one.


Yep.. this one.


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PostPosted: Thu March 22nd, 2012, 00:23 GMT 
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Isis echoes Treasure of the Sierra Madre with some of Jimmy Driftwood's Tennessee Stud mixed in at the end. Even without those references and triggers, Isis is still a movie in itself. It has Cinemascopic, epic sweep writ large behind its deceptively subdued four letter title.


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PostPosted: Thu March 22nd, 2012, 12:26 GMT 
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whatsittoya wrote:
Simple Twist of Fate - haven't you clearly pictured that couple on the park bench, the seedy hotel, the dark and rainy docks? Of course you have. (And tell that bloody parrot to shut up!)


In my mind it´s always conected with Tangled. You know, the "dark sad night/ docks at night" mondegreen.


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PostPosted: Thu March 22nd, 2012, 12:36 GMT 
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Seven Days

I see a funny little guy in a black suit that looks like it once did fit him before he lost a liitle weight. He´s wearing a silly little hat and Red Wing "Iron Rangers" and he´s doing a bizarre dance on the platform of an abandoned train station in the middle of nowhere. If you look closer, it could be Tom Waits.


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