Bob Dylan has made his comments known for the upcoming film ‘A Complete Unknown’.
The highly anticipated feature film, directed by James Mangold, stars Timothée Chalamet as the folk icon of “Tangled Up in Blue”. However, Mangold noted during the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast that the film is not a traditional biopic, but rather a period film reminiscent of the work of Robert Altman.
“It’s not really a Bob Dylan biopic, by the way,” Mangold said. “The reason Bob supported us so much in making this movie is because, in all cases, I think the best real-life movies are never from the cradle to the grave, but about a very specific moment. In this case, that might sound like Altman, but it’s kind of an ensemble piece about this moment in history, early 1960s New York, and this 17-year-old kid with $16 in his pocket is hitchhiking through New York to meet Woody Guthrie who is in the hospital dying of nerve disease.”
Mangold continued, “And he sings Woody a song that he wrote for him and he makes friends with Pete Seeger, who is like a son to Woody, and Pete sets that up with concerts at local clubs and there you meet Joan Baez and all these other people. who are part of this world, and this drifter from Minnesota with a new name and a new outlook on life becomes a star, signs to the biggest record company in the world within a year, and three years later has record sales rivaling the Beatles”.
Dylan himself provided script notes, which Mangold said he treasures. “I spent several wonderfully fascinating days in his company, just one-on-one talking to him,” said the director of “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” “I have a script personally annotated by him and jealously guarded by me. He loves movies. The first time I sat down with Bob, one of the first things he said to me was, “I love ‘Copland.’
“A Complete Unknown,” originally titled “Going Electric,” will focus on the “upheaval in the folk community” caused by Dylan’s disruptive sound, as Mangold explained.
“Everything has huge relevance even now because of how we’re all so tribal with rules about what our music should be, what our rules are, how we talk, how we express ourselves,” he said. “And Bob from the beginning has always been someone who always pushes against those boundaries.”
In addition to Chalamet, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Elle Fanning, Boyd Holbrook, Monica Barbaro and Nick Offerman. Chalamet will also sing Dylan songs on “A Complete Unknown.”
“It’s such an interesting true story and it’s about such an interesting time in the American scene,” Mangold said earlier this year, noting that “obviously” Chalamet will be singing onscreen.
Check out Mangold’s recent interview with IndieWire here.