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The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965

4.7 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Other Side of the Mirror - DVD

Few performances in history are as legendary - or as controversial - as Bob Dylan's 1965 appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. In a single, galvanizing instant, Dylan plugged an entire generation in, forever changing not only the way the music was made, but the way it was heard. By putting you in the audience for Dylan's Newport performances from 1963 through that pivotal set in 1965, Academy Award®-winning director Murray Lerner's The Other Side Of The Mirror captures Dylan's metamorphosis from the folk family's best-kept secret to rock's fiercely confrontational poet who would electrify an entire nation and become the voice of his generation.

CHAPTER LIST

All I Really Want To Do (7/24/1965) - afternoon workshop

1963

North Country Blues

With God On Our Side (with Joan Baez)

Talkin' World War III Blues

Who Killed Davey Moore?

Only A Pawn In Their Game

Blowin' In The Wind (with The Freedom Singers, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary)

1964

Mr. Tambourine Man

Johnny Cash sings Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Joan Baez sings Mary Hamilton as Bob Dylan

It Ain't Me, Babe (with Joan Baez)

With God On Our Side (with Joan Baez)

Chimes Of Freedom

1965

If You Gotta Go, Go Now

Love Minus Zero/No Limit

Maggie's Farm (electric)

Like A Rolling Stone (electric)

Mr. Tambourine Man

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue

Bonus Feature: Interview with director Murray Lerner

Amazon.com

Matched only by the Beatles and Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan continues to captivate music and pop culture fans with a seemingly never-ending stream of new and old recordings, books, documentaries, feature films, and more. The Other Side of the Mirror - Live at Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965 is a worthy addition to the canon; whether this 83-minute compilation will serve to illuminate the Dylan myth or merely perpetuate it is open to question, but without a doubt there's plenty of fascinating material here. There are nearly 20 songs represented, covering three consecutive years of Dylan appearances at the famed Rhode Island festival. Some have been seen before (most recently in No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese's 2005 Dylan doc, and in Festival, a Newport chronicle released on DVD that same year and directed by Murray Lerner, who is also responsible for The Other Side of the Mirror). Some are from Dylan's daytime "workshops," others from his nighttime main stage performances. Some are complete, others oddly truncated. Some are terrific (like "Chimes of Freedom," 1964), others not so much (cf. the turgid "With God on Our Side" from '63, with Joan Baez adding shrill harmony). In any case, these were the years when Dylan assumed the mantle of "spokesman of a generation," whether he wanted it or not. We see him evolving from the earnest young protest singer of '63 to the visionary artist of the following year who, with the astonishing torrent of rhymes, alliterations, symbols, and brilliant turns of phrase in "Chimes" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," turned the whole notion of songwriting on its ear. And, of course, we also witness Dylan's turn from acoustic to electric guitar, when he was joined onstage by members of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (sans Butterfield himself) in 1965; only two songs from that legendary (and, at the time, infamous) gig are seen here, and viewed four decades after the fact, neither "Maggie's Farm" nor "Like a Rolling Stone" is all that special, notwithstanding some searing solo work by guitarist Mike Bloomfield. The DVD package, which includes a bonus interview with Lerner and a nice booklet with liner notes by Tom Piazza, adds to the appeal of what has to rank as a must-have for Dylanologists of every stripe. --Sam Graham

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Dylan
  • Directors: Murray Lerner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Dubbed, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: German, English, Italian, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000W1V5TM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,659 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
An absolutely essential addition to any Dylan aficionado's collection, since the majority of this footage is never-before-seen. The Love Minus Zero and Talkin' World War III Blues performances seen here in particular are spine-chilling.

However, since this film was for big-time Dylan fans, some of the edits are inexplicable. Some intros are left out, but there's a more serious drawback. It includes two versions of Mr. Tambourine Man: one from 1964, before the song was released, as performed during the afternoon workshop, and the other from 1965, after the infamous electric set performed in the evening. NONE of them are complete. The first is missing the third verse, while the fourth is missing the first harmonica break and the last verse. I know the producer has his reasons, like artistic integrity, but c'mon, they know who the audience for this DVD is...

Also, why couldn't the missing songs from Newport 1963 and 1964 be seen, at least via bonus tracks, in case they were worried about too much song duplication in the film itself?

But it's still an excellent time capsule and one of the best music DVD's of the year, if not the last few. The sharp criticisms are only because how important this DVD is.
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This disc has been hyped for the famous "booing" when he went electric. My take after watching, is buy it for the first 5 songs from the 1963 section. Even though these tracks are acoustic, Dylan really showed his incredible songwriting talent. That footage will go down in history. The 1964 stuff is a step down (last 2 songs are pretty good) The famous 1965 stuff is over-rated. The jangly "Maggie's farm", is alright, but seems a little tense. "Like A Rolling Stone", is virtually flawless. Why anyone would boo that version, is beyond me. The last song, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" is incredible(Crank this one up). This disc is beyond historic.
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I've had an audio bootleg of the 1965 set for years but to see Bob Dylan with Mike Bloomfield from The Butterfield Blues Band at his early peak, the rhythm section from Howlin' Wolf's band, bassist Jerome Arnold (Billy Boy Arnold's brother) and the amazing Sam Lay (ever hear his double shuffle? the drums he played are at the Experience Music Project archives in Seattle WA -- I saw them) and organists Barry Goldberg and Al Kooper is amazing. Only The Band could meet that high standard later that year when they joined Dylan at the Hollywood Bowl. Who ever thought that this footage existed? The hint was when some of it showed up when Festival and No Direction Home was released this past year. That still begs the question of the film of the English tour that next Fall which showed up only in clips in No Direction Home. The two World Tour releases are not the official films; Murray Lerner must have those. Apparently he shot the Fall 1965 electic/acoustic tour while D. A. Pennebaker shot the Don't Look Back Spring 1965 tour if I am right. The logical thing, now, is to release that footage with The Band minus Levon Helm plus Micky Waller on drums. Did someone film the Carnegie Hall Concert? Anyway, it's classic music that changed the world.
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Format: DVD
I'm not a big Bob Dylan fan, but I am a fan of great looking and sounding DVD's and this is both. There's no DTS but man, the sound is crystal clear. The video quality is amazing too. It's black and white but it doesn't look grainy. You clearly see a young Dylan playing his music the way it was meant to be played. This movie is a perfect trip down memory lane even if you were too young to remember it. If you're a Dylan fan, I promise you will love this. Its destined to become a classic.
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By D. Evans on January 24, 2008
Format: DVD
There is no artist in rock history as analyzed as Bob Dylan. And to all the Dylanologists of the world, this grail-like DVD encapsulates the incredible, fascinating growth of Dylan from Guthrie-esque folk singer to rock star god. It's hard to believe that the Bobby Dylan of 1963 is the same (very) young man of 1965...so great is the change!

In this study of Dylan at three consecutive Newport folk festivals, we get a wealth of high-quality footage and audio showing Dylan (and Cash and Baez) at workshops and on-stage. We see his quiet humor of 1963 turn to defiant ambivalence by 1965. We get a sense of how much this man meant to this festival at this time, and in the final "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" we see a performer ready to break free and move on--regardless of whether or not others are ready to let him go. In a sense, even the B&W footage is part of the "vibe". The Dylan of Year 1 really belongs to a black & white world...it all seems right. The Dylan of 1965 begs for color, which he got soon after this performance in the still-unreleased "Eat The Document".

Long-time fans or newcomers to Dylan will find plenty to enjoy here, and there are some performances that will be returned to again and again (and again). At a time when we are being offered some very unnecessary packages ("Dylan" 3-cd set, anyone?), this is a treasure that I hope doesn't fall through the cracks. Buy it. It's worth 10x what you'll pay.
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Format: DVD
This is a fascinating document of Bob Dylan's transition from a buzzworthy newcomer to a genuine American icon. Without ornamentation or comment, this disc presents Dylan's impact on the fabled Newport Folk Festival in three pivotal years, 1963-65. In the early sequences, Dylan sits amid bluegrass and folk legends such as Doc Watson and Pete Seeger, a skinny kid paying his dues, earnestly singing his self-penned emulations of Woody Guthrie's talking blues style. There's something in the air, though, an electric charge to his aura that makes him stand out amid the studious folk-scene crowd. In the '64 festival, Dylan is more of a hovering presence, with numerous artists (Joan Baez, Johnny Cash) covering his material and calling him up on stage. There are episodic clips of Dylan and Baez making googly eyes at one another, and a momentary glimpse of the folk scene's equivalent of Beatles-mania, with Baez interviewed inside a car that drives past a gaggle of adoring fans, making light of her own celebrity.

It's in 1965 that Dylan really emerges as a superstar -- the year before, there was a growing sense that he had outgrown the insularity and strictures of the overly-earnest folk scene, but in '65, when he strapped on an electric guitar and cranked up the volume, it was a clear declaration of independence, one that was met with a predictable mix of condemnation, exhilaration and adoration. This rift really didn't concern Dylan -- he'd made up his mind which direction he was flying in -- but the moment is still charged with drama and power, and Dylan's personal charisma had shot off the charts.
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The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965
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