The Other Side of the Mirror - Bob Dylan Newport 1963-1965 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Other Side of the Mirror - Bob Dylan Newport 1963-1965 Reviews

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February 8, 2014
Great documentary featuring some classic footage, a must-see for any Dylan fan.
November 4, 2011
this is for my good friend david richardson, with whom i spent many hours listening to dylan after class while at georgia state. an excellent movie showing growth of dylan from 63 to 65 when he plugged in.enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!
½ July 18, 2011
Contrary to the ocean of incredible rave reviews, be warned that this documentation of Dylan snippets from 1963-1965 serves best as just that (a documentation of snippets -- most importantly from the 1965 concert where he went electric). The photography is mostly junk, Joan Baez can't harmonize worth a damn, and Dylan has given more riveting performances from these same years. This is ultimately one of those documents you'll find you're glad exists, but won't care to sit through more than once or twice ever. Dylan is my third favorite musical act of all time, but the whole time I was watching this, I wanted to plug the Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense back into the player.
June 14, 2010
I mean, it is what it is, a bunch of Bob Dylan performances from the Newport Folk Festival. There are a couple of moments where Dylan or Joan Baez will answer some questions, but its not really that kind of documentary. The sound and video quality are high for a recording from the period. If you like Bob Dylan and want to see what a performance of his was like back in his prime, check this recording out.
The most interesting thing is watching the progression of his fans. As Dylan got more and more famous, his fans seemed to appreciate him less and less, leading to the crescendo of boos when he "goes electric" towards the end of the film.
½ May 25, 2010
If you grew up in this the early to mid 60's you should see this, but if you grew up then and also attended the Newport Folk Festivals then you [color=black][u]MUST[/u][/color] see this. The quality of the film is remarkable. Not at all broken down in either sound or visuals.
May 25, 2010
Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Fest

This is the man-a-changin' faster than what the paying audience cares to admit. This music documentary traces Bob from his troubadour routes straight through the moment he went electric and pissed off a great number of his self-penned "fans". It runs from '63 to '65 and features a number of early passion pieces that cover the travails of lost souls draining sorrowful in iron mines and squeals out his championing of various protest staples. He was billed as the voice of his generation; a man speaking the words the collective scrunt of his audience only wished they had the courage to blast into infinity. But history has proved that most were satisfied with hero-worshipping the man battering the folk-approved acoustic with demonic skill. As long as his act stayed true to perceived notions of what folk is many hosannas were lifted up in quiet praise.

This film documents a great number of Dylan performances during that crucial period when he was slowly emerging from the safe confines of the folk music coccoon. Tracks like "Who Killed Davy Moore", and "Only A Pawn in their game" showcase his talent for making social unrest articulate and meaningful. For any Dylan fan this is a must see. It's a bible for the original mission of laying out messages of distress and injustice. However, it leads to more dangerous climes where the voice sought new versions of itself through an entirely new application. Much of the crowd booed when he played "Maggie's Farm" electric. They continued to boo through "Like A Rolling Stone." Was it truly that shocking? Was he really considered a traitor for daring to expand his musical lexicon to include other means of expression? It hardly seems possible but there it was. The crowd offering up its displeasure, a blank voice believing the illusions it collectively fed itself.

It's a pure thing to witness a paradigm shift. To know what Dylan became in the face of so much unease tells us a great deal about the scene that fostered him during those early years. He is and was too much of an artist to limit himself to bleating out the same tired champion pieces for a previously sold audience. They figured they knew him and could subsequently idolize him safe in the knowledge that he would remain their pet protester forever. This film captures a period before the monumental shift in focus ever appeared to threaten the intricate structures of those who thought they understood. The songs are anthemic, poking here and there at a battery of unfortunate circumstances that afflict everyone in various degrees. Yet there was so much more to come. It's a daunting discography to even know where to start. The best part for me is when I realized that Cate Blanchett truly nailed the Dylan imprisoned by legions of fans in the backseat of his road vehicle. She must have studied this film because her performance is just so spot on.

Overall, this is the music of Bob Dylan. It's a film devoted to a necessary period in the development of arguably the greatest living statesman-poet and it's necessary for that simple fact. Joan Biaz, the Mamas and the Papas, and Johnny Cash all make appearances although the Johnny Cash bit was woefully cut short. Still, any footage of the Man in Black from that era is definitely worth the price of admission. He looks too damn cool for his brief stint and certainly retains the essence of what makes Dylan so immeasurable and true. Ultimately, this film gives us an intimate portrait of a singular performer as he was establishing himself as legitimately iconic. It's intriguing to see how charged the atmosphere was when he changed gears and adopted the "evil" machinery of the hated rock 'n' roll. Nevertheless, the voice remained just as clearly defined regarding the immediacy of everyday experience. It's just that the sage won out over the mere protest singer. The topics simply shot through every regiment of consciousness to include the internal wars that continue to plague us all...
December 4, 2009
i wish he was my best friend lol
June 24, 2009
Not only is this jam packed with amazing early Bob Dylan performances but it's also real interesting to see the atmosphere at the time, especially when he plugs in in '65. I almost felt uncomfortable watching it.
March 25, 2009
Man, fuck people who booed Dylan.
March 15, 2009
When Bob Dylan turned his back on the flower children, Simon & Garfunkel were there to take his place. That could've been the end of the story. But jeers only built his legend, and history proved his songbook to be the most staggeringly brilliant of decade.

Bob Dylan ain't nobody's puppet.
February 26, 2009
brilliant world war 3 blues song absoloutley class
½ December 23, 2008
It's not a definitive portrait of Dylan in the 60s- go for Scorsese's 4-hour No Direction Home for that- but all of the performances, to one degree or another, are fantastic, and it's tremendous to see the performance of Maggie's Farm which out of context of Newport Folk (not the best place to debut it with electric guitar) is almost like the first punk rock song ever recorded
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2008
Folk music purists, I'm guessing, will still, today, echo the sentiments of those who at the time saw Bob Dylan's transition to "Electric Bob" as a kind of betrayal. Nowadays, that "controversy" seems so cold and distant. Dylan fans will definitely want to see this documentary of Dylan's move from acoustic to electric as the road he traveled to emerge, today, as one of the great folk rockers. Dylan evolved -- keeps evolving -- into one of the cross-generational greatest rock-and-rollers ever. It's also interesting to see him turn from a tentative, almost wooden performer, into the kind of magnetic stage persona he's become. He is, still, ever evolving. Hence his place in the elite sphere of singer-songwriters who've proven their timeless durability. It really is a small, select circle of stalwarts, standing strong and fluid in an industry where most performers come and go with the swift inevitability of a surely spinning wheel of fortune, a quickly revolving door with a bright reveal, a short space of air, and a sharper still disappearance.
August 31, 2008
Nothin' better than watching Bob Dylan perform for eighty minutes. And act like a total... goofball. That's the best word I can think of. Question: how is the release date '63 when there's footage from '64 and '65? It's in the title!
August 30, 2008
Stunning look at important history. who even thought this footage existed? this is early Dylan at his best!! definitely great additional to the classic docs Don't Look Back and No Direction Home
July 11, 2008
I think I saw bob look back for a split second, but I doubt it
½ April 22, 2008
nice footage of good performances
½ April 12, 2008
fucking awesome and surprisingly great quality of footage.
½ March 23, 2008
The quality of the film footage is excellent, not to mention that this is Dylan at his best. From tambourine man to like a rolling stone, this live footage chronicles Dylan's rise from folk hero to rock star. While it isn't as complete a showing as No Direction Home, it is still a must see for all Dylan fans. This is pure unadulterated Dylan. By the way, you will not see a better performance of chimes of freedom.
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