“I cut off my hair and I rode straight away, for that wild unknown country where I could not go wrong.” So sings Bob Dylan in “Isis.” It’s a line fitting for the mercurial Dylan, especially in 1975 as he and his merry cohorts – both friends and musicians – embarked on a tour of North American cities large and small on the circus-like Rolling Thunder Revue.
Back in 2019, we told you about Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Part concert document and part mockumentary, the controversial film saw Dylan, some original Rolling Thunder participants, and a cast of characters tell a not entirely truthful story around that wild tour. The film incorporated previously unseen concert footage, scenes from Dylan’s long lost film Renaldo and Clara, and plenty of behind-the-scenes moments. For all its myth-building and truth-shattering, it’s still an incredible film that’s uniquely Dylan, full of his sleight of hand.
After over a year as Netflix exclusive, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese will finally be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 19, 2021 as part of the Criterion Collection. (It joins Criterion’s prior release of D.A. Pennebaker’s acclaimed documentary Don’t Look Back.) The special expanded set features the full film – presented in 4K with a 5.1 surround sound audio mix – along with some welcome extras. Among them: a trailer, unused interviews with Rolling Thunder Revue participants, and bonus performances of “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” “Romance in Durango,” and “Tangled Up in Blue.” “Tonight” and “Romance are previously unseen , while “Tangled” is a new cut of the performance first included in Renaldo and Clara.
With newly commissioned art, an essay by novelist Dana Spiotta and writings from the Rolling Thunder Revue tour by the late playwright Sam Shepard and poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, this release promises to feature Criterion’s typical hallmarks of high quality.
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese arrives January 19, 2021 as part of The Criterion Collection. You can order your copy on Blu-ray or DVD from the following links.