June 28th, 2006
Bob Dylan
About the Film

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
A Martin Scorsese Picture

Bob Dylan Opens Archives For The Film, Which Features Previously Unreleased Footage From Dylan’s Groundbreaking Live Concerts, Studio Recording Sessions, Outtakes, And Interviews

In an event that has brought together Bob Dylan and Martin Scorsese, NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN, a production of Spitfire Pictures, Grey Water Park Productions, Thirteen/WNET New York and Sikelia Productions, in co-production with Vulcan Productions, BBC and NHK, will make its U.S. broadcast premiere on Thirteen/WNET’s award-winning AMERICAN MASTERS series Monday and Tuesday, September 26-27 at 9 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Part One will also premiere on September 26 in the UK, on BBC Two on the internationally prestigious series ARENA, closely followed by Part Two. This will be a historic collaboration between the world’s two principal public broadcasters, brought together in a production forged by independent producers Spitfire Pictures. Paramount Home Entertainment will also release a DVD version of the documentary with extensive, additional, never-before-seen footage on September 20. Apple will present the DVD and international version of NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN, and is the corporate underwriter of the PBS broadcast.

The two-part film, which focuses on the singer-songwriter’s life and music from 1961-66, includes never-seen performance footage and interviews with artists and musicians whose lives intertwined with Dylan’s during that time. Dylan talks openly and extensively about this critical period in his career, detailing the journey from his hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, to Greenwich Village, New York, where he became the center of a musical and cultural upheaval, the effects of which are still felt today.

For the first time, The Bob Dylan Archives has made available rare treasures from its film, tape and stills collection, including footage from Murray Lerner’s film Festival documenting performances at the 1963, 1964 and 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, previously unreleased outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker’s famed 1967 documentary Don’t Look Back, and interviews with Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Maria Muldaur, and many others. In anticipation of the film, members of Dylan’s worldwide community of fans also contributed rarities from their own collections.

NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN, A Martin Scorsese Picture, comes on the heels of Dylan’s bestselling memoir, Chronicles: Volume I, which spent 19 weeks on The New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction Bestseller list.

In addition to being the director of such dramatic films as Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Aviator, Scorsese is an avid chronicler of the history of American popular music. Most recently, he executive-produced the music miniseries The Blues, which aired on PBS, as well as the related concert film Lightning in a Bottle, directed by Antoine Fuqua. Scorsese also directed the documentary The Last Waltz (1978), which captured the legendary farewell concert of The Band, and he served as an assistant director and editor on Woodstock (1970).

In discussing his excitement about the current project, Scorsese remarked, “I had been a great fan for many years when I had the privilege to film Bob Dylan for The Last Waltz. I’ve admired and enjoyed his many musical transformations. For me, there is no other musical artist who weaves his influences so densely to create something so personal and unique.”

Along with Scorsese, NO DIRECTION HOME: BOB DYLAN is being individually produced by Jeff Rosen of Grey Water Park, Nigel Sinclair of Spitfire, Anthony Wall of the BBC’s Arena series, and Susan Lacy of Thirteen/WNET New York’s AMERICAN MASTERS series, which has won the Emmy for Outstanding Primetime Non-Fiction Series five of the last six years.

“When we first began discussing this project years ago, we were overwhelmed by the material at hand – home movies and history-making concert footage, fascinating interviews with Dylan’s friends and fellow performers and, of course, Dylan himself, speaking so frankly about this incredible period in his life,” said Lacy, series creator and executive producer of AMERICAN MASTERS. “What we needed – above all – was an artist with a singular vision who could fuse this material into a unique visual narrative. That artist was Martin Scorsese, who graciously agreed to direct.”

Added Spitfire’s Sinclair: “Bob Dylan is a true cultural worldwide icon. This is the first time Bob has given this unprecedented access, which, coupled with Marty’s outstanding filmmaking talents, should provide an unparalleled portrait of Dylan’s indelible mark on the culture of the 20th century.”

“This is history,” said Wall, ARENA series editor. “As Dylan’s extraordinary career is building to another great peak, it’s also a milestone for the BBC and PBS.”

The film’s soundtrack will be a double CD set comprised of key songs in the film as well as rare and unreleased recordings from 1961 to 1966. Volume 7 of Bob Dylan’s Bootleg Series, No Direction Home: The Soundtrack, is slated for release August 30, on Columbia/Legacy Records.

The Bob Dylan Scrapbook 1956-1966 will be published by Simon & Schuster on September 20 and sell for $45. The book features Dylan’s early years, illustrated and packaged in a slipcased scrapbook complete with rare photographs, removable documents, reproductions of memorabilia, and a 45-minute CD. This unique book features interviews, archival photographs, and reproductions of song lyrics, plus other rare materials drawn from the film.

To order a copy of Bob Dylan, please visit the American Masters Shop


  • Matt

    I like very much your article

  • Julie Frazier

    I know Martin Scorsese is an established director but I the Dylan work was too much for him. There either isn’t enough footage behind the scenes to make an excellent documentary or there is not enough distance between the director and the subject of the documentary for it to make sense. “No Direction Home” was not exciting; it didn’t have a spark. Dylan’s interviews aren’t all that interesting. What is interesting is how he behaves in real life behind the stage and off the stage and getting ready to go on stage because this is what he lives for, to perform. People from the 60’s talking about Dylan isn’t that interesting because it’s second hand and it’s from people who haven’t made it that big. Joan Baez was dumped by Dylan because he was advancing his career and his talent. He wasn’t going to be captured and made prisoner by the protest movement. Protests come and go. Leaders come and go. Dylan wants to transcend his current work and his past work and get to the music that will carry him forward. I don’t think the documentary got that at all. It may be that Scorsese himself is bound by money and property and by Dylan’s fame. When it gets right down to it, Dylan’s a superstar for now. Scorsese is only a name on the screen and that’s at the very last before the movie lights go up when most people have left the movie theatre or gone to the bathroom.

  • Tim Hearnshaw

    The Scorsese/Dylan movie has been a wonderfull starting point for me to discover blues , folk music and a host of related subjects all i can say is thankyou so much.

  • george paul

    I’m a Dylan fan.

  • tom kril

    Julie Frazier sounds like a frustrated critic. She knows little or nothing about Dylan or Scorsese.

  • jack felker

    I think Julie Frazier got it mostly right. Fans of Dylan are always searching for ‘him.’ But, he’s a master at keeping everyone outside looking in. It’s the twilight now and we should hope he keeps doing what he’s always done; making the music that is his ever evolving process. I don’t know how he does it, but no one else gets close.

  • Amy Carter

    I’m currently a postgraduate student and I credit this film for getting me where I am today and helping me decide what I want to do with my life. It was a portal to the world of American folk music for me and enabled me to dedicate my life to studying the likes of Dylan, Seeger and Guthrie, so I can teach future generations. To Julie Frazier, I understand what you mean about it not being a directorial masterpiece, but as a starting point to get younger people (i’m 23) into folk music and American history, it’s perfect. If it wasn’t for this movie, I wouldn’t have been given the focus to get where I am today.

  • J. Draper

    While I concur with many of Julie Frazier’s criticisms, I did enjoy the film and bought it on DVD. I enjoyed the interviews, especially with Dave Van Ronk and Baez herself. I don’t know that anyone will ever be able to do the subject of Dylan justice with a documentary film.

  • Craig 9

    The performance of “Visions of Johanna” in this film is one of the most intense things I’ve ever seen.

  • Nick Van der Graaf

    I am looking for information regarding the audio interview of Bob Dylan in the film that is titled as “Voice of Bob Dylan, CBC Radio, Montreal.” At the time Dylan is speaking about the genesis of the song “Like a rolling stone.”
    Can you tell me who conducted the interview?

  • Bob Meharg

    Hi Amy
    Can I suggest a starting point at a YouTube search of Alan Lomax

  • Dylan Forever

    I can not get enough of Dylan I saw him in concert last year trying to go again I am only 28 and his music transends time amazing

  • notaDylanFan

    Not a Dylan Fan, but one for Scorsese. The Frazier commentary is too critical. It would be like saying this isn’t a Scorcese picture, which this really isn’t, but a very good film by an accomplished filmmaker. The pacing fits the context and the voice-over…contemplative, reflective. I appreciated it for giving a context of the movement, which I never really understood, this whole folk thing. In a way, the artists surrounding the village in NYC seemed to take
    traditional Guthrie folk and made subjective rather than communal, almost experimental, which I couldn’t really didn’t understand until last night.
    This is a a very interesting, almost dream-like film and I applaud Scorsese for not intruding with his usual hyperkinetic camera and editing. I think I like watching Dylan more than listening to him but of course he is iconic in terms of lyrics.

  • Danielle

    What a great show! I love the interviews, he is hilarious! Being asked such STUPID questions! HA!

    It was nice to see my Uncle Rick Danko too!

    Can’t wait to dig out my Dylan & The Band CD’s!

  • Arnold Schwartz

    Am 74 yrs old— have seen dylan many ,but never enough,(w/o commenting on his performances the past few years)times—
    all i have to say is critique if it makes you feel like a critic but when you’re done say thank you to who or whatever you thank for the best things in your life for dylan and his music for the 40 plus years he’s been out there for us–

  • David Chowes

    A four hour Dylan documentary by Scorsese: is there anything else to say? * * * *

  • Cary Blumenthal

    When will part be aired again? I fear that I have missed it.

  • Tom

    I have always been a big fan of Bob Dylan, but its been many years since he made a truly great album. inkasso

  • Aviary

    Bob Dylan is a artist of all time.. having him in the music industry is awesome! his influence is a big deal in the music scene..

  • Tom R

    Bob Dylan is the greatest lyricist an musician for America’s 21st century. And he still makes great albums, (cd’s) I find I have to catch up. The movie is pretty great too hats off Martin and Bob!

  • Henrik

    I truely love this film about Dylan. My dad forced me to listen to his music when I was a kid. Now I just LOVE the music. I think the movie catches all out thoughts about this great artist.


    Henrik from Umbraco

  • protestfolk

    What should perhaps also be mentioned is that Dylan’s manager apparently was allowed to control the editing decisions on Martin’s PBS documentary, no interview with the 1960s editor of Sing-Out! magazine, Irwin Silber, was included in the PBS film (although Sing Out! magazine and Broadsides magazine played key roles in promoting Dylan as the “new Woody Guthrie” within the folk music sub-culture prior to 1964) and there was little indication in this PBS film that many U.S. folk music fans considered 1960s protest folksinger-songwriter Phil Ochs to be as good a topical/protest folk songwriter during the 1960s as Dylan was during the pre-1965 period. For a video of a public domain folk song from a few years ago that protests against the commodification of folk music, “The Poet of PBS,” PBS documentary viewers might want to check out the following protestfolk channel link:

  • Harry P

    Levon Helm, in another Dylan docu-drama, said that we are lucky to have lived in Dylan’s time. Mr. Helm was about on target with those words, at least for me, as I have ever heard spoken about Dylan. Shakespeare might have had some jealousy because he was not the accomplished musician that BD is.

    And as to the comment about no truly great album, I remind that writer that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. Musically, Dylan’s recent work is worthy of note. His lyrics still give cause for reflection too. Not bad, to my way of thinking, for a guy busting 70 and constantly on tour.

  • RevolutionRabbitNov63

    - Scorsese’s abilty & talent were able to draw out narratives & clarity
    - not only from what we can be certain was a bewildering array of materials
    - but from what have actually been ambiguities & free-floating anxieties for Rock – which is to say an entire (Counter &/or Sub-)Culture – for decades – !

    …Makes a superlative companion to Todd Haynes’ impressionistic ‘I’m Not There’ (what an accomplishment – !: @ last – a talented filmaker who really understands Rock – !) – for contrast & comparison
    - as well as Dylan’s own ‘Chronicles’ written autobiography (…more some day – ??)…

  • louis leblanc

    The film captures Dylan in his early period, just as he was moving into Rock ‘n Roll – what Dylan calls the ‘Crossroad’, both in the film and in his book, ‘Chronicles’. As noted, we are lucky to have him, and to have lived in his times. He is perhaps the greatest poet of the last fifty years, and that includes writers or traiditional poets. If you think he hasn’t put out a good album recently, then you’re not listening. Check out “Time Out Of Mind’, ‘Love and Theft’, and ‘Modern Times’ (even, ‘Together Through Life’, an album I didn’t like at first, but has now grown on me). All these albums are superior efforts! Thanks, Bob

  • Kathy Phillips

    I haven’t read all of the above to check if someone has already addressed the differences between the artist and the audience. The very nature of a creative act prohibits standing back and analyzing into pieces. Call it ‘left brain/right brain’ but there is a major gulf in consciousness between the two. I think it is impossible for a director or anyone who is interested in ’style’, consumer appetites or markets to ‘get’ what an artist is all about i.e. Mr. Jones.

  • alex brown

    The film captures Dylan in the first stage, just as he was entering Rock ‘n Roll – what Dylan calls the’ Crossroads’, in film and in his book ‘Chronicles’. As noted, we are fortunate to have him, and have lived in his time. He is perhaps the greatest poet of the last fifty years, and that includes writers and poets traiditional. If you think you have not got a good record recently, then you are not listening. Check out “Time Out Of Mind ‘,’ Love and Theft ‘, and’ Modern Times’ (even ‘Together Through Life’, an album I did not like at first, but now it has grown on me). All these discs are the superior efforts! Thanks, Bob

  • alex brown

    I am currently a graduate student and credit this film to get where I am today and helping me decide what I do with my life. It was a portal to the world of American popular music for me and allowed me to spend my life studying the likes of Dylan, Seeger and Guthrie, so they can teach future generations. Julie Frazier, I understand what you mean about not being a masterpiece as a director, but as a starting point for the youngest (I have 23) in the folk music and American history, is perfect. If not for this film, I do not have the focus to get where I am today.

  • Mist yolga

    I have not read the above to see if someone has already addressed the differences between artist and audience. The very nature of a creative act prohibits step back and analyze it to pieces. They call it “left brain / right brain,” but there is a significant gap in consciousness between the two. I think it’s impossible for a director or someone who is interested in the “style”, the appetite of consumers or markets to “get” what an artist has to do with this is Mr. Jones.

  • mazda

    I truely love this film about Dylan. My dad forced me to listen to his music when I was a kid. Now I just LOVE the music. I think the movie catches all out thoughts about this great artist.

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  • amer

    Your article is so nice,

  • jasa pembuatan web

    This is a a very interesting, almost dream-like film and I applaud Scorsese for not intruding with his usual hyperkinetic camera and editing. I think I like watching Dylan more than listening to him but of course he is iconic in terms of lyrics.

  • onehandwavingfree

    The comments are great. Good for Scorsese for tackling a force most people would walk on the other side of the street to get away from. Harry P + for noting Levon Helm. Julle Frazier got some good thoughts stirred up. I really didn’t pay much attention to Dylan until Modern Times. I knew a lot of his songs, but . . . Then I read Chronicles and was grateful for the history of of American music, the deep stuff based on black blues, working class farmers. getting through the days.
    But Julle – no one “dumps” Joan Baez.

    I love that Dylan can’t really sing, but oh he does. The lyrics transcend and can fit almost everyone, I enjoy hearing his own voice. Have seen him in concert 3 times. It is like he is not there – and he is giving everything.
    “kept everyone outside looking in” is right, jack felker


    The judge’s coming in, everybody rise
    Lift up your eyes
    You can do what you please, you don’t need my advice
    ‘Fore you call me any dirty names, you better think twice

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