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Prime Dylan in Columbia

This Saturday night, the Nickelodeon in Columbia, South Carolina, goes inside the world of Bob Dylan with D. A. Pennebaker’s 1967 Dont Look Back, as the film takes over the big screen after an introduction by local singer-songwriter Jade Blocker. Trailing along with the legendary musician on his 1965 tour of England—a seven-city, eight-show circuit that would wind up being his last set of solely acoustic performances—the Direct Cinema pioneer Pennebaker bucked the orthodoxy on what to present and how to present it, focusing less on the concerts and more on the impromptu and private moments in between, an approach that resulted in a freewheeling portrait of the artist himself and the friends, rabid fans, and staid journalists congregating around him on the road. Widely considered one of the most important rock films, Dont Look Back moves along to the furtive rhythm of Pennebaker’s handheld camera, “circulat[ing] the illicit, the forbidden, and the secret through every shadowy, glorious off-kilter frame,” as Robert Polito writes in his liner essay for our release. The film remains an invaluable glimpse of the modern-day bard, who yesterday celebrated his seventy-sixth birthday.

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