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DVD Profile: "No Direction Home"


"No Direction Home" (2005) is Martin Scorsese's documentary about the early career of Bob Dylan (born 1941). The movie shows the enigmatic Minnesota-bred singer-composer becoming famous for songs like "Blowin' in the Wind" that captured the alienation of American youth in the early 1960's. The documentary's title comes from a line in the Dylan song "Like a Rolling Stone."

Scorsese's film traces Dylan's career only up to mid-1966, ending coverage shortly after an angry concert-goer screams "Judas!" at Dylan because he is transitioning from folk music to folk-rock. The documentary is a fascinating study of the sometimes uneasy relationship between a performer and the public.

"No Direction Home" has a total running time of 3 hours 28 minutes. It's divided into two parts with Part 1 ending around the time of the 1963 Newport Folk Festival, where Dylan performed "With God on Our Side" with Joan Baez.

On DVD, "No Direction Home" is a two-disc set with Part 1 of the documentary on Disc One and Part 2 on Disc Two. Part 1 runs 1 hour 53 minutes, while the duration of Part 2 is 1 hour 35 minutes.

Disc One of the DVD set offers no bonus materials of any consequence, but there are some on Disc Two.

The musical numbers are cut short in the documentary, but Disc Two provides full-length versions of eight Dylan performances: "Blowin' in the Wind," "Girl of the North Country," "Man of Constant Sorrow," "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," "I Can't Leave Her Behind," "Like a Rolling Stone" and "One Too Many Mornings."

Disc Two also contains four songs by other performers: Mavis Staples, Liam Clancy, Maria Muldaur, and Joan Baez (who does "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word"). Finally, there's an unused 1965 promotional spot for Dylan's song "Positively 4th Street."

On both Disc One and Disc Two, there's a menu option "Bob Dylan Performances" that might look as though it would lead to some sort of bonus material, but doesn't. All this option does is permit you to go directly to the place in the documentary where part of a specific song is performed.

Below I've listed all the details for the "No Direction Home" DVD set.

DVD Details:

Release Date: September 20, 2005
Number of Discs: 2
Full-Screen (1.33:1), Color
Feature Film Run Time: 3 Hours 28 Minutes
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
English Subtitles
Full-Length Bob Dylan Performances (8 songs totaling 32 min.)
Guest Performances (4 songs totaling 10 min.)
Promotional Spot for "Positively 4th Street" (4 min.)

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