|TROUBLE NO MORE (director: Jennifer Lebeau; screenwriter: Luc Sante; cinematographer: Ellen Kuras; editor: Damian Rodriguez; cast: Michael Shannon, Gwen Evans, Tim Drummond, Clydie King, Mary Elizabeth, Bridges, Bob Dylan; Runtime: 58; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Jennifer Lebeau; Sony Music; 2017)|
|"A curious road tour
documentary on Bob Dylan,
the Jewish-born singer, who briefly
turned Christian from 1979 to the early 1980s and made
three faith-based albums."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Jennifer Lebeau ("The Harmony Game") directs a curious road tour documentary on Bob Dylan, the Jewish-born singer, who briefly turned Christian from 1979 to the early 1980s and made three faith-based albums– Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980), and Shot of Love (1981).
It opens with Dylan rehearsing in a Los Angeles studio with his band (consisting of six African-American backup singers) before going on tour with his gospel songs and new religion. The first stop is by rail to Portland, Oregon in January 1981. The new Dylan religious music disappoints many of his fans, but the defiant Dylan remains unfazed as he moves on from social conscience folk songs to electrical guitar rock to gospel.
There's live footage of Dylan singing spiritual songs, while after each number Michael Shannon, who plays an evangelical preacher in a church setting, gives an animated sermon on chosen subjects that might have been delivered by black preachers in the Bible Belt in the 1920s or 1930s. The one warning us against junk food hit my funny bone.
What we get here from the controversial singer is some rare concert footage from his forgettable "Christian period." If you can't get with Dylan's new baptism, maybe you can dig his inspirational songs, sung with a lot of vinegar, such as “Jesus Met the Woman at the Well” to “Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody.” For me, this brief period of rebirth for Dylan was never that exciting, but I found the legend quite adept at knowing when to change course when things are not happening for him as expected.
It ends, after the credits go down, with him singing a moving duet with Clydie King, away from the stage, of "Abraham, Martin and John."
REVIEWED ON 3/27/2018 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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