Readers' Poll: Best Rock Documentary

The Who, Bob Dylan, Rush and more
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no direction home
Paramount Pictures

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7. 'No Direction Home: Bob Dylan'

It's no secret that Bob Dylan's least favorite subject is himself. So viewers of the intensive 2005 documentary No Direction Home were pleasantly shocked to see its inclusion of a brand-new, extremely thorough interview with the folk legend in which he talked candidly about his most fertile artistic period: his arrival in New York City in 1961 through his motorcycle accident near Woodstock, New York in 1966.

In fact, it took Herculean effort to get Dylan's sound bites. The project began 10 years before its release, when the musician's longtime manager, Jeff Rosen, started conducting interviews with Dylan's friends and collaborators (including the influential Sixties poet Allen Ginsberg, who would die before the film's release, and Dylan's press-shy ex Suze Rotolo). After Rosen had a wealth of supporting material, he convinced Dylan into a rare retrospective chat in 2000 – an interview that, thanks to their longstanding connection, reportedly lasted 10 hours.

Once Rosen had amassed so much footage, he reached out to Martin Scorsese to shape the raw elements into a film. The Taxi Driver director agreed, and it proved a beneficial arrangement for everyone. The film received a Peabody Award, and Scorsese walked away with a Grammy.

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