I was just channel flicking and watched it for a while. What I saw was an attempt to present an moving portrait of an apolitical, amoral, and pathalogically self-involved and very clever wordsmith, and his successful attempt to remake himself into a cultural icon and musical mystic, and profit. Oops. Freudian slip. He did nothing special in adopting/borrowing every popular style on his journey to stardom. So did hundreds of thousands of other urban folkies. Big deal.
I loved the part where he was working as a carnie. Boy, does that speak volumes.
He is a very sharp and opportunistic entrepeneur, who spotted music and cultural trends in their infancies, and surfed their leading edges to wealth, influence, and semi-godlike admiration. His anti-war songs were tailored to fit the sentiments of the day, but, all talk and no action is like a good intention. He never went to jail for protesting the war in Viet Nam, or walking in civil rights marches, or making any kind of significant gesture to really show his solidarity with the songs he was singing, and as far as Corporate America is concerned, I remember his songs being used for bank commercials.
So here's to Robert Zimmerman; con-man, and self-proclaimed guru. It's no wonder the documentary had little substance. So did its subject.
And I so totally mean it.