|Methinks he protests too little. But it doesn’t matter, because the beauty of Scorsese’s phenomenally powerful and moving documentary, especially of the first episode, is that it does indeed document richly not just Dylan’s own beginnings but the dissenting American culture in which his songs took wing.|
Voice after voice from that coffee-stained, mildly dopey world of Greenwich Village in the early 60s – Allen Ginsberg, Dave van Ronk, Pete Seeger, Roger Cohen, Maria Muldaur and the perennially wild colonial boy Clancy, ruddy face aglow with tipsy fondness – all give the lie to Dylan’s self-fashioned mythology of indifference. For those of us impatient – desperate, actually – for a comparably eloquent polemic right now in America, Dylan’s Pilatic hand-washing may be painful. But don’t think twice, it’s all right, because that precious historical moment when Dylan articulated in coruscating rhymes just what was the matter with America and the world survives intact in archive, spoken memory, and for that matter in his own freewheeling words and music. And Scorsese has made himself its historian.
excerpt from the Guardian
UPDATE June 2006: Gray’s Dylan Encyclopedia