open access

Abstract

This paper addresses postmodernity, gender and the body of Dylan’s work through the Biopic I’m Not There. The biopic is a historical document that entertains. It is a bridge between fiction and fact, between fan and star, and in the case of this proposed research of biopics on musicians, a bridge between music and narrative. Gender, however, plays no small part in this endeavor to capture the life story of the great music makers of our time. A certain inevitable balance of power between genders has led to a nostalgic and last minute attempt to revive a purely masculine hegemony, and the musician, or musical star, embodies this mass production of masculinity and male role modeling. Male role models have been in their decline ever since the insemination of postmodernity into the artistic, academic and cinematographic worlds in the 1960s. In the 2007 Biopic I’m Not There director Todd Haynes proposes a multiple mosaic of Bob Dylan in an attempt to perform a postmodern interpretation of the musician. This story telling process directly buttresses against many historical developments in gender which have unfolded during Dylan’s lifetime.