Pennebaker takes us on his overseas journey with Bob Dylan. Dylan was touring London for three weeks in 1965 experiencing his first major star mania. At the same time, Pennebaker was shooting cinema verite for the first time. The innovative techniques he used in the film mirror the innovation that was taking place in popular music at the time, primarily led by Dylan. This film captures a multi-layered portrait of a young Dylan at a crucial time in his career and our own music history. "Dont Look Back" provides a rare opportunity to view a music legend like a close personal friend at a time when he was developing his own personal style and learning how to be a rockstar.
D.A. Pennebaker allows us as viewers on the outside, perhaps not knowing anything about Dylan, to sit in on intimate moments such as conversations between Dylan and his friends, interviews and composing music on the spot. He does this in such a way that he blends in with the crowd and is part of the party. As an audience member, you almost feel like you"re on the road with Dylan. All the while, Pennebaker's avant-garde technique is capturing Dylan's every moment. In the vast majority of scenes, Dylan comes across as a pompous asshole. Pennebaker portrays this through several different sequences by not only showing him talking insolently at reporters and journalists, but also to teeny bopper girls and a science student. One moment, he is friendly to some young fans and in another moment he swiftly cuts down a reporter. In one interview, Dylan calls himself a "delightful sort of person", but often in this film he is seen as just the opposite.
When someone is as famous as Bob Dylan, people assume that they know what that person is like. Because of this phenomena, the famous often adopt personas or put up fronts. I felt that there were instances in which Dylan was putting up a front, and acting cynical and jaded. I felt this way because there were also instances in which he seemed to show his true feelings.