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10 Bob Dylan Songs That Made Films Better

on December 04, 2018, 1:00pm
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10. “4th Time Around”

Vanilla Sky (2001)

The humble writers of this article may never agree on Cameron Crowe’s psychological thriller Vanilla Sky. Personally, if you have to march out Noah Taylor in pastels for 20 minutes to explain the entire movie and break the news to us that Kurt Russell doesn’t exist, I think the script probably could’ve used some tinkering. But Taylor’s debriefing does grant insights into the beautiful use of Dylan’s “4th Time Around” in a key scene. Before we know anything about David’s (Tom Cruise) cryo-contract or experience his “glitch,” we find the character with Sofia (Penélope Cruz), his face fully restored and their love rekindled. Dylan’s song waltzes around them as they lie in bed talking, teasing, and making love in what feels like a rebirth for them. In that moment, transgressions have been forgiven, the world has opened wide, and nothing matters but each other. In fact, it may only be hardcore Dylan fans who understand that something doesn’t add up as David and Sofia walk down the street, creating a near-identical replica of the cover art from Dylan’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. In a sense, Crowe uses Dylan’s music not only to make a once-suffering man’s dream come true but also to drop the hint to audiences that all is but a dream. –Matt Melis

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