Complete Unknown

Complete Unknown

Complete Unknown (2003) is an unreleased Bob Dylan-themed documentary film that screened at film festivals in Canada and the U.K. in 2003 and 2004. It was co-directed by Canadian filmmakers Griffin Ondaatje and Craig Proctor and features their comically circuitous pilgrimages with cameraman Simon Dragland to Hibbing, the Cafe Wha?, Big Pink and other Dylan landmarks. En route the filmmakers discuss and debate the finer points of Dylan's artistic legacy while frequently disagreeing on camera over the direction the film should take (hagiographic v. iconoclastic). The film also features Super 8 home movie footage shot by the McGarrigle Sisters at the infamous Newport Folk Festival in 1965 when Dylan first "went electric" and an interview with the audience member who shouted "Judas" during the controversial Manchester Free Trade Hall concert in 1966.

Interviews with musicians Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Odetta, Martin Carthy, Bruce Cockburn, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Jane Siberry and The Be Good Tanyas; filmmaker Gillian Armstrong; writers Robert Creeley, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Winter, Robert Morgan and Robert Fulford; as well as academics such as Stephen Scobie, Graeme MacQueen and Rob Bowman are a central component of the documentary. But the film also relies on the expertise of anonymous and "uncredentialed" fans in attempting to arrive at a comprehensive assessment of Dylan's abiding cultural impact.

The soundtrack features Earle, Siberry, The Tanyas, Age Aleksandersen and Al Tuck.

The film premiered at the 2003 Atlantic Film Festival and played the Calgary Film Festival and the Birmingham Screen Festival. It was also selected for Detroit Docs and pre-selected for Sundance and Cannes.

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