"Standin' on the Water, Castin' Your Bread"


What's considered to be Bob Dylan's best music video? The snowy, coffee fueled late-night short film that is the video for"Things Have Changed" is often cited as Bob's best. I can't seem to think of another Dylan music video that features two movie stars and a grade A film producer.

But my favorite? Nah.

I'll take "Jokerman" any day.

The video for 1983's mysterious, reggae inspired tune will send you to another world. It feels like a art student's senior thesis from the 80's. On multiple occasions, the camera oddly zooms in on faces of statues. At other points, primitive animations bring dull images and paintings to life. Like the song, the video is utterly alive, full of life and energy. Images of the historical giants of the 21st century- Muhammed Ali, JFK-flash across the screen and are scattered fairly evenly throughout the entire experience. 

"Jokerman" is a dream, a trick, a firm belief that reality is shallow and slippery, ready to fade away at an instant. Even our heroes might be tricksters. I don't think you'd have to go line by line to analyze "Jokerman", the meanings is embodied in the feel, spirit, and imagery that the song awakens. 

However, in the forest of all the imagery, some organization does emerge. Three ideas are consistently tossed into the same basket by Dylan: 1) Moments on natural wonder, awe, and miracles 2) moments of darkness and doubt in those same characters that inspired wonder and awe, and 3) instances of profound confusion. 

As the video attests to, "Jokerman" is full of life. Vibrant. And Bob's vocals get better as the song goes along. 


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