Renaldo and Clara: a synopsis

This extensive discussion of the film 'Renaldo and Clara' was originally posted to by Marc Stein in late 1993. Perhaps it more properly belongs in a Bob Dylan Web Site, but there is enough OBC (Official Beat Content) to justify its inclusion here in Literary Kicks.

Renaldo and Clara: a synopsis

What follows is my annotation of the film "Renaldo and Clara", written and directed by Bob Dylan. The film is known to be obscure (it got devestatingly bad reviews), and I wrote this summary to help me understand it. I found that once I gave the film a sufficient amount of thought its meaning became very clear. It is about Bob Dylan's troubled relationship with women. Dylan's wife Sara and his ex-lover Joan Baez are actresses in the film, and they act out a love triangle with him that is clearly meant to mirror real life, or at least to appear to mirror it. The method of the film is to blatantly deceive the audience over and over again, layering deception upon deception, and this is what makes the film appear so meaningless and obscure. In fact, the multiple deceptions are there only because the meaning of the film is so naked underneath.

There are several sub-themes that I also discuss in this synopsis. The film is a unified, connected whole, and it may depict more closely than anything else what life looks like from inside Dylan's head.

It also has some of the best Dylan concert footage I've ever seen. It was filmed during the first half of his Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975, between the "Desire" and "Street-Legal" albums, when Dylan's musical experimentation was at a peak. All the songs mentioned in the summary are live cuts or unreleased re-recordings; there are no studio recordings in the film. The band is staged as follows:

                  ____________        ____________                       
                  | Wyeth    |        | Rix      |              
                  | drums    |        | perc.    |              
                  |__________|        |__________|                
       ____________  ____________  ____________  ____________  
       | Ronson   |  | Burnette |  | Stoner   |  | Mansfield|
       | l. guitar|  | guitar   |  | bass     |  | misc.    |
       |__________|  |__________|  |__________|  |__________|  
____________  ____________  ____________  ____________  ____________  
| McGuinn  |  | Rivera   |  | Dylan    |  | Neuwirth |  | Soles    |
| guitar   |  | violin   |  | v., harm.|  | guitar   |  | guitar   |
|__________|  |__________|  |__________|  |__________|  |__________|  
with the following musicians:

Rob Stoner -- bass, backup vocals, musical director. Plays Gene Vincent in some scenes.

Steven Soles -- rhythm guitar. Plays Ronee Blakely's abusive boyfriend.

Scarlet Rivera -- electric violin, also prominently featured on the "Desire" album.

Bob Neuwirth -- rhythm guitar, plays "The Masked Tortilla" and reads some poetry in scenes.

Roger McGuinn -- twelve-string guitar. Formerly of the Byrds.

Mick Ronson -- flashy lead guitar, from David Bowie's band. Plays a backstage bouncer in one scene.

David Mansfield -- various instruments including electric violin and pedal steel guitar. Boyish face. Plays an angel in his underwear in the bordello scenes.

T-Bone Burnette -- backup guitar, keyboards.

Howie Wyeth -- Drums.

Luther Rix -- Percussion.

And now, scene by scene, here's the film ...

Bob Dylan and Bob Neuwirth are on stage singing "When I Paint My Masterpiece" as the titles roll. Dylan is wearing a rubber mask that gives him an other- worldly appearance. The rest of the band is not yet seen, just Dylan and Neuwirth (Neuwirth, for those who don't know, is a longtime Dylan companion and fellow Greenwich Village folksinger-hipster).

A crowd of people in a dark room are discussing tour logistics and hotel arrangements. Roger McGuinn's face is visible among them.

David Blue (another G. Village early 60's folksinger) is playing pinball next to a swimming pool and telling the camera about his first trip to New York -- he swiped money from his father's wallet, took a bus to 42nd Street and then went right back home. He talks about old Village figures like John Brent and Hugh Romney, and about how they used to pass the hat after reading poetry. (Blue will continue telling stories while playing pinball throughout the movie.)

Dylan is in a garage idly playing an acoustic guitar with a dark-haired woman by his side. A mechanic asks "Why are you in such a hurry?" Apparently Dylan is trading a T-bird for a cheap motorcycle. The mechanic asks "Are you running from the law?" and Dylan says "I am the law." This is Dylan in his Renaldo persona.

Bob Neuwirth, in a mask, is on stage in a small club reading a poem written by a badly disabled black guy named Tony Curtis who sits watching. At the end of the poem Tony Curtis asks for money (asking for money for poems or songs will be a recurring motif in the film.) Phil Ochs (I think!) comes on stage, takes a guitar and plays a chord.

Record executives talk in a conference room. (More of this later.)

The dark-haired woman (DHW) from the fourth scene is running up a set of stairs. Scarlet Rivera, is playing violin backstage and pauses to tune with Dylan. In the background, a Dylan version of the Hank Williams song "Kaw-Liga" plays. We see a truck labeled "Hemingway" with an Indian head on the side. As the song continues to play, a disk jockey announces that the Rolling Thunder Revue with Bob Dylan is coming to town. NOTE: there are three Indian images here -- the song "Kaw-Liga", the Indian head on the truck, and the name "Rolling Thunder" (which is the name of a famous train, but is also the name of a famous Indian chief who we will hear more of later in the film.)

Sara Dylan (Bob's wife) and DHW are in a restaurant. The DHW needs a ride to Vermont and is picked up by a stranger who overhears them talking. It seems that Sara already has a ride (that is, a lover) but that the DHW doesn't. NOTE: Sara will later put on a wig and play Clara -- without a wig I will refer to her as Sara.

Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Revue on stage performing "Isis". This is the excellent version from Biograph. The sound is full, rich and chaotic (there are five guitars!) and fits very well the image of rolling thunder. NOTE: The live cuts tend to echo the drama. The song "Isis" (on Biograph he precedes it with 'This is a song about marriage') is connected to Sara's first appearance in the film. Dylan wears white makeup covering his face, as he does in all subsequent concert scenes.

Sara picks up a rose. (This rose will continue to appear in the film.)

A Hollywood-style woman announcer in a fur wrap is at a microphone waiting to announce the appearance of Bob Dylan. She mistakes the first person to approach her for Bob Dylan, so she obviously has no idea who Dylan is. He tells her he's not Dylan, "Dylan is wearing a hat". Ronnie Hawkins (the blues singer who originally worked with the Band) turns up, and he's wearing a hat. The woman asks if he's Bob Dylan and he says he is. Since Ronnie Hawkins is a big bruiser with a deep voice and a thick beard, the effect of this is rather funny. The woman asks him to explain who Bob Dylan is and Hawkins says solemnly, "A hero of the highest order". NOTE: in the final credits, Ronnie Hawkins is listed as playing Bob Dylan (while Bob Dylan is listed as playing Renaldo).

Ronnie Hawkins (as Bob Dylan) is propositioning a young brunette to join him on tour. He lays it out straight for her -- she's a very lovely young lady and he'll give her a good time, no strings attached. Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" begins to play in the background. Hawkins/Dylan tells her, rather ominously, "You'll come back a much wiser young lady." She is hesitant; she wants to stay on the farm (though she looks nothing like a farm girl -- cf. Dylan's song "Sooner or Later": '... you weren't really from the farm'.) She wants to ask her father for permission, also recalling the Dylan song "Motorpsycho Nitemare", about a farmer and his daughter. Hawkins/Dylan and the girl begin debating about whether the world will soon end; Hawkins/Dylan says "the world's going to explode", hoping to entice her to join him. This (the world ending, apocalypse) will be another recurring motif in the film.

A group of evangelists are preaching about God and the world ending in front of Federal Plaza on Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange is visible behind them. A riled-up crowd is listening, some heckling the evangelists. This appears to be live footage, not a staged scene.

A group of people are talking in a diner. This group will appear again at various times. It is not clear what they are talking about.

We hear Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D", his painful song about his breakup with Suze Rotolo, his first serious girlfriend, from the early 60's. Someone other than Dylan is singing (and the song sounds much better than on "Another Side"). We see Dylan as Renaldo walking on the streets of a small city. He goes into a restaurant, checks out another brunette (almost all the woman in this film are brunettes), and talks to a man about something involving a woman. They seem to be transacting some kind of serious business, but it's not clear what kind.

Sara Dylan and Sam Shepard (listed in the credits as "Rodeo") are leaving a restaurant and discussing something. They appear to be husband and wife, and seem to be having a mild argument.

Shots of Jesus statues (we will later see that these shots are from Jack Kerouac's graveyard in Lowell). A song plays: "Girl, tell me where you been last night". I think this is Leadbelly, the same song Nirvana closed their "Unplugged" show with. We see birds flying above, echoing the last line of "Ballad in Plain D" ('are birds free from the chains of the skyway?').

David Blue playing pinball. He tells about the night at Gerde's Folk City when Gil Turner heard Dylan's new "Blowin' in the Wind" and sang it onstage for the first time.

Back at the restuarant from scene 15 above, a stripper or belly dancer is writhing on the floor.

Ronnie Hawkins/Dylan is trying to get into the restaurant, but Mick Ronson playing a (rather skinny) bouncer, refuses to let him in. (NOTE: there will be no Academy Award in store for Mick Ronson).

The scene in the restaurant has begun to metamorphosize; the belly dancer is now dancing to "Hava Negila", a lounge singer belts out "Welcome" from "Cabaret", and we see that the audience is now full of old ladies.

The evangelists on Wall Street. One of them uses the phrase "Senators, congressman", which echoes "Times A-Changin'", although this seems to be a lucky coincidence -- the scene still appears to be really happening, not rehearsed. One of the evangelists gets into a scuffle with a heckler.

Dylan and the band playing "Hard Rain". This is an excellent but grungy version of the song likely to offend purists who are fond of the original acoustic version. Ronson's screaming guitar and Rob Stoner's sturdy bass gives the song an almost jaunty feeling.

The crowd in the diner again. One of the crowd is in a hat and glasses and someone comments that he looks and talks like Leonard Cohen. (Is he Leonard Cohen in disguise? I don't know. I can't see any other reason why Dylan would include these mostly uninteresting diner scenes.)

Sara walks slinkily through a train station. This may indicate that she has left her 'husband', Sam Shepard.

Back at the restaurant, it is now clearly some kind of Senior Citizen's home. (This sort of neat transformation is a trademark of this film, and is clearly part of the 'cubist' method). The lounge singer brings Allen Ginsberg on stage for a poetry reading.

David Blue still playing pinball. He talks about Ginsberg and Kerouac and the influences the Beats had on the G. Village folk scene. He mentions a banjo player named Luke who used to play at the Gaslight.

We are at an Indian reservation. We will later learn that one of the Indians present wrote a book about the famous Indian named "Rolling Thunder".

Ginsberg reading poetry at the Senior Citizen's home, chanting "And all the hills echo-ed".

Bob Neuwirth is on a train (again, the term Rolling Thunder is both the name of an Indian and a train). He tells a very amused conductor that he's been on the train for six days, which the conductor finds interesting since the train's only been on the road for four hours. They have a funny conversation after Neuwirth pretends not to know where they're going and they conductor says they're heading for a city in the Northeast.

Neuwirth: "Any particular city we're going to?"
Conductor: "Yeah, the biggest one."
Neuwirth: (thinking) "Not gonna tell me, huh?"
Conductor: "No, you wouldn't like it if you knew."

Neuwirth is wearing a mask at the Indian reservation. He claims to be "The Masked Tortilla". A square dance is going on. Neuwirth begins to insult some Indians: "You want my scalp? Take it!" The writer of the Rolling Thunder book is introduced. A speech is made, "I hope this country can get straightened out". In the background, Dylan sings "People Get Ready" as we see sad faces. Joan Baez is seen for the first time. Bob Dylan arrives at the meeting and is greeted by a row of people, kissing and shaking hands like a savior.

A truck on the road. Neuwirth is sleeping on the train. The Dark-Haired woman from the early scenes looks out a window pensively. Roadies begin to unload instruments for an arena show. One roadie unrolls a long thin carpet, which seems to fit in with the savior imagery in the last scene. The "Rolling Thunder Revue" banner slowly unravels behind the stage.

The band is putting on makeup before the show. Guitarist Steve Soles is talking to bassist Rob Stoner. Soles mentions that he's a Scorpio.

Dylan is driving a truck (a scary thought). He tells Ramblin' Jack Elliot, "Yes, we're going to see the Gypsy". At this moment the song "I Want You" begins to play: 'The gypsy undertaker cries ...' Dylan, smirking guiltily like a frat boy, implies to Ramblin' Jack that the Gypsy they are going to see runs a whorehouse.

Steve Soles, playing a character named Ramon, is supposed to be Ronee Blakely's boyfriend. They get into a bitter fight in the hotel room before the show, because she takes too long to get ready. He tells her "I know who you've been fucking." She says "I need some love."

In concert, Ronee Blakely sings very beautifully a song called "I Need a New Sun Rising Every Morning."

After the concert, members of the band convene in a bar. A large King of Hearts poster is visible. Dylan and Ronee Blakely and Ramblin' Jack are there. Although this scene is a montage from several rooms, we are supposed to believe that they are in a bar in the Gypsy's bordello. (In actuality, some scenes were shot in a fake bar, other's in the real Gypsy's house and others in a fake bordello.)

The Gypsy is a cheerful old woman who plays guitar and sings in a foreign language. Joan Baez is wearing an elegant white dress that used to belong to the Gypsy, and speaks with a fake Gypsy accent. Everybody listens to the old Gypsy woman sing. Rob Stoner plays along on mandolin and Joan harmonizes. After the song the Gypsy asks for money. By the bar, Blakely is talking to Dylan/Renaldo, and tells him, "I like tough nice men, strong men who are very sweet." Then she says, "I'll take you." The Gypsy starts singing in English, and the song goes "It wasn't you and it wasn't me". This line is repeated at the end of each verse. This is a very Dylanesque idea, that nobody is to blame. Compare it to ...

"You're right from your side and I'm right from mine"
-- One Too Many Mornings

"Sooner or later one of us must know
that you're just doing what you're supposed to do
Sooner or later one of us must know
that I really did try to get close to you"
-- Sooner or Later (One of us must know)

"We always did feel the same
we just saw it from a different point of view"
-- Tangled Up In Blue

"You'll never know the hurt I suffered
or the pain I rise above
And I'll never know the same about you
Your holiness or your kind of love
and it makes me feel so sorry"
-- Idiot Wind

As the Gypsy continues to sing, she mentions the words "Pray Jesus", and the scene cuts to statues of Jesus from the cemetery in Lowell. Then we are back in the bordello and David Mansfield (from the band) is dressed as an angel in his underwear while playing violin. Baez and two other brunettes, dressed as hookers, watch him bemusedly.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot is singing a song (I don't know the title).

The crowd at the diner again.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot is now singing a yodeling blues that sounds like the end of Dylan's "Talking Hava-Negila Blues". He introduces the Woody Guthrie song "Pretty Boy Floyd", mentioning that Pretty Boy Floyd travelled cross country in a car. This segues to:

A girl is asking all the musicians how they travel (in a bus). Allen Ginsberg offers to teach her how to meditate and she consents. Then the whole crowd of musicians is suddenly doing a loud group chant, led by Ginsberg, while Mick Ronson and Roger McGuinn provide a "doo-wah diddy" counterpoint. This goes on for a while, and some start dancing around the circle. Dylan, though, seems detached, and walks away.

David Blue is playing pinball, but this time does not speak.

Evangelists on Wall Street sing "What will you do when Jesus comes?" At mention of Jesus, Dylan (naturally) appears. He exits a bus (see 41), runs across a street and stands on a corner as if waiting for something. We hear Anne Waldman reading her poem "Fast-Speaking Woman" ("I'm the Buddha woman, I'm the fast speaking woman, I'm the trumpet woman, I'm the vagabond woman," etc.)

Sara is seen with a white hat or scarf rolled tightly around her head. This is the first appearance of the Woman In White, who will later be played by Joan Baez.

The crowd in the diner again.

Dylan and the band singing "It Ain't Me Babe". Again, this is a very good version, for me the best I've heard of this song. The chorus is slowed to about half the pace, stretching out the "no, no, no" part. When Dylan sings "and to come every time you call", he sneers "OH YEAH?" and at that point we see Ronee Blakely looking at him. It seems that he's telling her he can't be the one she wants (see 37 above).

We see the Woman In White (it may be Sara or someone else in the white head covering) in a horse-drawn carriage leaving an old mansion.

A Hurricane Carter benefit in front of a small crowd of mostly black women (this is not a staged scene, and I believe it took place at a women's detention center). Roger McGuinn is singing "Knocking on Heaven's Door". Baez, Ginsberg and Dylan sing background vocals. Joni Mitchell is somewhere on stage. Hurricane Carter is being interviewed by a gaggle of reporters. This long section is intercut with interviews on 125th Street in Harlem, where various people express interest or disinterest in the Carter case. Snippets of the song "Hurricane" drift in and out as people talk. A couple of black kids run to the camera excitedly, and when told it's about someone in jail one says "Oh -- is this gonna be on TV?" An angry man demands to know why Carter is still in detention, arguing with the cameraman. A woman starts talking about God, getting other listeners angry. Behind them we see that "Earthquake" is playing at the Apollo Theatre. As the woman talks about God, the song "Hurricane" drifts in just long enough for the four words '... Out to some paradise ...' to be heard.

A repeat of the Gypsy singing the line "It wasn't you and it wasn't me", as if in answer to all the strife on 125th Street above.

Dylan and his entourage barge into an office building with a camera and demand to see Walter Yentikoff, who was an important person at CBS Records (President?). They confront him in his office, demanding that the single "Hurricane" be released immediately with no delays. Yentikoff diffuses the conflict by agreeing to do so.

David Blue playing pinball again, talking about Dylan playing harmonica for a buck a night with Fred Neil at the Cafe Wha? (cf. "Talkin' New York" from Dylan's first album.

As a male voice (Sam Shepard?) reads a poem about "Your eyes", we see Sara in a voluptous wig that makes her look like Sophia Loren walking down a street. This is Sara as Clara. The fact that she is not a brunette sets her apart from all the other women. This is also an interesting inversion of the line from "Never Say Goodbye" (about Sara), when he sings 'You've turned your hair to brown'.

In the background, as Sara walks and the poem continues, we hear Dylan singing "She Belongs To Me".

Harry Dean Stanton is escaping from jail (compare with Hurricane Carter, above). Bob Neuwirth helps him climb over a wall with a rope, and both run away separately. Stanton talks about doing time and what he learned.

Neuwirth and Dylan are on a train, and Neuwirth says a fat dude wearing dark glasses with an earring is following him. We see this person, also on the train. Harry Dean Stanton is on the train too, looking nervous. Joan Baez is as well.

The Woman In White in the horse carriage. We see the face, but it is not clear if the woman is Sara, Joan or somebody else.

Dylan and the band singing "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry". At the mention of the line 'if your train gets lost' we see Scarlet Rivera lost backstage, looking for the entrance. Then we see Dylan and the Dark-Haired Woman standing in a train yard.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot is on stage in the same small club as in scene 5 in Part I. He sings and is interrupted by Eric Anderson.

Harry Dean Stanton is making out with Joan Baez in a dingy cabin. Ramblin' Jack walks in and tells Stanton that Dylan/Renaldo just took off with his horse: "You just traded your horse for this woman." Both Stanton and Baez seem perfectly happy with this, and they continue to make out. They begin to coo to each other in some Gypsy dialect. Ramblin' Jack appears disgusted by all this. We then see Ramblin' Jack back on stage finishing his song.

A distressed Joan Baez is in a hotel room talking to herself: "I wish I had just one person I could talk to". Just out of the shower, she wraps a white towel around her head, thus becoming the Woman In White. She seems sad and perplexed. She absent-mindedly massages a phallic hair-dryer.

Joan Baez on stage singing "Diamonds and Rust", her sardonic song about her affair with Bob Dylan. We intercut to her in her white dress at the Gypsy's, talking with Dylan.

Baez: I got dressed up to come down here. I heard you were coming through town.
Dylan: (nothing)
Baez: (smiling embarassedly) What do you think it would have been like if we'd gotten married?
[she switches wine glasses with him]
Dylan: I dunno. I haven't changed that much. Have you?
Baez: (smiling, as we hear her voice singing 'The Madonna was yours for free') Maybe.

We then see the Gypsy complimenting Joan on the dress. "She looks like a bride, she's gonna get married today!"

Dylan and Baez are walking through the snow. This scene is a flashback showing how Dylan traded her for Harry Dean Stanton's horse. A sad "If You See Her Say Hello" is playing in the background. Dylan spots a horse, and asks a boy who it belongs to. He finds Stanton and forces Baez to go into his cabin so he can steal the horse.

We now see a horse pulling the Woman In White's carriage. The Woman In White is now Sara again (more cubism).

Baez and Stanton in the cabin. She tells him how she couldn't make Renaldo happy.

Dylan and the band performing "Romance in Durango". This song echoes the horse-trading scene when Dylan sings:

"Sold my guitar to the baker's son
for a few crumbs and a place to hide
but I can get another one
and I'll sing for Magdalena as we ride"

Note also the character in the song named Ramon (Steve Soles character).

Sam Shepard and Sara (without wig) talking about their 'relationship'. Sara says she'd stay if he'd ask her the right way, but she can't tell him what the right way is. Music is heard which could be either "Ballad in Plain D", "One Too Many Mornings", "If You See Her Say Hello" or "Oh Sister" (in fact they all are rather similar musically). Eventually the song becomes "One Too Many Mornings", a very sad version. As is true elsewhere in this film, we hear a sad, sensitive song about love while the man in the scene is treating a woman callously. Sam and Sara argue. He says "We don't have to talk about love, do we?" She says he treats her like an amulet. They can't come to any resolution, and she leaves unhappily to make a phone call from a phone booth on the street. In another example of the cubist editing that is so unique to this film, we see Sara's call answered by someone in Walter Yentikoff's CBS office, who says "Yes, I'm with Bob." We then see Dylan standing in the office, as well as a Nashville Skyline poster and a paper that reads "How to Survive the Bad Times". Sara hangs up. Sam tells her, "All I can see is this has been a big mistake."

In the bordello, several brunettes including Joan and Sara are dressed as hookers. Sara (wearing a surprisingly revealing red nighty) and another woman tease Allen Ginsberg, who has shaven his beard and now resembles Cheech from Cheech and Chong. David Mansfield talks to girls on a couch as Ginsberg, pretending to be heterosexual, tries to come on to a woman. She has ego protection jewelry, which he says he needs. He wants to 'watch', and watches Rob Stoner kissing an unidentified brunette. Then Rob Stoner is angry about something and smashes an object against a wall.

Rob Stoner and Bob Dylan are in a studio screaming the last verse to "House of the Rising Sun" (a song, of course, about a bordello). They are really rocking, but when the song ends Dylan suddenly looks away as if irritated by Stoner, who watches nervously. Perhaps Dylan is annoyed because Stoner sang 'many a young boy' instead of 'many a young girl', thus revealing that he's more familiar with the Animals' version than with Dylan's.

Rob Stoner dressed as Gene Vincent walks out onto an empty stage.

Dylan and the band play "One More Cup Of Coffee". Intercut to another brunette holding a rose.

Dylan gets his palm read in a hotel, with others around.

Back in the Senior Citizen's center from Part I, Allen Ginsberg is reading from "Kaddish", his painful poem (he considers it his best work) about his mother's horrific descent into insanity. At his mention of "the long black beard around your vagina", we cut to the old Gypsy lady, now a mother figure, gently massaging Ginsberg's forehead as if healing him of his pain. This bit of editing -- having the Gypsy heal Ginsberg from the events of "Kaddish" -- is one of the more touching moments in the film. She slaps his forehead, perhaps a Gypsy practice, and Ginsberg smiles appreciatively, as a slap on the head is also significant for Zen Buddhists. She then says "He's a nice man", but says he's too careless with money.

Dylan and Ginsberg at Jack Kerouac's grave in Lowell. They discuss graves they've each seen. Cut to the spy from the train (the fat dude with glasses and an earring), who now walks through the hotel with a lantern (actually movie lights) like a death figure while Ginsberg chants "the skull is ugly". We then see Ginsberg's beard getting shaved off.

McGuinn leads the band in a rockin' instrumental version of "8 Miles High". Joan Baez comes on stage and goes into a wild dance. She's a surprisingly good dancer for a folksinger. McGuinn then begins singing "Chestnut Mare."

We now see Renaldo and Clara (Sara in Sophia Loren wig) together for the first time. He is playing guitar and she's all over him. We also see scenes of the bordello, though Renaldo and Clara are no longer there.

The Woman In White (WIW), now and for the remainder of the film Joan Baez, arrives in her carriage and walks upstairs to where Renaldo and Clara are making out. She confronts them, looking like a woman scorned. Clara says "Who's she?"

Dylan with the band singing "Sara" on stage. One verse is changed from the "Desire" version:

"Sleeping in the woods by a fire in the night
When you fought for my soul against the odds
I was too young to know that you were doing it right
And you did it with strength that belonged to the Gods"

The fur-clad woman announcer from Part I is still interviewing Ronnie Hawkins as Bob Dylan. An unidentified brunette comes up and is introduced as Mrs. Dylan to the cheering crowd.

David Blue, still playing pinball, talks about how Dylan really has a wife and family. Despite the ridiculous hype, "he lives like a human being".

Baez/WIW watches as Dylan/Renaldo and Sara/Clara start to make love. Baez/ WIW holds a rose. In the background, we hear Dylan and Baez harmonizing on "The Water Is Wide". At first Clara doesn't believe Baez/WIW knows Renaldo, but then Baez/WIW reads a letter Renaldo wrote. From the song in the background we hear "But love is old, and waxes cold, and fades away like morning dew." Dylan/Renaldo is caught in his adultery and looks like a guilty child. Sara/Clara and Baez/WIW do not seem surprised that he is guilty, but they begin to interrogate him. He gives evasive answers, similar to the answers Dylan always gives to reporters. Scenes of Dylan and Ginsberg in the cemetery at Lowell are intercut with this. We also see the band on stage without Dylan singing "Catfish", Dylan's song about the Yankees pitcher Catfish Hunter. Baez/WIW and Clara have now struck up a friendship as Renaldo looks uncomfortable. Baez says "Ten years I knew him and he never gave me a straight answer". He says "I'm a brother to you both." Baez, smirking, says "He'll never have to make another decision as long' as he lives."

Dylan sings a song I can't identify in the background as we see shots of a train and, again, of the bordello. Rob Stoner, playing Gene Vincent, compains to Dylan and others that he originated rock and roll and "they took everything from cats like me." Joan Baez is singing Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne."

As "Suzanne" continues to play, we see that Baez/WIW is preparing to leave Renaldo and Clara's room. She has a poignant, defiant smile. She drops her rose and Renaldo picks it up and hands it to her. Then Renaldo and Clara begin making love again.

Baez and Dylan on stage singing Johnny Ace's "Never Let Me Go". It's a nice love song, but when Dylan looks away for a moment Baez pantomimes kicking him in the butt and he turns around unexpectedly and catches her, looking quizically at her.

Back in the room after WIW/Baez leaves, Clara is saying that WIW is frigid and probably barren. As Baez/WIW walks sadly away we see Harry Dean Stanton in the stairway making out with yet another brunette. Back in the room, Renaldo/Dylan begins to put white makeup on his face, preparing for the evening's show.

Folks still talking in the diner.

Dylan on stage sings a solo "Tangled Up In Blue" -- one of the versions with transposed pronouns. This song, like this film, presents identities that merge into each other. Ultimately you are not meant to sort out who is who, as in Picasso's cubist paintings.

Dylan and Ginsberg in a playground near cemetery in Lowell. Ginsberg asks children what God looks like, confusing them with questions.

A studio dance scene with Baez (I think) and Ginsberg and two others. Piano music is playing. Ginsberg dances with surprising grace given his physique. The music turns to a rock beat and the dance goes on.

Dylan and band members in a men's room in a train station. They talk to another woman (guess what color her hair is?)

Rob Stoner, in a hotel lobby, tells the camera he doesn't remember his dreams.

Dylan and band on stage sing "Just Like A Woman" with a cowboy-hatted Ronee Blakely singing harmonies. After the song they pause (the only onstage segue in the film) and go into "Knocking on Heaven's Door". Scarlet Rivera wears black widow makeup on her face. Roger McGuinn sings harmony.

The next-to-last scene has Dylan walking offstage into a room marked "PRIVATE". We see Joan Baez talking to a group of people and then see Dylan alone, lying on the floor of his dressing room with his guitar next to him, apparently exhausted.

Finally, an unidentified black lounge singer is singing an incredibly corny song about "castles in the shifting sands, in a world that no-one understands, 'tis the morning of my life." The final credits roll.

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