DA Pennebaker on Bob Dylan’s ‘Dont Look Back’: “We couldn’t get a distributor”

“I was interested in real people and why they did things, or how they did things. And the only way to find that out was to follow them. I didn’t know him [Dylan] that well, I didn’t know who he was really. But the idea of going with a musician on a tour and being able to photograph him – both when he performed and when he didn’t perform – that seemed to me an interesting idea.

Dylan is an interesting person to watch because he is constantly creating himself, and then standing back and trying to witness it. Some people thought he looked like a total shit, you know. I mean, people make up their own mind about what he is like from watching the film and that’s OK. I can’t change that. He was very easy, we got along fine. I mean, we’re still partners.

“The people who distributed films didn’t even want to look at it. For them, films were made with people who were very well known, celebrities … The way they were filmed was always in perfect clothes, perfect surroundings, and whenever they spoke the voices were perfectly heard. It was hard. We distributed it ourselves, we couldn’t get a distributor.” – Director DA Pennebaker on Bob Dylan’s Dont Look Back