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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 May, 2003, 08:24 GMT 09:24 UK
Dylan to give Scorsese interview
Bob Dylan
The film will feature unshown footage of Dylan in the early 1960s
Bob Dylan is to give his first full interview about his influential early career in a BBC-backed documentary directed by Martin Scorsese.

The Gangs of New York director has been granted full access to the famously media-shy singer for a film examining the cultural and political impact of his music.

The programme will follow Dylan's career during the early 1960s when he rose to fame with folk hits such as Blowin' in the Wind and The Times They Are A-Changin'.

Part-financed by the BBC, it will debut on BBC Two's Arena strand and on a US Public Broadcast Service station, Thirteen/WNET in New York.

Imagine the chance to have Bob looking back at those years, with an exhaustive catalogue of concert and other footage that has never been seen
Nigel Sinclair, producer

Dylan last gave a filmed interview in 1985 and has never spoken extensively about his early career.

Scorsese said he had long been a fan of Dylan, who was featured playing live in his 1978 rock documentary The Last Waltz.

"For me, there is no other musical artist who weaves his influences so densely to create something so personal and unique," Scorsese told industry paper Variety.

"This project gives me a chance to explore one of the most exciting artists and icons of the past 50 years."

Bob Dylan
Dylan rarely gives interviews to the media
The documentary will cover Dylan's mid-1960s transition from folk hero to fully fledged rock star.

It will show how he alienated his earlier fans by swapping his acoustic roots for an electric guitar and full band.

The programme looks at Dylan's work up to 1966 when he was injured in a motorcycle accident and moved out of the limelight.

Producer Nigel Sinclair, from Spitfire Pictures, said the documentary would include original footage, including Dylan's first performance on the electric guitar.

He said: "Imagine the chance to have Bob looking back at those years, with an exhaustive catalogue of concert and other footage that has never been seen, and Martin Scorsese to interpret it and make it his authored story."

Dylan is also the subject of a biopic being made by Far From Heaven director Todd Haynes.

Seven actors, including a woman and an 11-year-old black boy, will portray Dylan at different stages of his five-decade career.

Arena editor Anthony Wall said: "This is a great moment, Martin Scorsese directing a film about Bob Dylan is history in its own right. It goes without saying that this is a truly exciting venture.

"It will be a great privilege to work with Scorsese."

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