“On June 10, two nights before Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese dropped on Netflix, I attended an event for the movie following its premiere at Lincoln Center. At the party, I got to sample reactions to the revelation that roughly 10 minutes of Scorsese’s back-to-the-’70s rock doc consists of prankish fake-documentary footage, like something out of a Christopher Guest movie.
“It wasn’t hard to gauge the reaction. In just about every case, when I asked people what they thought about the fakery, that was the very first they’d heard of it. (Unless you have extra sensory perception, you’re going to buy what this movie shows you.) Most of the people I spoke to were wide-eyed with disbelief yet kind of bummed. Over and over, they said that they felt duped, suckered, maybe even a little betrayed.
“Of the 20 or so people I had conversations with, not one said, ‘Really? That’s kind of cool!’ The fakery left no one with that Andy Kaufman feeling of awe. And this was a crowd of people who were disposed to like the movie, many of them with two or three degrees of separation from Martin Scorsese.
“The question I kept getting was, ‘Why did he do it?’ — from Owen Gleiberman‘s “Why Did Martin Scorsese Prank His Audience in Rolling Thunder Revue? Even He May Not Know,” posted on 6.15.