On 12.24 World of Reel‘s Jordan Ruimy alerted his readers to a tweeted announcement by director James Mangold (Walk The Line, Ford vs. Ferrari, Indy 5). The big news is that Mangold’s troubled Bob Dylan biopic, widely known as Going Electric, has a new title — A Complete Unknown.
Which sounds decent or semi-acceptable (it’s taken from Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone“) until it hits you that Martin Scorsese‘s No Direction Home (’05), a landmark doc about Dylan, also took its title from “Like A Rolling Stone” and in fact from the same chorus — “How does it feel, how does it feel? / To be on your own, with no direction home / A complete unknown, like a rolling stone.”
In short, Mangold’s title sounds lazy. His Dylan biopic is already covering the same territory as Scorsese’s film (the early ’60s folky troubadour years, ending with the 1966 motorcycle accident). He clearly needs to poach another Dylan lyric, but which?
HE suggestions: (a) The Ghost of Electricity (obvious allusion to the original title), (b) Darkness At The Break of Noon, (c) Shelter From The Storm, (d) All Along The Watchtower, (e) Simple Twist of Fate, (f) My Weariness Amazes Me.
Any of these six would make for a fascinating, catchy title — the only problem is that they might seem a bit too poetic for the dumbasses. Other suggestions? Remember that the title has to suggest something about the difficulty of change and finding a new direction.
Seriously, my favorite is The Ghost of Electricity followed by My Weariness Amazes Me.