In his new video for “The Night We Called It a Day,” Bob Dylan plays a murderer, a jealous lover, a backstabber, a flustered man on the lam. He carries a revolver, double-crosses his best friend, conspires with a woman half his age and races away from pistol-toting cops.
The clip for a song taken from the Bard’s new album of standards, “Shadows in the Night,” casts it as the score to a black-and-white film noir called “The Night We Called It a Day.” Set in what appears to be the whiskey bar Seven Grand in downtown Los Angeles – note the neon sign for Mexican eatery Mas Malo in the opening sequence, and the bar’s wood framework – Dylan plays one corner of a love triangle chasing a burlesque dancer named Edith. In an establishing scene, we watch as Dylan does a shot of tequila, whiskey, love or some-such with what seems to be a dear friend. From there, acrimony and blood flow.
Directed by Nash Edgerton, the clip is the first from “Shadows in the Night,” and highlights a Matt Dennis- and Tom Adair-penned standard that’s been recorded by artists including Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Milt Jackson & John Coltrane and Diana Krall. A song that wallows in that horrible moment when heartbreak is fresh and raw, Dylan and Edgerton transform the work until it's about the night Dylan committed one homicide and conspired in another. The closing sequence sees our perpetrator speeding away in a black sedan, armed and dangerous. Watch it below.
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