The video for Bob Dylan's new single, "Duquesne Whistle," is half light-hearted romantic comedy-type fare. A handsome young man flirtatiously chases, and dances, after a pretty young woman. It feels like a Volkswagen commercial. The other half of the video is different altogether. That part, the dark side as we'll call it, features police chases, a guy falling off a ladder, a kidnapping, several beatings, and a hallucination. All while Dylan scratchily warbles over a catchy, upbeat tune.
Director Nash Edgerton - who, if my eyes don't deceive me, cast his almost movie star brother Joel as one of the thugs – does a nice job of keeping the whole thing light and weird, even when it turns violent. But then again, what else would you expect from a director who was once Ewan McGregor's stunt double in the awful Star Wars prequels?
Dylan is also in the video, if briefly. He's walking around the city with some sort of LA street gang, and interacts with the video's unlucky protagonist exactly once, when the troubadour steps over the protagonist’s bloodied and unconscious body.
What's it all mean? Your guess is definitely as good as mine. But, if we're being extremely literal here, which is always good to do with Dylan, the moral is: never try to give a girl a flower while she's in her car, or else you'll end up maced, arrested, kidnapped, beaten and, eventually, hallucinating while unconscious on the street.
Check out the video at Rolling Stone.