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Film Festival Provides First Glimpse of Bob Dylan Archive

Kelly Burley / KOSU
Julie Watson interview Michael Chaiken, curator of the Bob Dylan Archive.

“When you’ve got nothin’, you’ve got nothin’ to lose.”
“Behind every beautiful thing, there’s some kind of pain.”
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

His words and music are said to have changed American culture and he’s been described as the spokesman for a generation. And now, Bob Dylan’s collection of words, music and artistry is being permanently gathered and assembled in Tulsa – for the benefit of researchers and fans alike.

Dylan fans are set to get a first taste of the cultural icon’s collection of words, music and artistry. The Dylan on Film Festival kicks off tonight at 7 p.m. at Circle Cinema in Tulsa with the world premiere of the 10th anniversary edition of 'No Direction Home,' a documentary film that explores the life of Bob Dylan and his impact on American music and culture.

Michael Chaiken is curator of the Dylan Archive. He says it makes sense to tie the Dylan films to the public’s first glimpse of the collection because of the non-traditional scope of the content.

“I would say 50 percent of Bob’s archive are his papers, his original manuscripts and his typescripts, and his drafts and notebooks and stuff. But the other half of it are his studio recordings, all of his concert recordings, tons of film material. I mean they’ve been filming Bob since the early 60’s so that’s a huge part of the archive.”

In all there are some 6,000 pieces in the Dylan collection, which was acquired earlier this year by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The Dylan on Film festival runs through Saturday and will also include screenings of 'Don’t Look Back,' featuring a discussion with legendary director D.A. Pennebaker, '65 Revisited' and 'Eat the Document.'

Tickets and more information are available at bobdylanarchive.com or circlecinema.com.

Kelly Burley served as KOSU Director from September 2007 to May 2019. In 2007, Burley returned to public radio after more than four years as Associate State Director for AARP Oklahoma. Burley first joined KOSU in 1990, first as a reporter, then news director and eventually program director. During that time, he won three Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association, the National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. Kelly lives in Stillwater with his wife, Lisa. He has two grown children, Clint and Kara.
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