"You've got yesterday, today and tomorrow all in the same room. There's no telling what can happen," he muses late in the film, at once paraphrasing Dylan (from a 1978 interview about his songwriting style) and succinctly summarizing the Möbius-strip structure of Haynes' film. And so the most lasting image of I'm Not There may well be its last, in which the Kid picks up Woody Guthrie's guitar and hops yet another boxcar, as a train pulls down the line and a soulful harmonica blows its ageless tune.
I'm Not There was directed by Todd Haynes; Written by Haynes and Oren Moverman. Now playing at Edwards University Town Center, 4245 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-8818.