Almost 50 years after its release, Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”—a fairly consistent contender for the “greatest song of all time” mantle—finally has a music video, thanks, improbably enough, to the efforts of a number of Israelis. Timed to coincide with the mega-release of the entire Dylan canon, the official music video, which premiered today, is interactive and viewable online only.
Faced with a television set, viewers can use their keyboards to channel surf at their leisure between 16 channels, the contents of which are perfectly timed to the ebb and flow of the song. A History Channel documentary, a rap station, a shopping network, a cooking show, Bachelorette take-off, even Drew Carey on The Price is Right—all of the video’s participants lip sync to Dylan’s song while going through their regular motions. The centerpiece, though, is still the classic 1960s-era Dylan, as filmed by D.A. Pennebaker.
“Like a Rolling Stone” is as American as they come, but much of the talent behind this particular iteration is Israeli. The video runs on the Interlude interactive video platform, which was developed by an eponymous startup helmed by rock star Yoni Bloch, surely one of Beer Sheva’s proudest sons. The Interlude portfolio already includes award-winning videos for the likes of indie groups We the Kings and Chairlift (alongside a New Girl video with Zooey Deschanel), but this is a definite step up.
And the Israeli connection doesn’t stop there: the video’s director is Vania Heymann, the 27-year-old Jerusalemite wunderkind who left the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design after some of his homework achieved incredible YouTube success, landing him jobs directing commercials and music videos, as well as a running spot on the beloved TV show Eretz Nehederet. Though sometimes derivative, his technically brilliant work has won him countless fans.
Many others in the video’s cast and crew are Israeli as well; the Israeli Channel 2 evening news studio—and its anchorman Danny Kushmaro—even get to masquerade as the fictional BCC News.
Israel and Bob Dylan have a relationship that dates back several decades, starting with the singer’s storied days as a volunteer at kibbutz Ein Dor. Two and a half years after Dylan encored his Ramat Gan performance with “Like a Rolling Stone,” this latest collaboration is a winner.
Tal Kra-Oz is a writer based in Tel Aviv.