Dead Man (1995)

R   |    |  Drama, Fantasy, Western


Dead Man (1995) Poster

On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a strange Native American man named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spiritual world.

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7.7/10
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  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)
  • Lance Henriksen in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp and Mili Avital in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)
  • Johnny Depp in Dead Man (1995)

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Director:

Jim Jarmusch

Writer:

Jim Jarmusch

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20 September 2006 | auberus
8
| When Jim Jarmush re-visit the "western genre", he does so with poetry
Originally from Cleveland, William Blake gets a job as an accountant in a place called "Machine Town". Already in the train that takes him to the Dickinson wood factory an "unknown guy" warn him against the place he is going to. It is not fortune that awaits him but Death. Indeed the first night in "Machine Town", Blake is shot at and wounded. From this point on start a long journey of wandering in company of Nobody, an Indian and a philosopher.

This black and white film is mesmerizing. Obviously the black and white marks a rupture between what you are used to…So in essence this rupture is between let say classic Western and Jim Jarmush western as he re-visit the genre. It is also a way to keep the audience to what is essential…Color is a filter that can distract you, the sobriety of black and white will not.

But what exactly is essential in that movie? Beside the fact that Mr. Jarmush depict a brutal and impulsive America, the movie opposes a new born civilization that is already collapsing and a dying one that is still shining…But more than that the journey of William Blake is a metaphoric and circular voyage from misunderstanding to certitude. The guide Nobody, himself trapped between the two civilizations can not provide a cure to the passing man but may very well provide a path to a curing one. This journey from Machine Town, the "anti chamber" of hell to the sea, first step to Heaven is tremendously poetic and emotional. Also emotional is the evolution from misunderstanding to comprehension between Nobody and William Blake who eventually settles on what is essential reaching a common ground, clarity…

Help by a haunting and beautiful score from Neil Young and an extraordinary cast the film succeed in transforming the wood wagon of hell in which William Blake embarks to the wooden vessel to heaven in which he will lie.

One of the best films from Mr. Jarmush, Dead Man manages to take the audience in one of cinema most poetic journey…

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