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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Dead Man
Directed by Jim Jarmusch
Buena Vista Home Entertainment 05/96 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - moments of strong violence, a graphic sex scene, some language

Independent filmmaker Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man is a visionary Western shot in black and white. Johnny Depp plays William Blake, a Cleveland accountant who arrives in a frontier town ready to start a new life only to find out that the job he was promised has been given to another man.

While he is spending the night with a woman, her lover shows up and kills her. In self defense, Blake shoots the man and flees with a bullet in his chest. Nobody (Gary Farmer), an outcast Native American who was educated in England, looks after Blake and dispenses his spiritual vision of life. They have to elude various lawmen and bounty hunters who are on his trail.

Nobody is convinced that Blake is the reincarnation of the famous English poet and sees it as his mission to usher him back to the spirit world.

Neil Young's electric guitar score punctuates this imaginative Western which includes interesting meditations upon the myth of the frontier, violence, artistic outlaws, and the plight of mistreated Native Americans. Blake's arduous journey toward death is a wonder to behold.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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