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DEAD MAN Jim JarmuschRobert MitchumJohnny Depp Cult Western DVD Blu-ray NEW
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This disappointment from Jim Jarmusch stars Johnny Depp in a mystery-Western about a 19th-century accountant named William Blake, who spends nearly all his money getting to a hellish mud town in the old West and ends up penniless and doomstruck in the wilderness. A benevolent if goofy Native American (Gary Farmer) takes an interest in guiding Blake on a quest for identity in his earthly journey, but the film is really just a string of endless shtick about inbred woodsmen, dumb lawmen, and a trio of irritable killers. With Robert Mitchum, Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, Alfred Molina, and a noodling soundtrack by Neil Young. --Tom Keogh
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Let me be clear; this is one of the most beautiful westerns I have ever seen with a brilliant rasping guitar soundtrack by Neil Young that captures the film's essence entirely. The black and white photography and camera placement and eye for natural beauty laced with desperate ugliness reminds me of the clarity of the Japanese cinema of Mizoguchi, and particularly the waving bamboo leaves in Shindo's 'Onibaba'.
In addition to the brilliant direction and a cracking script from Jim Jarmusch and the photographic genius of Robby Muller we have a cast that includes Johnny Depp (hey, just think how hard it is to die over an entire film!). The great Robert Mitchum, John Hurt and even a comic Shakepearean cameo with Billy Bob Thornton and Iggy Pop, as well as the beautiful Mili Avital as Thel Russell-the ultimate femme fatale with the paper roses!
Equally the three doomed killers provide lots of bizarre comic moments.
The arrival of William Blake (Johnny Depp) into town and the scene leading to his meeting with Dickinson (Robert Mitchum) is one of the best depictions of the dystopia of the alleged Wild West I have ever seen as well as one of the few insights into the horrors of the American Industrial Revolution. I highly recommend this film if you enjoy watching literate, subtle, well crafted and intelligent films.
Dead Man appeals to me because it is striving to be an authentic Western. I think its the only Western I've seen where a horse relieves itself. Everybody is desperate for a smoke. The town of Machine is an iron-works out in the sticks. I don't remember seeing a cow...
The haunting music by Neil Young compliments the spare plot and barren backwoods. Nature is not forgiving here and there are moments of quite shocking violence.
I love the way the Indian village has been researched and represented. Again, apart from Mohicans almost every Indian in the movies has been a Plains Indian living in teepees. Using a Macah village is really quite different and authentic looking.
This is a movie that's worth buying. I have watched it about three times over 5 years or so and it stands repeated viewing. The aura of mystery and Johhny Depp's innocence work.
Its a simple story about a man (Johnny Depp/William Blake)who after travelling west across america, to the frontier for work, finds the job has been taken and he is alone in a strange land. After getting involved in murder he is on the run (wounded/dying)in the big expanse of the American Wild West.
He is befreinded by 'Nobody' a native American who will be his spirit guide from this world to the next! (Far out!) - from this point onwards the film just gets better and better. Its funny, Strange, well acted, has a stella cast including Iggy Pop, John Hurt, Robert Mitchum (yes - ROBERT MITCHUM!)and many others.
Its the perfect vehicle for Johnny Depp and Neil Young who is in charge of the soundtrack (I'm listening to it now!)its haunting, beautiful, angry and sparse. This film is a must see for anyone with a soul, who is sick of Hollywood big screen crap. This film is intelligent and moving. Though maybe i'm biased as I enjoy, westerns, johnny depp/jim jarmusch movies (most of them) and Neil Young - i'm in heaven. Go on try it... 'Some are born to sweet delight... some are born to endless night.'
Most recent customer reviews
A triumph of style over content, passable framing and value cinematography. Tarantino would love it.