Dead Man

Director: Jim Jarmusch

U.S.A-Germany-Japan| 1995. Black and white. Dolby stereo SR. 121 min.

Described by critic Greil Marcus as ‘the last great American ?lm of the twentieth century’, Dead Man is, simply put, Jarmusch’s masterpiece. Sadly, it remains barely seen in the US because, according to movie lore, Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein declined to distribute it properly after the director refused to make cuts. Bless him. This utterly unique period western is part cinematic tone poem, part state of the nation address. A radiant Johnny Depp plays William Blake, a citi?ed milquetoast who, somewhat inadvertently, ends up mortally wounded and on the run from a gang of vicious bounty hunters. His guide for this increasingly surreal journey? Native American reject Lucky (Gary Farmer), who remains convinced he’s in the company of Blake’s namesake, the visionary English poet. A freewheeling, bleakly comedic journey into oblivion, Dead Man’s splendid supporting cast features everyone from Robert Mitchum to Iggy Pop. A stunning achievement by any standard.

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