Dead Man
1996
Only Jim Jarmusch could direct a Western like this: a poetry-loving American Indian mistakes accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) for the English writer by the same name, while bounty hunters take Blake for a murderer. Jarmusch packs his independent-minded film with an unlikely collection of castmates, including Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt -- and Robert Mitchum, in one of his final big-screen roles.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

I appreciate the dreamlike black & white photography that made the towns seem artificial. I like Neil Young's raw, jangling musical score. I laughed at Johnny Depp's perplexity and the allusions to William Blake's poetry. The first act and especially the second act of the film are funny, daring, and eye-opening, but the film's slowness gets the better of it in the final act. Look, I know what the film is trying to suggest about the hero giving up his bodily form and achieving a higher plane and all that, but the march through the Native American village plays like the film is trying to demonstrate what eternity feels like. It wastes what little momentum the film had been building as it drifts off to a limp conclusion. Were there not other, more entertaining ways to get the point across?

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