Dead Man

  • 120'
  • USA
  • 1995

Dead Man is an original variation on the indestructible genre of the western. The film encompasses the journey of a man young in spirit and body, Bill Blake (Johnny Depp), to unknown regions. He travels to the far western border of America, some time in the second half of the 19th century. Blake is lost and severely injured when he meets a strange outcast native American called ‘Nobody’ who in turn believes that Blake is really the dead English poet of the same name. The story transports Blake to both comic and violent situations and he is aided by Nobody. Against his nature, Blake is forced to become an outlaw and murderer; he feels the physical world slowly slide away from under him.

All of Jim Jarmusch’s previous films have been screened in Rotterdam and with Dead Man he made his first ‘historical’ film. It is a fine display of good and pretty well-known actors. Jarmusch chose the Western as starting point because of the open form and the fact that the genre is bound up with America. He himself describes his film as “a black-and-white-psychedelic-micro-epic”.

Director
Jim Jarmusch
Country of production
USA
Production Year
1995
Festival Edition
IFFR 1996
Length
120'
Medium
35mm
Language
English
Producer
Demetra J. MacBride
Production Company
12-Gauge Productions
Sales
The Match Factory GmbH
Screenplay
Jim Jarmusch
Cinematography
Robby Müller
Editor
Jay Rabinowitz
Production Design
Bob Ziembicki, Marit Allen, Ted Berner
Music
Neil Young
Cast
Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Lance Henriksen, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, Iggy Pop, Mili Avital