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Dead Man (Sous-titres français) [Import]
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1) This movie is not a mystery! 2) Johnny Depp spends his last coin buying whiskey. 3) The "hellish mud town" of Machine is on the West Coast - not Texas. (After all, it would take a while to ride by horseback from Texas to British Columbia where the Coastal Indian Tribes were located).
You may be asking yourself why I take issue with such mundane details? The answer is obvious - to prove the point that Tim Keogh wasn't even watching this movie, and therefore, has no right to review it. Simply put, Dead Man is a cinematic masterpiece! Jim Jarmusch has made a number of strong movies, but Dead Man surpasses the others as a brilliant work of art.
You can see by reading the other reviews that support for Dead Man borders on fanatical. There are few movies that I have watched repeatedly but I continue to see this one over and over again. Everything about the film is different from the conventions of Hollywood mass consumption "fast-film". The story unfolds in a slow and methodical manner and requires much attention on the part of the viewer. If you invest in it, Dead Man will repay you many times over.
If you liked Forrest Gump and The Sixth Sense then you can go see another mindless mainstream movie with Tim Keogh and the majority of the ignorant American public. If you need more than that . . . buy Dead Man. I'll bet you watch it more than once!
From the outset, we are thrown headfirst into the reality of William Blake (Johnny Depp), on his way from Cleveland to the town of Machine on a steam train, where a job as an accountant in a mill called Dickinson Metal Works awaits him. En route, he encounters a few uncomfortable situations - most notably when an un-named coal shoveller from the locomotive (Crispin Glover) sits across from him and tests his wherewithal. A memorable line comes when suddenly the passengers leap from their seats, raise their shotguns and start firing out the window, and Glover's character spouts "They're shooting buffalo, government says they shot a million of them last year alone."
Upon his arrival in Machine, Blake finds that the job he travelled for has been filled, and the mill owner (Robert Mitchum) laughs him out of the office. From there, Blake finds misfortune after misfortune, while encountering a colorful pallete of characters on the way to a bitter conclusion.
The above provides a synopsis - but it hardly evokes the stellar storytelling and visual complexity conveyed by Jarmusch and longtime cinematographer Robby Muller (whose previous work includes films with Wim Wenders and Lars Von Trier). This is an indie tour de force on the most under the radar level.Read more ›
Dead Man, no doubt, will be loathed by some as being meandering and slow. However, I'm one who was thought this was absolutely brilliant. Some would probably describe this as just the story of someone who is fatally injured right at the beginning of the film and spends the rest of the time dying - and they'd be right - but it wouldn't do justice to the amazing acting of all concerned (esp. the bounty hunters - The talkative Michael Wincott - who still manages to keep talking after being shot about 6 times, and the scary, taciturn Lance Henrikson).
Johnny Depp (Bill Blake) yet again proves what a good actor he is, he was totally believable as the accountant who finds himself penniless and adrift in an totally alien world and his slow descent from a "stupid white man" to "killer of white men".
Gary Farmer was excellent as Nobody, an English-educated Indian with a love for Williams Blake's poetry and a desire to see Blake "return" to the spirit world in the proper way. There are also some great parts played by Alfred Molina as the missionary, Iggy Pop, Bill Bob Thornton, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt etc., all of whom added to the surreal atmosphere.
The black and white photography is magical, the story is bleak, funny, shocking, uplifting and painful in equal parts.
If you like your films full of action and dont want to think too much about the plot - this one is definitely not for you. If you love films that can be interpreted on many levels, with interesting characters, great acting and wonderful photography, you may - just possibly - love this film.
Most recent customer reviews
The music is haunting. Gary Farmer steals the movie even with so many big-name actors in the cast. The script is spartan but effective.Published on May 28 2013 by Diran B. Horozian
LOVE JOHNNY DEPP! LOVE WESTERNS! DEAD MAN COMBINES BOTH, STRANGE BUT INTERESTING. DEPP PLAYS HIS NAIVE CHARACTER WELL, SURVIVING HIS SOMETIMES COMICAL WILD WEST ENCOUNTERS WITH... Read morePublished on Dec 30 2011 by Melissa A. Sword
I am not a movie freak, and my DVD collection is a very exclusive one.
Jim Jarmusch's movie is a wonderfully troubling one. Read more
Right up front I'll state that I generally like movies that have well-defined plots, tell a good story, and have a satisfying ending. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2008 by Laura Knight-Jadczyk
Dead Man is not without it's faults (the main one being it really drags in a couple of places) but it should still be required study for every serious film director. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2006 by SRM
I had seen this movie several times before I bought it, and I bought it so that I could lend it to friends and then talk to them about it. Read morePublished on Nov. 16 2005 by M. Kliewer
= a trip for those who has a stomach for real movies
before i wached this movie i never thought that a filmaker could make so naturaly and axepting the trip of a human... Read more
Dead Man.... is haunting.... irritating... comic.... mesmerising... all thanks to Johnny Legend(oops), I mean Depp - and a good cast and crew.... Read morePublished on July 12 2004 by Henning Sebastian Jahre