Jarmusch’s career took a decisive turn with what has come to be recognized as his masterpiece: a hypnotic, parable-like revisionist Western about the spiritual rebirth of a dying 19th-century accountant (Johnny Depp) named William Blake (no relation—or is there?). Guiding Blake through a treacherous landscape of U.S. Marshals, cannibalistic bounty hunters, shady missionaries, and cross-dressing fur traders is Nobody (Gary Farmer), a Plains Indian who becomes, over the course of the film, one of the most fully realized Native American characters in recent cinema. (Jarmusch peppered the film with in-jokes and untranslated bits of dialogue aimed squarely at Native American viewers.) For all its metaphysical trappings, Dead Man doubles as a barbed reflection on America’s treatment of its indigenous people and a radical twist on the traditional myth of the American West.

Screening with:

Neil Young – Dead Man Score
Jim Jarmusch | 5m

  • Directed By Jim Jarmusch
  • 1995
  • USA/Germany/Japan
  • 35mm
  • 121 minutes