DEAD MAN interview 1995
STARS JOHNNY DEPP
and GARY FARMER
(edited under fair use)
AMERICAN-BORN international artist & director Jim Jarmusch has numerous film-making efforts to his credit. DEAD MAN, THIS CERTAIN COLLABORATION with Depp as the protagonist showcases a stunning turn by Gary Farmer, guide for our hero back to the spirit world.
We all get a taxi. No charge.
Why did you decide to make a film concerning death?
Death is life’s only certainty, and at the same time its greatest mystery. For Bill Blake, the journey of DEAD MAN represents life. For Nobody, the journey is a continuing ceremony whose purpose is to deliver Blake back to the spirit-level of the world. To him, Blake’s spirit has been misplaced and somehow returned to the physical realm. Nobody’s non-western perspective that life is an unending cycle is essential to the story of DEAD MAN.
Why William Blake, the poet?
William Blake was an English visionary poet, painter, printer and inventor. His work was revolutionary, and he was imprisoned for his ideas. I can’t honestly cite a specific, concrete reason why he entered my script, except that while I was reading books by Native Americans on Native American thought, it struck me that many of Blake’s ideas and writings sounded as though they could have come from the soul of a Native American. This is particularly true of Blake’s PROVERBS FROM HELL and AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE which, along with other fragments of Blake’s poetry, are quoted by the character Nobody throughout the film.
Jarmusch, originally from Akron, OH has a long resume of excellent indie film. Some would say, like it or not… At 59, he continues to prove his versatility every day. Here he is with composer Jozef Van Wissem, a minimalist noise, Jarmusch on guitar, oddly plodding and methodical.
Well, melodious lets hope.
The album was released FEB 2012.
a propos, it is entitled
A crown jewel, then, like an opus,
attempts to encapsulate someone,
but in the film
It’s Nobody’s Business
Jarmusch claims an unknown, spontaneous purpose drove him to attach the Western ideals of Blake to the Indian realm, as if they were twin sons of some different galaxies… or as if his legacy is passing on all that which emboldened him, some of which isn’t even on a conscious level. OK now I’m opining. Don’t even get me started on the genius of Michael Wincott, who will not shut up, it’s Mitchum’s final screen appearance, you get a minute and a half of John Hurt that hurts not to mention geez Billy Bob Thorton thinks it’s again his turn goddamn it, Shootin’ Gabe Byrne abruptly resolves his terrible confliction, Crispin Glover weaves a tale through the plains and our dreams, not to mention this Iggy home cookin’ fer’ gosh sakes’.
It’s a cast o’ ne’er do’wells
Alex Molina smote dead, righteously.
Burns like hellfire!
‘at is a very very sharp knife, ‘at is
It’s of course
standard fare of requisite
Jarmusch brutality, both in
pacing and starkness.
The key lime pie of filmmakers.
Tart, not for the banal.
Jarmusch’ crown jewels are hanging.
Wikiedit: In his final year at New York University, Jarmusch assisted renowned film noir icon Nicholas Ray, who was at that time teaching in the department. As Jarmusch has recounted, in showing his mentor his first script, Ray disapproved of its lack of action, to which Jarmusch responded after meditating on the critique by reworking the script to be even less eventful. On Jarmusch’s return with the revised script, Ray reacted favorably to his student’s dissent, citing approvingly the young student’s obstinate independence. Jarmusch was the only person Ray brought to work – as his personal assistant – on Lightning Over Water, a documentary about his dying years, a collaboration with Wim Wenders. Nicholas Ray died in the summer of 1979 after a long fight with cancer. A few days afterwards, having been encouraged by Ray and New York underground filmmaker Amos Poe and using scholarship funds given by the Louis B. Mayer Foundation to pay for his school tuition, Jarmusch started work on a film for his final project. The university, unimpressed with Jarmusch’s use of his funding as well as the project itself, promptly refused to award him a degree.
DEAD MAN soundtrack by Neil Young haunts
wrap it up Neil Young ’71 or so
…playing a ‘new song’
this is in G for anyone who wants to blow along, he says