Dead Man

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For his 1995 take on classic Hollywood Westerns, Jim Jarmusch brought together the diverse talents of Johnny Depp and Gary Farmer in starring roles, as well as Crispin Glover, Iggy Pop, Robert Mitchum (in his final film role), Billy Bob Thornton, Gabriel Byrne, John Hurt, and Alfred Molina. The film tells the story of William Blake, an accountant from Cleveland who sets out to the town of Machine for work, a misadventure that soon turns him into an outlaw. Set to an eerie, improvised soundtrack by Neil Young, Dead Man constitutes a physical and mythical journey that ends as it begins. The film has attracted favorable critical reviews, with author and critic Greil Marcus calling it “the best movie of the end of the 20th century” and The New York Times’ A.O. Scott describing it as “one of the very best movies of the 1990s.”

Emily Berçir Zimmerman

“I have no desire to make films for any kind of specific audience,” the independent and uncompromising American filmmaker Jim Jarmusch has declared. “What I want to do is make films that... tell stories, but somehow in a new way, not in a predictable form, not in the usual manipulative way.”

In 1984, Jarmusch emerged from the downtown New York art scene with Stranger Than Paradise, a picaresque film made in black-and-white on a shoestring budget that won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He followed that two years later with another picaresque fable, the critically acclaimed Down by Law. In 1989, Jarmusch completed his first cinematic trilogy with the release of Mystery Train, a film that prompted Vincent Canby of The New York Times to call him the “most adventurous and arresting filmmaker to surface in the American cinema in this decade.” Jarmusch has explained that he looks at the United States “through a foreigner’s eyes” and that his ambition is to create a new cinematic language shaped by his two major influences: the world cinema of Europe and Japan, and the cinema of Hollywood. “I’m interested in finding a bridge between these,” he has said. I’d like to embrace both sides without negating one or the other.”

Dead Man
April 19, 2012, 7:30PM

EMPAC 2011-2012 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
NEFA - New England Foundation for the Arts
State of the Arts - NYSCA