Dead Man is a movie in black and white that was released in 1995. It was written and directed by Jim Jarmusch
The movie starts with the young and seemingly rather naive William Blake who travels by train to the town of Machine in the Wild West, where he has been promised a job. Upon arrival in the middle of nowhere it turns out that there is no job and William ends up in the local saloon and afterwards, somehow, in the bed of a beautiful lady. The next morning however he is discovered there by a huge man who does not agree with him being there and proceeds to shoot him, in the process also killing the girl. With a bullet next to his heart and somehow having managed to kill the brute, William flees into the wilderness.
From here on the story becomes ever more surrealistic. Blake meets a Native American called Nobody. Nobody thinks Blake is William Blake the famous poet, and accompagnies him on his journey into nothingness. Although Blake himself seems to be hardly aware of what is going on, Nobody seems to have a rather detailed idea of what should be done. Meanwhile, there is a price on Blake's head and he is chased by bounty hunters...
Dead Man is about an odyssey into death, where the main character, although still breathing and walking around, is in fact dead already. Somehow, Blake finds a way to cope with this destiny and in the end he almost becomes the poet that Nobody takes him for. The story is gloomy but has some moments of absurd humor. The film's atmosphere of despair and inevitability is underlined by a great soundtrack composed and played by Neil Young. There are no 'songs', just a soundscape of metallic guitar twangs that emphasizes the uneasiness you feel. Apart from all this brilliantness, the film is simply very beautiful to look at.
Some rather famous people appear in this movie: Johnny Depp as William Blake, Gary Farmer as Nobody, Iggy Pop , Gabriel Bryne, Robert Mitchum and Crispin Glover.
Dead Man is one of my favourite movies. Not only is Johhny Depp always very nice to watch, the surrealistic atmosphere grips you by the throat and doesn't let go until several hours after the movie's ended... very impressive. Unfortunately also rather hard to put into words.