Monday, August 19, 2019

Jim Jarmusch’s Unique Western Film, Deadman :: Movie Film Essays

Jim Jarmusch’s Unique Western Film, Deadman In Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man, he pays homage to the classic style of western films while taking his own eccentric take that puts the film in a league of its own. With a combination of elements related to the western genre and a genre Jarmusch creates all on his own, the viewer can begin to explore and appreciate the unique film, Dead Man. Although the scenery of isolated towns, mystic rivers, and endless forests is consistent with the western genre, the philosophical tone of the movie is not. The philosophy of a true western film deals a character fighting with guns to maintain honor (and of course order and justice). He kills because he has to and that is the end of it. In Dead Man, William Blake appears to be doing the same thing. He begins to use his gun for survival, but it is different. The gun actually stands for something in the film. Blake becomes a poet by the use of his gun, which mirrors the legendary American poet whose name he shares. The guns show how disgusting it is in American society to kill and Jarmusch doesn’t glamorize it in the way that Hollywood blockbusters about violence do. Further exploring the similarities on the surface, a true western always has the same type of characters and props. Blake is shown in the same outfit throughout the film much like the one outfit that a westerner wears. Blake encounters a whore in the town who is not opposed to the usage of guns, which also goes along with a whore’s values in a true western film. The town of Machine is desolate, dirty, and ruled by guns. In western movies there is always a dirty town with the same characteristics. All of those similarities are not used in the same way, however; they are used as tools to give this surface western a deeper meaning that no true western film ever explored. The themes are pessimistic as they deal with death and afterlife, rather than hope and rebirth. The killings in the movie mock the way people are killed in westerns. Blake doesn’t kill to protect his honor; he kills to survive and in turn mocks the system. Another thing that Jarmusch is mocking by using the western genre as a medium is the treatment of Native Americans. Nobody talks about how he was rejected by whites, and then rejected by his own people by growing up in the white society.

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