Jim Jarmusch’s utterly bizarre 1995 ‘Acid Western’ Dead Man is the subject of this episode, featuring Johnny Depp at his height as a tenderfoot traveling into the Frontier and also, potentially, the reincarnation of the poet William Blake. Shot in B&W and featuring a unique Neil Young soundtrack, Dead Man defies easy description and is a strong contender for strangest film we’ve covered on the show. And while I reveled in the unusual, avant-garde style and philosophical explorations, Dad found the whole thing remarkably interminable, a word that will come up more than a few times when describing the experience of watching it! Real split decision on this one. Topics of conversation include solipsism, the most likely interpretation of the film (involving a soul’s journey from life to death), the gorgeous desolation captured on film, the huge list of entertaining and confusing cameos the film boasts (Robert Mitchum! Crispin Glover! Iggy Pop!), the moments of shocking violence or striking dream imagery, Neil Young’s aggressively atonal and divisive score, the value of confrontational art, and the validity of Acid Western as a categorization. There’s also some good car horns in the background for you! Can’t be helped sometimes, my street’s a disaster lately.
Letting you in on the behind the scenes drama a bit here, we had some internet issues while recording this, and one thing that got lost by the way side was Other Things We’ve Seen Lately! For the record, I saw the new Thor movie (funny!) and the new Justice League movie (boring!), and I assume Dad watched the Seahawks season kind of start slipping away. Come visit us online at westernswithdad.com and email any episode recommendations or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and why not come by iTunes and leave us a rating or review? It improves our visibility! On the next episode, we’ll be talking about both versions of the Western classic, True Grit!
Dead Man was directed by Jim Jarmusch and stars Johnny Depp, Gary Farmer, Lance Henriksen, Michael Wincott and a whole bunch of other people.