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Directed by Jim Jarmusch

United States 1995 121 mins. In English

Few cinematic collaborations have been more perfectly cast than Dead Man, Jarmusch’s legendary, incendiary “psychedelic Western.” The film follows William Blake (Johnny Depp), a downcast Cleveland accountant heading West to a new job. Rebuffed immediately, Blake quickly becomes embroiled in domestic scandal and is forced to flee, taking up with Nobody (Gary Farmer), a Native American man who confuses Blake for the poet of the same name, and is compelled to lead him to the spirit world. Meanwhile, figures as diverse as Crispin Glover, Robert Mitchum, Iggy Pop, and Billy Bob Thornton appear along the journey. Featuring luminous black-and-white cinematography by longtime Jarmusch and Wim Wenders collaborator Robby Müller and an improvised electric guitar soundtrack by Neil Young, Dead Man is a masterpiece of languid mood and dissonance. “This is the Western Andrei Tarkovsky always wanted to make. Even the references to [William] Blake are justified. It’s a visionary film.”—J. Hoberman, The Village Voice.

Genres: Psycadelic, Western

Appears in: 2017 on Celluloid



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.