Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Johnny Depp Is A Dead Man
Director Jim Jarmusch wrote this compelling script. Accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp), whose parents have died and whose fianceé has abandoned him, accepts work in the town of Machine at the end of civilization. He arrives to discover the job has been taken from him as well. After killing a man and getting seriously wounded, he falls in with a quirky Native (Gary Farmer), who calls himself "Nobody." Their pilgrimage is a parable of human destiny.
Hordes of bad Westerns have associated the genre with corniness, simplicity, and racism. Yet, this film takes "a stab" at what the art form really is: a moral fable with the wild world as battlefield between weary, wounded people hanging onto personal integrity under extreme duress and corrupted, predatory people readily sacrificing innocence plus nearby innocents for personal gain.
The arguement that real-world heroes and villians aren't so well defined is quite valid but in no way reduces the genuine need for stories that draw a line in the sand between what we must not become and what we should be "shooting for." This world offers neither a black-and-white color palette nor a black-and-white moral palette, but few of us want to see a movie or live in a reality where everything is gray. If teenagers can believe in unicorns, let adults believe in white horses and even aspire to ride them.