919 Dead Man

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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Leo Realism
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Re: 919 Dead Man

#26 Post by Leo Realism » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:55 am

Is it possible that Dead Man was shot in Super35? A lot of independent productions in the 90's shot super35 to save money
No.

Back when the workflow was entirely on film, Super 35 would not be used for a film intended to be seen in 1.85:1. Super 35 was a way of achieving a 2.39:1 ratio without the need for anamorphic lenses, with the benefit that a 4:3 aspect ratio could be extracted for video tape or television without cropping. Super 35 required an additional printing step to compress the image so it would be unsqueezed by anamorphic projection lenses, a step not needed when shooting with anamorphic lenses. Due to generation loss, this would have no benefit whatsoever for a movie framed for 1.85:1.

However with digital intermediates, movies can be shot with a three-perf pulldown, which has a 25% savings of film. The native ratio of a three-perf pulldown is 1.78:1, from which one can extract 1.85:1 or 2.39:1. However, this can only be achieved with a DI, as 35mm projection is standardized as four-perf. For example, Van Sant’s Milk was shot in three-perf Super 35 with an intended ratio of 1.85:1, but a digital intermediate was needed in order to make prints.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#27 Post by JamesF » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:27 pm

GoodOldNeon wrote:The Soda Pictures release of Dead Man, which was advertised as being approved by Jarmusch himself, was presented in 1.78:1 according to this review, while the new Criterion release is listed as 1.85:1. Can anyone comment on the discrepancy?
Just to add to this a couple of weeks late - I don't know anything about the discrepancy between the two, except that we were supplied the 1.78:1 master by the licensor acting on Jarmusch's behalf, and among the long list of conditions in the contract was a very specific clause that said the picture and sound could not be messed with in any way, including changing the aspect ratio. I would say the Soda release is only nominally approved by Jarmusch - he didn't look at a checkdisc or anything like that, but he did approve the menus (another contract clause!), his company licensed us the extras, supplied the master to the sales agent and signed off the DCP based off it. That said, my assumption would be that Miramax created that old master and he might not have been heavily involved, so the aspect ratio could be something he was looking forward to correcting with Criterion. Again, only guessing though.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#28 Post by barnyard078 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:25 am

"Rarely seen footage of Neil Young composing and performing the film's score" has now been added to the list of extras.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#29 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:42 pm

Jarmusch talked about working with Neil Young when he did a Q&A for Dead Man at Lincoln Center. He's a wonderful and hilarious storyteller, I could probably listen to him for hours on end.

Here's the entire half-hour chat.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#30 Post by All the Best People » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:29 am

barnyard078 wrote:"Rarely seen footage of Neil Young composing and performing the film's score" has now been added to the list of extras.
A mood might have developed here, had it not been for the unfortunate score by Neil Young, which for the film's final 30 minutes sounds like nothing so much as a man repeatedly dropping his guitar.
- from Roger Ebert's review of the film. So he would probably not enjoy this footage.

It is maybe the least perceptive review of his I've ever read.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#31 Post by Leo Realism » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:47 am

The absence of Jonathan Rosenbaum in the supplements is a bit puzzling as he's been one of Dead Man's most vocal American champions. Since no one has posted a link to it, here is an interview he conducted with Jarmusch for Cineaste: https://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1996/ ... rmusch-tk/

And a link to his BFI monograph: https://www.amazon.com/Dead-Man-BFI-Mod ... 0851708064

The Neil Young recording session footage is probably carried over from the Miramax DVD, on which it was the sole video supplement. It has a similar flow to the super 8 behind-the-scenes reels on the DVDs of Stranger Than Paradise and Broken Flowers though is more directly comparable to the Miles Davis program on the Elevator to the Gallows DVD: a treat to see, unfortunate only for its brevity.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#32 Post by Big Ben » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:09 am

All the Best People wrote:It is maybe the least perceptive review of his I've ever read.
No there's one Ebert review out there that's way, way worse.

I haven't seen Dead Man but the film appears to be pretty divisive no? Johnathan Rosenbaum describes it as an "Acid Western" in the vein of films like El Topo. Surely the film isn't like that is it?

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#33 Post by Shrew » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:58 am

It's more in the vein of the Monte Hellman "acid westerns" like The Shooting. There are some trippy (Lynchian, particularly the opening) moments, but it's mostly grounded in the highly stylized reality of Jarmusch films with some larger than life archetypal figures. At this point, I don't think the film is all that divisive (it was the top film in one version of the forum's 90s list) even if it's not necessarily popular and took time to be fully appreciated. It's a Jarmusch film, in other words.

The score is another matter. I think it works well for the film (and contra Ebert, does create a definite mood), but it is not my thing. Yet I know some people love it.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#34 Post by cdnchris » Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:09 pm

I recall hating that score as well, though have no memory of it now (but Ebert's comment about the dropping guitar makes me chuckle). I haven't seen the film since it was released on VHS so things could have changed. I actually remember very little about the film, though recall I didn't think it was "that bad" based on how trashed it was when it was released (I recall everyone hating it) and it's one I've been meaning to revisit (was kicking myself for not picking up the old Blu-ray cheap). It was the film that pointed me to Jarmusch, though, as I wasn't familiar with him beforehand and I liked the oddness of the movie. Still all I had tracked down immediately after that was Night on Earth, which was definitely more accessible, at least for me at the time, and never got to any of his other films until much later.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#35 Post by accatone » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:01 pm

I really love the soundtrack, especially the bits in the ending/ last 30mins. It perfectly matches, though its in contrast with the historic setting, the journey of the protagonist - amazing transcendental experience! This film always reminds me about my personal aversion regarding Tarantino and that i am personally (!) still very sad that Taranatino came out as the more successful and more influential filmmaker of the 90s. I only watched minutes of Hatefull 8 on TV recently and hated the brutality and general perspective of the characters. Compared to Jarmuschs humanity, this felt like from a differnt planet.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#36 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:03 pm

Neil Young's Old Black is quite possibly my favorite sound in all of pop music, and bringing that into the film world is just one of the many pleasures of Dead Man - combined with the striking black & white photography of forests streaked with white trees, it does give the film a psychedelic dimension without feeling tied to some dated idea of the '60s.

I love this film. I didn't see it when it originally came out partly because of the poor distribution, and when I finally caught up to it years later, I had to see it twice in the same day, being unable to process what I had seen the first time. I had been binging on Western films in the months prior, and seeing it was a stunning revelation. Cinematically it seemed to bring so much that was new to the genre. At the same time it was surprisingly more true to certain aspects of Native American culture that typically get ignored in American films, and these elements were very organic to the rest of the film's sensibility - they weren't shoe-horned in like some dry cultural lesson. (The picture's final scenes with the tribe are especially potent.)

It's great this is finally getting the release it deserves, but it's been mistreated to a ridiculous extent in the U.S. - not just the initial theatrical release, but except for the first DVD pressing (which was anamorphic), every subsequent American DVD release was marred by a shoddy letterbox transfer. I think for a while it was paired with another random Western that Miramax happened to own on some cheap two-fer.
accatone wrote:I only watched minutes of The Hateful 8 on TV recently and hated the brutality and general perspective of the characters.
Hah, I had a similar reaction when I saw this in a theater, except I stuck it out until the very end and wound up hating it a whole lot more.
Last edited by hearthesilence on Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#37 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:05 pm

accatone wrote:I really love the soundtrack, especially the bits in the ending/ last 30mins. It perfectly matches, though its in contrast with the historic setting, the journey of the protagonist - amazing transcendental experience! This film always reminds me about my personal aversion regarding Tarantino and that i am personally (!) still very sad that Taranatino came out as the more successful and more influential filmmaker of the 90s. I only watched minutes of Hatefull 8 on TV recently and hated the brutality and general perspective of the characters. Compared to Jarmuschs humanity, this felt like from a differnt planet.
Uh, only one of the two directors made a movie in which one character is shown eating other characters, and it isn't Tarantino

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#38 Post by accatone » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:07 pm

domino harvey wrote:
accatone wrote:I really love the soundtrack, especially the bits in the ending/ last 30mins. It perfectly matches, though its in contrast with the historic setting, the journey of the protagonist - amazing transcendental experience! This film always reminds me about my personal aversion regarding Tarantino and that i am personally (!) still very sad that Taranatino came out as the more successful and more influential filmmaker of the 90s. I only watched minutes of Hatefull 8 on TV recently and hated the brutality and general perspective of the characters. Compared to Jarmuschs humanity, this felt like from a differnt planet.
Uh, only one of the two directors made a movie in which one character is shown eating other characters, and it isn't Tarantino
But you can see the different approach, no?

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#39 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:08 pm

The cannibal was acknowledged as a complete nut. There's nothing romantic about the violence in Dead Man, it's typically sick and twisted or at best infantile.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#40 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:12 pm

That scene was grosser than anything in a QT movie, which is why I object to one being markedly "worse" than the other-- though the directors have so little in common on the whole that I find the comparison baffling in the first place

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#41 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:18 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
accatone wrote:I only watched minutes of The Hateful 8 on TV recently and hated the brutality and general perspective of the characters.
Hah, I had a similar reaction when I saw this in a theater, except I stuck it out until the very end and wound up hating it a whole lot more.
The Hateful Eight posits a more positive, progressive, and hopeful worldview than Dead Man, and does so without painting a half dozen veneers of ironic distancing from the material over everything

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#42 Post by accatone » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:20 pm

Looks like two different world views we have here, indeed.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#43 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:21 pm

accatone wrote:Looks like two different world views we have here, indeed.
Well, by your own admission you haven't even seen one of the two films under discussion, so

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#44 Post by cdnchris » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:48 pm

I can't fault anyone for hating Hateful Eight as it is a nasty film (and I'm someone who has never actually found Tarantino's films nasty, and usually don't get the criticisms suggesting such) and it can be a hard one. But in the end I assume it was intentionally so, trying to be as "not-fun" as possible. But oddly, like you said, by the end it's actually one of his more hopeful films, and it's oddly upbeat after everything.

Also shockingly I forgot about the cannibal bit in Dead Man, so I really need to revisit that one. Has it really been more than 20 years since that was released? Jesus.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#45 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:51 pm

domino harvey wrote:The Hateful Eight posits a more positive, progressive, and hopeful worldview
This was already discussed in its own thread, but again I couldn't have disagreed with this more. I don't think we're going to find any middle ground given our differing reactions to how violence (as well as the idea of vengeance) is used throughout the whole film.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#46 Post by Big Ben » Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:55 pm

hearthesilence wrote: At the same time it was surprisingly more true to certain aspects of Native American culture that typically get ignored in American films, and these elements were very organic to the rest of the film's sensibility - they weren't shoe-horned in like some dry cultural lesson. (The picture's final scenes with the tribe are especially potent.)
I actually submitted a question to Criterion about this very issue asking Jarmusch what kind of research he did pertaining to it (Will you all have to suffer through my bullshit on the Blu-Ray? :lol: ). I grew up immersed in Native American culture and it's a source of great contention when I see it mishandled in films so often.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#47 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 2:11 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
domino harvey wrote:The Hateful Eight posits a more positive, progressive, and hopeful worldview
This was already discussed in its own thread, but again I couldn't have disagreed with this more. I don't think we're going to find any middle ground given our differing reactions to how violence (as well as the idea of vengeance) is used throughout the whole film.
I loved the film and even I can't wrap my head around this. It's incredibly cynical, and the entire centerpiece of any positive messaging it does theoretically have is a forgery for a reason

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#48 Post by knives » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:12 pm

Not to mention how the ending as well humoured as it is basically says America has no sense nor history of justice with sexism and racism dictating ideas of fair over any sense of justice.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#49 Post by greggster59 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:00 pm

I don't recall too many westerns, aside from Dead Man, that conveys the violence white men perpetrated on this land and it's indigenous population as effectively. And it accomplishes this without forfeiting Jarmusch's sense of irony and humor. One of Jarmusch's best, IMO.

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Re: 919 Dead Man

#50 Post by Big Ben » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:02 pm

knives wrote:Not to mention how the ending as well humoured as it is basically says America has no sense nor history of justice with sexism and racism dictating ideas of fair over any sense of justice.
This was my take away as well but I'll add specificity. Men, both black and white united together to cause the death of a woman.

On the Dead Man note after some quick Googling there is indeed a scene with a cannibal and another scene with a crushed head.

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