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Dead Man (1995) - Plot Summary Poster

(1995)

Plot Summary

  • Dead Man is the story of a young man's journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake travels to the extreme western frontiers of America sometime in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American, named "Nobody," who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody's help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • William Blake has just lost his parents. Nothing left to lose he makes his way from Cleveland to Machin, a small town far in the west where the railroad ends. In his pockets are just some dollars and a letter promising a job as an accountant. When William arrives in Machin he must realize that he is one month too late. Dickinsons steel-works already have a new accountant. There really could be no other man more wrong in place in the wild west than William. What to do? Surprisingly William seems to make his career as a real westerner. As he shoots a man in self-defense, he needs to flee into the wilderness: westward.

    - Written by Oliver Heidelbach
  • Heading towards a metalworks factory at the edge of the known universe, a pristine, young accountant named William Blake steps into the ungodly, mechanical hell that is the town of Machine. And so begins this man's descent into purgatory...in the wrong place, at a point where time itself is nonexistent. Blake arrives in Machine after a demented, tireless train ride through what may be his own self. Spanning the beauty of epic horizons and dense forests, yet ending in the bleak misery of the barren desert, we meet this out-of-place traveler in a tiring, strange situation. His frailty is evident: alone, without a living heir, struggling to make his way amidst the freaks and grim destination that awaits. As expected, the town itself begs no welcome, as the malevolent rumors prove true, and leave Blake face to face with the dusty spines of inexorable destiny. In more ways than one, the Wild West awaits... From this point on, Blake embarks on his surrealistic journey into nothingness, as he becomes a marked man running from nearly everyone and everything. Trusting in a Native friend (appropriately named 'Nobody'), the descent into Blake's rejection is juxtaposed with the realities of a truly inescapable destiny. As such, the notions of ill fate and bad luck are separately defined alongside each other. Soon enough, however, Blake learns to cope with the road to ruin, and from his relationship with Nobody, he begins to transform into the gunslinging poet he never was.

    - Written by rik <spine@junglist.com>

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