April 13, 2010

Motherless child

I rewatched Jarmusch's Dead Man last night. His best film? Probably. At once minimal, mystical and deadpan and a haunting template for the films about aloneness that have followed: Ghost Dog, Broken Flowers, The Limits of Control. Jonathan Rosenbaum -- one of the film's great champions -- points out that Neil Young's improvised guitar soundtrack has melodic similarities to "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child", which I think I had heard but never fully processed. Those melancholy undertows, but more raw and psychedelic here. But it is why Jarmusch's film sometimes feels like this ....