"The Dead Do not Die": reopened tombs

Welcome to Centerville, that is to say nowhere, his ironic absence of center, his having dinner with floral curtains, his morgue station, his funeral parlor, his old school motel "to the Psychosis" its service station held by a geek adept of stories of the undead, his farmer racist, its woods surveyed by a vaguely survivalist vagabond: when the end of the world will come quietly, we will not see it coming, it was already brewing everywhere for a long time. The Dead Do not Die, 13e Jim Jarmusch's film, which opens the Cannes Film Festival under the half-ferocious joke of a zombie apocalypse, re-enacts the strolled ballad of the elegy for a smalltown on an air of age-old americana who tirelessly chants the story.

Pamphlet. Everyone knows the song, its performer (country singer Sturgill Simpson) and, from the first scenes, the two cops from the corner that camp Bill Murray and Adam Driver have this placid exchange: "This song is strangely familiar to me …" "That's normal, it's the title track of the movie." And when, the disordered nature and the Earth deviated from its axis by blindly overexploiting its resources, the dead will come out of their rest to come and chew what remains of life around, nobody will be surprised in addition to measure, for having already seen it a thousand times in the cinema. This mirror regularly stretched by the fictional beings to the actors who play them smoothly, without jostling, strengthens the disaffected detachment and the zombie train of the fable, both pamphlet against a trumpiste America with ideals already rotting and joyous fair of notoriety cool to which is invited all that the circle of the director counts more or less friendly stars: besides the protagonists already mentioned, Tom Waits in filthy hermit, Tilda Swinton in japonizing embalmer, Chloë Sevigny in timid flick, Steve Buscemi in supremacist farmer , RZA in "Wu-PS" delivery, Iggy Pop more unearthed, Selena Gomez, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones …

If the familiar figures of the work of Jarmusch abound here well beyond the sumptuous casting, we can especially see in The Dead Do not Die a form of indolent concretion of the two previous films of the American filmmaker, without finding quite the inspiration, the superb Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson. From one, he takes again the jumble of fetishes cherished by the overabundance of dust and memory, on the other, the internal rhymes and repetitions supported on the background of banality of a city without quality, to engage in an actualization all personal, in the Trump state of things, the legacy of George A. Romero and his very political zombies, reflections of living passions and activities of the already-dead who are unaware. Here, the undeads look for wi-fi, groan "Chardonnaaaay" or "Coffeeee" so much so that we would swear they did not miss anything from the last season of Twin Peaks and the adventures of Dougie Jones, and the others do not appear less in loop, all with the repetition of references underlined by the marker and sardonic-laconic sentences on a world which stutters by strangling itself in its deleterious routine – "You have to kill your head," serine Adam Driver, between two "It's going to end badly," and in fact, one must not be quite of this world to escape the invasion.

Teenage comforters. That this fun The Dead Do not Die and his despair all stars do not constitute the most crucial addition to Jarmusch's recent filmography, which goes to his heart quite well, as the film is conceived as the tautological farce of a too old world, "rotten", signed by a filmmaker himself more young and yet dumbfounded to see himself still clinging to his teenage toys (rock and cinema, become mechanical materials to death) for ultimate consolation at the time of the liquidation of "Vestiges of the materialistic men".

Julien Gester


Opening Film – In Competition

The dead do not die of Jim Jarmusch, with Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Tilda Swinton, Chloë Sevigny, … 1 h 43. In theaters.

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