The Dead Don't Die

for a minute I almost bought into this as consciously embodying the zombification of cinema as we approach the end of history/climate apocalypse. don’t get me wrong, it would still be unsuccessful even as a sort of anti-film, because any film which rejects the medium itself is at best tedious and at worst dishonest, but at least it would have had the courage of its aesthetic convictions. in place of a reflexive condemnation of cinema’s ability to effectively mobilize against disaster (both ecological and political), which Jarmusch most likely intends this to be, what he delivers is a limp pastiche whose profound insincerity and calculated disdain for its own generic heritage deadens its ability to feel anything, and therefore to confront reality. putting Steve Buscemi in a red hat with “Keep America White Again” on it and ending with a droning voiceover on the evils of materialism does not a biting satire make, even generously assuming that both gestures are self-conscious genre parody. instead of watching this absolutely cowardly and sanctimonious shit, throw on Romero’s Day of the Dead, one of those films whose influence Jarmusch so coolly flouts and yet an infinitely funnier, meaner, and more human movie.

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