Because our mascot is a turkey, and because we generally frown upon genocide, Paul and Arlo are spending Thanksgiving weekend discussing films with ties to Native American culture. For this Geek Challenge, Paul urges Arlo to watch Michael Apted’s 1992 conspiracy thriller Thunderheart, starring Val Kilmer as an FBI agent who grows to embrace his Sioux heritage. In turn, Arlo makes Paul watch Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 psychedelic Western Dead Man, wherein Johnny Depp’s iteration of William Blake takes an offbeat journey to the next life. The boys address the major caveat of both films starring white men, as well as their own lily whiteness; determine that Graham Greene and Gary Farmer walk away with their respective movies; and discuss how both films explore spiritual death and rebirth. With a bonus discussion of Apted’s documentary Incident at Oglala!
NEXT: Arlo’s having a baby. We’re going on hiatus with hopes of returning in mid-to-late January. We wish everyone a happy and, more importantly, safe holiday season. We love you.
- 00:01:00 – Intro / Guest
- 00:07:15 – Thunderheart
- 01:08:16 – Dead Man
- 02:09:36 – Outro / Next
- “The Best of Both Worlds: Otherness, Appropriation, and Identity in Thunderheart” by Sam Pack
- “FILM VIEW: One Director, Two Routes to American Indian Travail” by Caryn James, New York Times
- “Dead Man: Blake in America” by Amy Taubin, Criterion
- “Unveiling the spiritual nature of Dead Man” by Briana Berg, Cinescapade
- “The Untamed Territory of Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man” by Scout Tafoya, The Spool
- “For Native Peoples, Thanksgiving Isn’t a Celebration. It’s a National Day of Mourning” by Tonya Mosley and Allison Hagan, wbur.org
- “Grafitti Man” by John Trudell, A.K.A. Grafitti Man (1986)
- “NDN Kars” by Keith Secola, Circle (1992)