Dead Man’s Burden Screen 5 articles

Dead Man’s Burden


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  • Ten minutes in and we’re already deep into ’70s revisionist-oater territory... And once we see how those three characters are connected—not just through spilled blood, but by the thick red liquid running through their veins—it’s clear that Moshé has studied the Freudian horse operas of the ’50s as well. But impressive pedigree or not, there’s a distinct, distracting sense of distance among the players, their vengeful characters and the fictional world they’re in.

  • Dead Man’s Burden runs a trim 93 minutes—still probably 10-15 minutes longer than it would have back in the day—and wastes very little energy, confidently escalating the tension notch by notch. All four actors turn in sturdy, unfussy performances that do old Hollywood’s bit players proud. And the movie even looks like a proper Western, despite its low budget, thanks to Moshé’s stubborn decision to shoot it on 35mm.

  • A western with some unexpected noir elements, the film takes on two of the most iconic genres in American cinema, yet treats its story with quiet, matter-of-fact confidence, rather than overly stylizing it to align with notions of romanticized myth... Dead Man's Burden is a fine example of economical storytelling, with the action mainly relegated to the McCurry home, and a refreshing respite from filmmakers who believe the only low-budget option is to stay firmly ensconced in their own milieu.

  • “Dead Man’s Burden,” Jared Moshé’s morally complex, stylistically minimalist western, begins and ends with a stone-cold killing. The emotions between, however, are anything but cool, as the film’s small group of primary characters slips from joy to fury to murderous suspicion with faultless fluidity.

  • A remarkable widescreen western made on a shoestring budget, Jared Moshé’s “Dead Man’s Burden” is a debut feature with impressive command of tone and style, reverberant with echoes of “True Grit,” “The Unforgiven” and “The Searchers.”