x

Cinema

Dafoe’s ‘Inside’ Αsks Ηow Αrt Ηelps us Εscape Ιsolation

LOS ANGELES — Willem Dafoe has said that, for him, the process of making a movie always eclipses the finished product.

But after more than 130 film credits, the 67-year-old actor has finally found a project whose final form is on par with the experience of creating it.

“When I watch this movie, I say, ‘Okay, I feel like I’m there again,'” he said. “Although there’s lots of stuff that we had invented that gets cut out, it feels like the making of it.”

That assertion is impressive, given how much “Inside,” Vasilis Katsoupis’ fiction directorial debut, asked of its lead and virtually only actor.

“It really required a lot of different states and different approaches, I would say. But it was great fun,” Dafoe recalled.

Set entirely inside a single apartment and with no foils for Dafoe’s character to rely on, “Inside” is completely dependent on his performance, which is so compelling you forget he is the only person on screen for the better part of 100 minutes.

This image released by Focus Features shows Willem Dafoe in a scene from “Inside.” (Wolfgang Ennenbach/Focus Features via AP)
This image released by Focus Features shows Willem Dafoe in a scene from “Inside.” (Wolfgang Ennenbach/Focus Features via AP)

It follows an art thief named Nemo (Dafoe) who gets trapped inside a collector’s apartment during a botched heist. Nemo is pushed to his limits, braving extreme temperatures, flooding and limited access to food and water, all within the confines of a luxury Manhattan apartment.

Despite the physical and psychological toll that Nemo suffers throughout the film, Dafoe said he was able to distance himself from his character’s tribulations.

“You’re going to some maybe dramatic places or some difficult places, but you’re also enjoying the interplay with the other people,” he said. “You’ve got the camera, you’ve got the film language behind you, so you’re playing with these things.”

More than just a psychological thriller, “Inside” considers the ways in which art rescues humans in modern society from an isolated existence — a way out from being trapped inside of ourselves. Through his meditations on William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” Nemo discerns that liberation can only be attained through creation.

This image released by Focus Features shows Willem Dafoe in a scene from “Inside.” (Wolfgang Ennenbach/Focus Features via AP)

For Dafoe, the philosophical exploration of the human relationship to art was not as apparent in the script, but “really came out in the doing of it,” the actor recalled, reflecting on the ways he found beauty in making art pieces for the film.

“That was so enjoyable. You lose yourself in those things. You don’t necessarily know what they’re for, but they feel so useful and so healthy and so necessary,” he said.

This image released by Focus Features shows Willem Dafoe, left, and director Vasilis Katsoupis on the set of “Inside.” (Wolfgang Ennenbach/Focus Features via AP)

Despite his prolific career, Dafoe said “Inside” allowed the Oscar-nominated actor to flaunt chops he rarely gets to display.

“There are certain things that are purely physical, and you don’t always get to do these scenes with no dialogue,” he said. “Meditative sections that you’re really by yourself and there’s nothing to accomplish.”

And while the specifics of the plot of “Inside,” which wrapped filming in June 2021, may not ostensibly feel universal, almost everyone on this side of the coronavirus pandemic will relate to the film’s scant human interactions, vague conception of time and claustrophobic cinematography.

“Inside” hits theaters March 17.

 

RELATED

ATHENS – The Municipal Theater of Piraeus is carrying out a historic revival.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Russian Missiles Slam into a Ukraine City and Kill 13 People as the War Approaches a Critical Stage

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Three Russian missiles slammed into a downtown area of the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv on Wednesday, hitting an eight-floor apartment building and killing at least 13 people, authorities said.

ATHENS - A primary surplus of 2.

ATHENS – The Divani Palace Acropolis, nestled in the heart of Athens, is set to elevate the city's dining and nightlife scene with the grand opening of its much-anticipated rooftop restaurant and bar next month.

NEW YORK (AP) — Sen. Bob Menendez may seek exoneration at his May bribery trial by blaming his wife, saying she kept him in the dark about anything that could be illegal about her dealings with New Jersey businessmen, according to court papers unsealed Tuesday.

It was a close brush with death but a 40-year-old British tourist bitten by a deadly viper while at a yoga retreat on Cyprus is recovering after getting swift hospitalization to counteract the venom.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.