Willem Dafoe: King Of Kings

"Action breeds inspiration more than inspiration breeds action."

THE MYSTERIES OF DAFOE: PART 2

mysteries of Dafoe 2Fellow fans of Dafoe, in our continued attempts to find more pieces of the Willem Dafoe shaped puzzle we have stumbled upon yet another hilarious fact about the King of Acting. Dafoe’s penis is reportedly so large that on the set of The Last Temptation of Christ in which Dafoe played Jesus, Scorsese had to instruct someone to tape ‘Big Will’ down to keep it out of shot during the certification scene. Additionally, during the filming of Antichrist, Lars Von Trier, the director, had to get a “dick double” for any scenes which featured Dafoe’s character naked, as he believed that Dafoe’s enormous penis would intimidate and confuse audiences.

Dafoe’s Wisdom

Willem Dafoe: King Of Kings

EVENIFITSWRONG

If ever there was any doubt in one’s mind that Willem Dafoe is the wisest man in this world, that doubt has been extinguished. Mint Royale, who presumably are a band, asked his permission to sample some inspirational words of his he said on a podcast- and Ring is the result. The music itself is boring, but Dafoe’s words are magical.

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THE MYSTERIES OF DAFOE: PART ONE

THE MYSTERIES OF DAFOEEasily, Dafoe is among the most mysterious characters in Hollywood; the man is an enigma. Each week, we will make a humble attempt to peel back a layer of the onion that is Dafoe. This week: as if Dafoe couldn’t be any more fascinating, we’ve learned that in his youth, he was expelled from high school for shooting a porno, and no, we are not making this up:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/nov/22/relationships-women-willem-dafoe

The Church Of Dafoe Presents: A Review Of The Grand Budapest Hotel

As promised(over a year ago), we are here with a treat for all disciples of Dafoe: because one review is not enough, and two is too little, over the next week we hope to be presenting three Dafoe reviews for your reading pleasure. We’re focusing this week on Dafoe’s collaborations with acclaimed director Wes Anderson: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Wes Anderson is renowned for his unique visual style: a typical shot in a Wes Anderson film includes vibrant colours, a distinctly homemade and antique look, and probably Bill Murray. Dafoe tends to shine in this environment, as the two-dimensional look of these films emphasises what makes Dafoe look so great.

First up, The Grand Budapest Hotel. The narrative style of Grand Budapest can be best summarised with one term: “Film-ception”. By that, we mean what is essentially a story within a story, within a story, within a story. You might think such a narrative style would trip over itself, come across as contrived; but not with Dafoe as it’s anchor. Willem-Dafoe-stars-as-J.G.-Jopling-in-The-Grand-Budapest-HotelThe plot centres around the present and former staff of the Grand Budapest, a hotel located in the fictional Republic of Zubrowska. It tells of a bellboy named Zero, who, by way of a grand adventure undertaken with friend and mentor M. Gustave, gains ownership of the hotel. In Grand Budapest, Dafoe plays J.G Joping, an enforcer employed by Adrian Brody’s character. Dafoe brings a silent menace to the role, with a sprinkling of brutality always simmering below the surface. We see him undergo a change in appearance for his performance in Grand Budapest; this is achieved through use of makeup: namely the heavy appliance of eyeliner. Dafoe seems secure enough in his masculinity here to make the eyeliner work for him and indeed make him look even more sinister, shrouding much of his face in shadow, rather than feminise him. Dafoe is a cold hearted assassin, making his body subservient to his needs. He maintains a tight control over his movements throughout the film, not only using his body for it’s normal uses, but also to aid in his precise, methodical, even graceful, murderous movements. Whereas we use our bodies for breathing, sustaining life; he uses his to take it away, as a tool for killing. One notable scene epitomises this: a nail biting chase through a museum sees Dafoe chasing Jeff Goldblum’s character. Here we see that Dafoe has not only brawn, but brains as well, calmly removing his shoes to mask his footsteps,concealing his panther-like movements.

Whilst the film itself may pale in comparison to Dafoe’s sublime performance, one must give credit where it is due, and Grand Budapest certainly does deserve a few barrels of praise. It’s beautiful to look at, with Anderson’s unique style making every shot a visual treat. The plot moves along at breakneck speed, giving the viewer little chance to catch his breath. Anderson juggles comedy, thrills and intrigue masterfully, keeping all three balls in the air simultaneously- one must commend Mr Anderson for his juggling skills. Special notice must be given to Ralph Fiennes, for his expert handling of a rare comedic role. He conveys a wealth of experience beyond his comic catalogue of film, his only other notable venture into the genre being the excellent In Bruges.

In summary, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a good bit of fun.

Rating: 6*/5*

P.S One cannot rate a film without giving it extra credit for starring the one, the only, Willem Dafoe.

Hello and also apologies and also how are you and also what’s to come

Would like to start by apologising for lack of content for the past little bit of time, we’ve been at times either extraordinarily busy or just not in mood for writing, however the hope is that this Saturday we will have new Dafoe reviews- three, in fact. We’ll be reviewing Dafoe’s collaborations with director Wes Anderson, those being The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, and Fantastic Mr Fox. In addition to these in our spare time we’ve been busy watching more of Dafoe’s work, so reviews should be coming out more frequently in the coming months.

 

 

 

Dafoe’s Wisdom

EVENIFITSWRONG

If ever there was any doubt in one’s mind that Willem Dafoe is the wisest man in this world, that doubt has been extinguished. Mint Royale, who presumably are a band, asked his permission to sample some inspirational words of his he said on a podcast- and Ring is the result. The music itself is boring, but Dafoe’s words are magical.

The Church Of Dafoe Presents: A Streets Of Fire Review

Streets of Fire takes place in a mythical, rock ‘n’ roll style world, “where the brave, the beautiful and he brutal combine”. Ellen Aim is a renowned singer, and ex-girlfriend of the lead protagonist, Tom Cody. When Aim is kidnapped during a live show by biker gang leader Raven(played by the great Willem Dafoe), Cody must return to his hometown to take out the trash.

Firstly, we address the film itself. It’s essentially a thrill ride- albeit one with a few minor bumps along the road. The story is somewhat generic, and feels alike to 1979’s The Warriors. That’snot a major criticism of the film- the plot is certainly serviceable, but what makes the film stand out is it’s setting, soundtrack, and the beautiful, poignant performance by Willem Dafoe.

Streets Of Fire does not take place in our world, but rather in a mythical one that runs on rock ‘n’ roll and violence. It is, in essence a squalor infested shithole. This creates an excellent claustrophobic and oppressive environment where death- either from the Bombers or the town’s corrupt police force- is a persistent threat.The soundtrack is stellar, giving the film a fast pace which gives it a certain watch-ability. It is difficult to put into words the effect of the soundtrack but trust us, it’s cracking.

In terms of performances, the protagonists are quite bland.

But in a film with Willem Dafoe, any other performances are of little consequence.

Dafoe plays Raven, leader of the bombers, with an aura of intimidation, unpredictability, and with an uncontrollable energy, which compliments the film’s fast pace. However, the director and writer of Streets Of Fire, Walter Hill, commits a mortal sin as Dafoe is severely underused. There is a missed opportunity here for more character development- after all, we see hints that Raven, in his own words, “Ain’t such a bad guy”, and Dafoe’s word, as we all should know, is law. Dafoe is so enjoyable to watch, from his initial kidnapping of Ellen Aim, to the climactic sledgehammer battle, that  I would sum up his performance thusly: If Dafoe is like cocaine, and he is, then we, the viewers at home, are like humble drug addicts, desperate for our next fix, and never fully satisfied until Dafoe makes his next appearance.

 

In scoring the film we chose to award it a 3.5/5, however, the film features Willem Dafoe, so we cannot, in good conscience, submit this review without awarding the film another point, in the name of Dafoe. We therefore give Streets Of Fire an excellent 4.5/5.  In Willem We Trust.

"I'll be comin' for her. I'll be comin' for you, too."

“I’ll be comin’ for her. I’ll be comin’ for you, too.”

 

 

An Update

Quick update on the status of the Dafoe-athon: the way we are doing this is that there are two of us, so both of us have to watch each lm, which is part of the reason why there hasn’t been any reviews posted yet. We decided to do the films in blocks of five: the first five being Streets of Fire, Fantastic Mr Fox, Beyond: Two Souls, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. I’ll also be posting another update once the next five films have been decided upon- though I can reveal now that one of the next five will be Scorcese’s The Last Temptation Of Christ, which features Dafoe playing the part he was born to play- the part of Jesus Christ. In Willem We Trust.

Welcome, Dafriends.

The threat of a new year looms overhead like a blade, ready to plunge into the hearts of film fans everywhere. Film, let us be frank, is dying, afflicted by the cancer of naturalistic, super realistic acting. Although displays like we’ve seen in There Will Be Blood and Raging Bull may contain powerhouse performances that blur the line between actor and character, there is a key element left out by so many of these films, an element which I deem to be the most important in film: ENTERTAINMENT. Now, to speak of a man who embodies the word “entertainment”: Willem Dafoe. From Raven in Streets Of Fire, to Bobby Peru in Wild At Heart, all the way to Norman Osborn(a.k.a Green Goblin) in Sam Raimi’s Spider Man trilogy, Dafoe’s first priority has always been to ENTERTAIN his audience. It is for this reason that this year, as a New Year’s Resolution, I have vowed to view all 104 films in Willem Dafoe’s extensive filmography, and also to experience Beyond: Two Souls, a video game he features in. I will actively attempt to post reviews, mini or otherwise, on this blog, of each and every one of these Dafoe films. Hopefully this will inspire others to join me on this Dafoe-athon. Fasten thy seatbelts.Image