Dafoe's 'Inside' asks how art helps us escape isolation

Streaming HUBMarch 16, 2023

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Willem Dafoe says that, for him, the process of making a film always eclipses the finished product.

But after over 130 film credits, the 67-year-old actor has finally found a project whose final form is worth the experience of making it.

“When I watch this movie, I say, ‘Well, I feel like I’m there again,'” he said. “Although there are a lot of things we invented that get cut, it seems to be getting made.”

That claim is impressive, considering how much “Inside,” the fiction directorial debut of Vassilis Katsupis, has been 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 a lot of fun,” Dafoe recalled.

Set entirely inside a single apartment and Dafoe’s no hesitation to trust the character, “Inside” rests entirely on his performance, which is so compelling you forget he’s 100. is the only person on screen for the better part of a minute.

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

Despite the physical and psychological harm that Nemo suffered throughout the film, Defoe said that he was able to distance himself from his character’s hardships.

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

More than just a psychological thriller, “Inside” considers the ways in which art rescues humans from an isolated existence in modern society – from being trapped inside themselves in a way. Through his meditations on William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”, Nemo understood that salvation could only be achieved through creation.

For Dafoe, the philosophical exploration of the human relationship with art was not apparent in the script, but “really came to the fore in doing it,” the actor recalled, noting the way he found beauty in creating the art pieces for the film. ,

“It 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.

Despite his illustrious career, Dafoe said “Inside” allowed the Oscar-nominated actor to showcase things he rarely gets to showcase.

He added, “There are some things that are purely physical, and you don’t always get a chance to do these scenes without any dialogue.” “The meditational section where you are really alone and have nothing to accomplish.”

While the specifics of the plot of “Inside,” which wrapped filming in June 2021, may not be universally felt, almost everyone this side of the coronavirus pandemic has been intrigued by the film’s scant human interactions, vague concept of time and Would be related to claustrophobic cinematography. ,

“Inside” hits theaters March 17.


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