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Get to Know Dafoe @clecinematheque
By Hollie Gibbs
From Christ to Antichrist and on to Buddha, he’s been a priest and amateur pornographer; a killer, victim, prisoner, detective and super-villain.
Over the course of 100 or so films, he’s played an alien, FBI agent, lieutenant, rebel biker, and cartoon fish and rat, to only name a few. He has made love to men, women and Madonna on screen and grown from a thug in a vampire’s town to a method actor with vampire tendencies and finally a Vampire General. Now, the incomparable Willem Dafoe will take your questions as a Cleveland Cinematheque guest.
The extraordinary actor plays sexy, creepy, eccentric and ordinary so skillfully that the audience is never fully sure who the real Dafoe is. Now, Clevelanders will get a rare view into that mystery as he makes a personal appearance at the Cinematheque on Sat 6/7.
The appearance is the culmination of a Willem Dafoe weekend consisting of four of his films. Theo Angelopoulos’ final art-house flick The Dust of Time will play at the Capitol Theater on Thu 6/5 at 7 p.m. CIA will show Oliver Stone’s classic Viet Nam War narrative Platoon and Abel Ferrara’s quirky comedy Go Go Tales in its Aitken Auditorium on Fri 6/6 at 7 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., respectively, with separate admission charges.
“An Evening with Willem Dafoe” will commence with a 35mm screening of E. Elias Merhige’s 2000 macabre masterpiece The Shadow of the Vampire at 7 p.m. followed by a Q&A with Dafoe.
“It’s really open to the audience to direct the Q&A,” Cinematheque Assistant Director Tim Harry said. “It will be impossible to discuss his entire career; there will be no particular focus.”
Cinematheque Director John Ewing said he deliberately chose Dafoe’s two Oscar nominated films (Platoon and Shadow of the Vampire) along with two Cleveland premieres for the weekend.
“Both The Dust of Time and Go Go Tales are by major directors whose work have been shown for years at the Cinematheque, Theo Angelopoulous and Abel Ferrara,” he said. “A major part of the Cinematheque’s mission is to show important international movies that would not play Cleveland without us. The Dust of Time and Go Go Tales are prime examples of the kind of new work we have showcased for 28 years now.”
Dafoe has a connection to the Cleveland Institute of Art as well, as CIA President Grafton Nunes produced Kathryn Bigelow’s The Loveless, which gave Dafoe his first starring role. (The Cinematheque screened the Cleveland premiere of the film in its own premiere year, 1986.)
Hollie Gibbs has a BS in journalism from Kent State University and studied photography at School of the Visual Arts in Manhattan. Her articles and photographs have appeared in numerous local and national publications. She can also be found playing guitar with various bands and building life-size monster props.