The Social Network Dialogue

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take a closer look at the script Aaron Sorkin wrote for The Social Network to see how he uses certain literary devices to give dialogue rhythms and melodies. Plus, watch a wonderful conversation with Ben Stiller‘s late parents, the amazing Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, about their early career in show biz. And finally, listen to actors like Harrison Ford, Jeff Goldblum, Terry Crews, Kristen Bell, and more recalling their first IMDb credit. Read More »

the card counter cast

Paul Schrader‘s First Reformed follow-up The Card Counter has some new cast members. We already knew that Oscar Isaac was set to lead the film, and now Schrader himself has confirmed that Willem Dafoe, Tye Sheridan, and Tiffany Haddish will appear as well. This is not your average cast, and that’s pretty exciting. The Card Counter follows “a gambler and former serviceman who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past.”

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The Last Thing He Wanted Trailer - Anne Hathaway

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival kicks off today, and one of our most anticipated movies playing up in the mountains of Park City, Utah is the latest directorial effort from Mudbound and Pariah director Dee Rees.

The Last Thing He Wanted, based on Joan Dideon’s novel of the same name, finds Anne Hathaway as journalist Elena McMahon, who ends up caught in the middle of the Iran-Contra scandal. The affair saw weapons being sold to the Khomeini government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to fund Contras, various U.S.-backed and funded right-wing rebel groups in Nicaragua, and Elena’s father (Willem Dafoe) just so happens to have dropped some unfinished arms deals in her lap.

Watch The Last Thing He Wanted trailer that was just released by Netflix to get a taste of this thrilling drama. Read More »

Willem Dafoe Interview

When the term character actor is used in film discourse, Willem Dafoe is one of the most common actors to come to the collective mind of cinephiles. However, he is, and always has been, a leading man who simply isn’t deterred by the size, or lack thereof, of a given role to which he connects. The Wisconsin native could turn even the most seemingly banal character into something singularly mesmerizing. This intuition to excavate the humanity out of the roles he chooses is part of what makes Dafoe so effective as an actor. Perhaps it’s also what draws skillful auteurs like Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Lars von Trier, Abel Ferrara, Sam Raimi, and Oliver Stone back to him for memorable repeat collaborations. Whether as a character actor, leading man, or disembodied voice (Vox Lux), Dafoe remains one thing above all: A universally sought-after director’s actor.

One collaboration that evaded Dafoe for nearly three decades was that with legendary Argentinian filmmaker Hector Babenco (Kiss of the Spider Woman). It wasn’t until 2015 when the two longtime acquaintances finally made a film together with Babenco’s autobiographical My Hindu Friend – also titled My Last Friend – in which Dafoe plays a stand-in for the director during a particularly grim period in his life. My Hindu Friend is a thoughtful, honest exploration of death, life, cinema, and unlikely yet timely human connections. Shortly after the 2016 Montréal World Film Festival, Babenco passed away, delaying the film’s release nearly four years.

On the cusp of My Hindu Friend’s January 17, 2020 theatrical release, I spoke with Dafoe about his experience on Babenco’s final film, his aptitude for portraying real-life figures, the existential weight of death in cinema, The Lighthouse, the politics of the Oscars, and his storied career, including his collaborations with Anderson, Scorsese, and von Trier.

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togo trailer

If Disney+ is carving out a niche of just “dog movies,” then we’re all in. Especially if one of those aforementioned dog movies stars Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe, who by all accounts shouldn’t be slumming it in a made-for-streaming inspirational drama about a musher who braves 300-plus miles of the Arctic tundra with his beloved sled dog. And yet Togo is the kind of heartwarming family film from the Disney era of old that will reduce us to tears with only the trailer. Watch the Togo trailer below.

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Werner Herzog Presents The Mandalorian

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, as The Mandalorian debuts the premiere episode on Disney+ today, take a look at what the series would be like if it were a documentary by Werner Herzog. Plus, Spider-Man and The Lighthouse star Willem Dafoe runs through the most memorable roles from his career, and Lady and the Tramp introduces us to the real dog stars of the movie. Read More »

the northman

The Witch and The Lighthouse director Robert Eggers is already gearing up for his next project. Eggers will helm The Northman, a Viking drama that will star Alexander Skarsgard, with Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Skarsgard, and Willem Dafoe all in talks to join the cast. The movie is described as a “grounded” revenge story, which means it probably won’t have the supernatural elements prevalent in Eggers’ first two films – but will still end up being disturbing, since that seems to be what Eggers gravitates towards.

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the lighthouse trailer

Facial hair! Accents! A 1.19:1 aspect ratio! A heavy dose of “What the hell am I seeing?” It’s all here in the first trailer for The Lighthouse, the latest tale of terror from Robert Eggers, director of The Witch. In this black-and-white nightmare, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe play old-timey lighthouse keepers on a remote island. Things go downhill pretty quickly. Watch the incredible, creepy and incredibly creepy The Lighthouse trailer below.

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the lighthouse first look

Robert Eggers, director of The Witch, is back with another historical horror tale – The Lighthouse. The black and white film stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers in the 1890s, and is set to premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Ahead of its debut, you can check out The Lighthouse first look below, which features Dafoe and Pattinson looking appropriately old timey and beardy.

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Old Electronics in Movies

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take a tour of the warehouse where Hollywood gets the vintage electronics they need for movies set during different decades. Plus, find out how Spike Lee‘s adaptation of BlacKkKlansman compares to the book it’s based on, and Willem Dafoe breaks down his most famous characters from the movies. Read More »