AT ETERNITY’S GATE
2018, CBS Films, 111 min, Dir: Julian Schnabel

Julian Schnabel’s AT ETERNITY’S GATE is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh’s (Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe) letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented. With Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen and Mathieu Amalric. “By adamantly focusing above all else on van Gogh’s work - and its transporting ecstasies - Schnabel has made not just an exquisite film but an argument for art.” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times.


LIGHT SLEEPER
1992, Lionsgate, 103 min, USA, Dir: Paul Schrader

Willem Dafoe is an alienated drug courier in night-time Manhattan, faced with intimations of his own mortality in this underrated, neo-Bressonian crime film from the author of TAXI DRIVER. Dana Delaney gives a powerful, understated performance as Dafoe's ex-girlfriend fated for a tragic end, while Susan Sarandon shines as his drug-dealer boss experiencing her own painful spiritual growth.


SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE
2000, Lionsgate, 90 min, UK/USA/Luxembourg, Dir: Elias Merhige

This fictional meditation about F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich) and the making of NOSFERATU is based on the conceit that the director was so determined to make the most authentic movie ever that he employed a real vampire, Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe), to play the title character. Attributing Schreck's weird behavior and ghastly appearances to "Method" acting, Murnau indulges his leading man's every exigency, shooting only at night and at the remote locations the "actor" calls home. But Schreck hungers for human blood, and as cast and crew fall ill at a terrifying rate, Murnau races to finish his film before Schreck finishes him. An exceedingly witty exploration of creation, in which demanding artist and demanding star - the genius and the monster - reveal their uncontrollable, potentially destructive but unusually seductive compulsions.


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