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Willem Dafoe presented The Lighthouse, by Robert Eggers, at the 17th FICM

By: Celina Manuel

The Lighthouse (2019) had its premiere in Mexico at the 17th Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) with a screening presented by actor and special guest Willem Dafoe, accompanied by Alejandro Ramírez, president of the festival; Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Batel, vice president and Daniela Michel, founder and general director.

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

For her part, Daniela Michel presented American actor Willem Dafoe as “one of the favorites in the world” and thanked his presence at the FICM. 

“I’m very glad to be here, I’m thankful because this is a festival I care about a lot, particularly with these films that I’ve presented. I had a lot of fun with Robert (Eggers) making the film,” commented Dafoe about his second visit to the Festival.

Cuahutémoc Cárdenas Batel, Daniela Michel, Willem Dafoe, Alejandro Ramírez

Cuahutémoc Cárdenas Batel, Daniela Michel, Willem Dafoe, Alejandro Ramírez

About having chosen The Lighthouse as a project, he told the audience that it was as a result of having seen Robert Eggers’ first feature film (The Witch, 2016); he was so moved by his work that he did not hesitate to contact the director, “I saw his first film and I thought, he is someone, a real director. He is very bright and has a formidable filmic culture.”

Regarding the harsh conditions in which the film was shot, Dafoe confessed that nature and weather were a fundamental part of the film: “These were part of the story. Nature is one more character that guided us, so it was less acting,” concluded the actor jokingly and with laughter to which the audience joined.

At the end of the screening, Willem Dafoe returned to answer some questions from the audience, one of these was about the development of the character which, from the beginning, was very detailed by Eggers, director of the film: “There was no improvisation, I did not say a word that was not in the script, and it was not oppressive, on the contrary, it was a pleasure to work with something so structured,” he said.

Before thanking the audience of the FICM for their attendance, he talked a little about the character’s language and their construction, which was done with a thorough research by the director and the team, with dictionaries, reading Herman Melville and a study in the northern United States and part of Canada “about Lumberjack language in that region and the working class, through phonetic writing.”

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Cuahutémoc Cárdenas Batel, Daniela Michel, Willem Dafoe, Alejandro Ramírez

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe