Paul Schrader, Nicolas Cage, and Willem Dafoe. These three men have carved out some very impressive—and unique—legends in the world of filmmaking. And now all three are coming together for Schrader’s latest film, “Dog Eat Dog.”
Written by Matthew Wilder (“Your Name Here”), based on the novel by Edward Bunker, “Dog Eat Dog” is about what happens when a crew of ex-cons are hired by a Cleveland crime boss to kidnap the child of one of his underworld rivals.
Cage plays Troy, the introspective leader, who wants nothing more than a quiet life with his newfound freedom. Dafoe is Mad Dog who, unsurprisingly, is unpredictable, with something truly haunting lurking underneath. Joining Troy and Mad Dog in the kidnapping scheme is their third partner, Diesel, played by Christopher Matthew Cook. Diesel’s life on the outside is complicated by his devotion (or lack thereof) to his family.
With Schrader at the helm, “Dog Eat Dog” isn’t just simply another ‘last job’ type of gangster movie. Whether it’s the pacing or the depth with which he imbues every scene, Schrader not only brings you along, he lets you get into the film.
Schrader’s resume stretches back more than 40 years, coming of age in the golden cinematic era of the 1970s. Making his impact first as a writer (“Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull”), as a director he has often eschewed overly commercial projects for films that interest him. Schrader rose to prominence with the ultra-stylish “American Gigolo”—the film that made Richard Gere a household name as well as making Blondie a part of the national soundtrack.
Whether it’s as a writer or director, you can bet that Schrader is only involved with the project because it interests him and he feels that it is worthwhile. And while sometimes we can question the results, we can never question the motives.
On this episode of the podcast, the legendary filmmaker Paul Schrader Talks about “Dog Eat Dog.”
You can also read a transcript of this episode.
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