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SXSW 2012: Willem Dafoe heads to the bush for “The Hunter”


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There’s a lot going on in Willem Dafoe‘s new film “The Hunter,” which premiered earlier this week at SXSW. The movie, which is helmed by Australian director Daniel Nettheim, tells the story of a man hired to kill the last living Tasmanian Tiger. Since most American audience members might not know much about the now-extinct animal, Nettheim gave IFC the rundown on its backstory.

“It was eventually hunted to extinction by colonial settlers,” he explained. “This is the premise, the starting point, for our story about a man, a mercenary played by Willem, who is sent to track down what is supposed to be the last living Tasmanian tiger.

Dafoe’s character is hired by a biotech company to recover Tasmanian Tiger tissue and organ samples for them. He pretends to be a scientist and stays with a family that might or might not know something about the supposedly extinct creature. But Dafoe spends much of him time in the woods performing scenes only with himself and his traps for the Tiger.

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“I’m playing scenes, I’m just playing them with my tools, myself and my landscape,” he explained. “It’s kind of like stripped down essential filmmaking when it’s just one actor, simple actions, a landscape and a camera.”

Unsurprisingly, Dafoe’s name was towards the top of the list of actors that Nettheim wanted for the role.

“Very early on when I was writing scenes, and it always helps when I’m writing to picture a face, so I had Willem’s face in mind,” he said. “I think that I’d seen an old still from ‘Platoon’ of Willem’s face surrounded by greenery, and it just seemed like a great fit.”

So what should audiences know about “The Hunter” going in? “It’s a beautiful human story,” Nettheim said. “So, yes, it’s a man looking for a tiger, but this is a man undergoing a profound transformation of character. So it’s first and foremost a human story.”

Are you interested in seeing “The Hunter” when it comes out in theaters? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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