The Lighthouse new movie by Robert Eggers, director of The Witch*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by justanotherhifienthusiast, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. TheDailyBuzzherd

    TheDailyBuzzherd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast USA
    Only three theatres are playing it in my entire state, none close. Annoying.
     
  2. willy

    willy hooga hagga hooga

    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  3. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chandler,AZ
    Which was way different from my experience. Larger of the Harkins theatres. 6:45 PM Saturday night. There were no more than 20 scattered throughout the theatre. Gotta say upon reflection, it did not live up to Rotten's 92%.
     
  4. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    I can't wait to see this.

    The Witch is a masterpiece and Eggers is a meastro.
     
    Scotian likes this.
  5. agentalbert

    agentalbert Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    Saw this today and unfortunately it just didn't grab me the way The Witch did. Some striking images, but I never got into the story. I'll give it another chance when its on video.
     
    Solaris likes this.
  6. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Last night I went to see The Lighthouse. The name Murnau, F.W. Murnau popped into my mind in
    the first five minutes. The small isle in the vast ocean with the vertical light house sounding off its
    horn and flashing its light is sonically and visually powerful. The two lighthouse keepers are
    whipped, beaten and pelted with wind and rain; it hurts. The environment is brought to life in this
    film, and it's not friendly. Even the seagulls are pushy. The interiors are established as
    claustrophobic at the outset, in contrast to the exteriors. The walls get closer and more vulnerable
    to the weather as the story unfolds. Whether inside or outside these men are trapped by their own
    demons which the environment and their lives as seamen contributed to. The aspect ratio is
    1.19-1 which is the same as old silent movies. I'm not sure what point is being made by the AR,
    unless it's for Eggers to associate himself with silent movies, or perhaps to tell us that he's starting
    cinematic syntax over again, or at least rediscovering it from scratch for himself. I love the 35mm
    monochrome photography with its deep focus, vast tonal range, sharp grain and hard resolved
    image. I love the dark shadowy lighting and the extreme camera set-ups which are straight out of
    F.W. Murnau. Eggers is drawn to the supernatural, but he seems unsure how far to go with it, and
    I think reigns in his instincts. Perhaps he needed to watch Val Lewton and Tourneur, and Lang's
    Curse of the Demon to see how escalating fears and manifestations can work. The character
    interaction and how it plays out is so good Eggers doesn't need the supernatural, but the Lovecraft
    influence does the set the film apart from what would otherwise be a straightforward drama about
    men versus isolation, the environment and each other. The Lovecraft influence is a strength.

    I'm 100% certain the narrow aspect ratio will alienate a large part of the audience. There's a
    recurring vulgarity which could have been handled in better taste. There is also a
    miscalculation in the story which, while not fatal, undermines the film. Nevertheless
    The Lighthouse is brilliant and memorable. I predict an Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe.

    I'm going back to see it again tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2019
  7. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident


    I agree. Absolutely positively definitely.
     
  8. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    That's how I feel. I went with a friend and while we both liked the look of it, we didn't engage with it at all. Individual elements are outstanding -- the photography, the score, Dafoe's performance -- but as a whole it didn't do much for me. Memorable, yes, but I didn't find it compelling or moving.
     
  9. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Did the aspect ratio get in the way?
     
  10. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Not at all. I've watched a lot of old films, and I think it added to the sense of claustrophobia in the story.
     
  11. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Exactly what I was going to say.
     
    Richard--W likes this.
  12. hbbfam

    hbbfam Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chandler,AZ
    Beautiful commentary. I was looking forward to the visuals of the lighthouse environment and the surrounding seascape. I thought,in this particular movie, the BW choice was a bad one. The natural beauty of the set was reduced. Also, there was very little empathy for the characters. And I found the aspect ratio a distraction from the start. Frankly I found the movie bored me. And I was not as impressed with Defoe as in many of his other roles.
    If this sounds like a thread-crap, I apologize. But it is a movie review. :agree:
     
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  13. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    That's fine, no need to apologize. I also think the aspect ratio was a mistake.
    I think it's alienating audiences even if they don't know the reason at first.
    I found some people in the audience did not understand Dafoe's accent and
    words; the language is somewhat archaic, but I'm glad it was used. It's almost
    like Shakespeare.
     
  14. Scotian

    Scotian Amnesia Hazed

    Location:
    North of Gilead
    I like film-makers that have a vision & stick to it, not swayed by the popular audience & whatever is in style right now. If it finds an audience, that's fine. If not, then no big deal, they'll conform to what's popular for success or continue on if they can find people to support & help them to create what they want to make. This one was made for 4 million & its already made more than that back so while it's no blockbuster, there is an audience for his films.
     
    Borgia likes this.
  15. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    Took advantage of Halloween to watch the VVitch tonight and found it far superior to The Lighthouse, IMO. Clearly the same vision at work, but I found the earlier film far more evocative and intriguing. Horror, if that’s what we call this, isn’t really my genre, but I’ll keep an eye on Eggers’ work in the future. Not because of The Lighthouse, but because of the VVitch.
     
    agentalbert and Solaris like this.
  16. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    So far as I'm concerned Eggers is the most interesting director working
    today. I'm knocked out by both his films. I await his next film with keen
    interest.
     
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I'd say when an old witch grinds a baby into a bloody pulp and rubs it all over herself or when a character meets Satan face to face in the form of a goat - yep you got yourself some horror
     
  18. Tim S

    Tim S Forum Resident

    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Note: the above spoiler is for The VVitch and not the Lighthouse
     
  19. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    :laughup:
     
  20. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Just saw “The Lighthouse.” Casting DaFoe was a mistake. He’s become such a well known actor - thanks to Marvel - that he’s blown himself as a character actor, and that, coupled with a fuzzy Gordon’s Fisherman beard and an accent to make Sponge-bob proud, as great an actor as he is, DaFoe ruined my suspension of disbelief: I wasn’t sold, and any real fear was dispelled by his over-whelming presence. A real, unknown salty dog would have made the movie so much better (but it still wasn’t perfect.). I call this an Eggar non-success, sorry. The Pulp Fiction suitcase light show showdown never works in these kinds of films. What was Eggars thinking? . Kubrick got away with it with “2001” (though not with all the critic) and I sure as hell wouldn’t shoot a fantasy without a beefier climax than that. But I’m still sorry because Nobody praised The Witch more than me.


    I enjoyed the aspect ratio (I like it: more headroom). But I learned the words “black levels” from Vidiot, and the light levels were too high so the “black bars” weren’t really black, so it was distracting.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  21. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    I think the closest recent film in spirit was Aronofsky’s “Mother,” with its mythological madness themes. I liked “Mother!” Better,although that bit of weirdness dealt Aronofsky’s career a blow. Then there were also reminders of E. Elias Merhiges experiment film “Begotten” in “the lighthouse” “Begottenl was another critically lauded mythological horrorshow. But his career went nowhere. I think metaphysical and experimental films equal Hollywood career killer. Eggars better watch it. He needs a real hit This movie ain’t it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
    Richard--W likes this.
  22. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    Hmm. I'll have to see Aronofsky's MOTHER. I always want to see unknown
    or relatively unknown actors instead of celebrities because one suspend
    disbelief more easily in unknowns, but I think Dafoe reached a career peak
    in this film. Eggers trips over the high step here but he's still in astonishingly
    good form. Anyone can see there is an individual voice and a great artist in
    evidence in The Lighthouse.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  23. mrjinks

    mrjinks Optimistically Challenged

    Location:
    Boise, ID.
    A slightly older film, with SOME of the same story elements (that I found more compelling), was The Vanishing. It’s from a couple years back, and has an 80+ RT score. Less “arty”, but still an intriguing film, IMO:

     
    Tim S likes this.
  24. Richard--W

    Richard--W Forum Resident

    I see nothing in common between the two films.

    THE VANISHING is about a serial killer who buries innocent people alive.
    It's a straight-forward contemporary crime drama.

    THE LIGHTHOUSE is about two men coping with isolation and the environment.
    It's a horror story preoccupied with the metaphysical.
     
  25. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US

    I just don’t know. The whole enterprise felt a little clunky to me, like it was unsure whether to focus on the interpersonal Struggle or the metaphysical. I thought Robert Patterson was excellent. Didn’t recognize him. His accent slipped a bit, though. In the old days — I used to love Dafoe even before he made it To the screen I used to go see him perform on stage with the Wooster group and he was a fantastic experimental theater actor - I guess this performance would have been killer on stage — but maybe, as I said, I’ve burned out on him a bit.
     

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