Features

The Lighthouse

Der Leuchtturm
Robert Eggers
Kanada, USA 2019
110min
V'19

Eine einsame Leuchtturminsel, ein kauziger Seebär und ein junger Anfänger, dem nicht zu trauen ist – das sind die drei Protagonisten von Robert Eggers Nachfolgefilm zum Debüterfolg THE WITCH. Man ahnt bald, dass die Männer ihre Schicht nicht beenden werden wie geplant. Aber wie Eggers und sein Kameramann Jarin Blaschke den ausbrechenden Wahnsinn in Szene setzen, in fein nuanciertem Schwarzweiß samt Spuk und Sturm und Meerjungfrauen, ist in jedem Detail so amüsant wie überraschend. Willem Dafoe und Robert Pattinson als sich in wundersam antiquiertem Jargon ankeifendes odd couple sorgen zudem dafür, dass zum Schrecken noch der Witz hinzukommt. (Barbara Schweizerhof)

 

Robert Eggers’ debut feature THE WITCH seamlessly mixed folkloric horror with the story of America’s early settlers. His follow-up THE LIGHTHOUSE is no less hallucinatory. The setting shifts from woods plagued by evil spirits to the wind-stricken, sirenhaunted oceanside. Lighthouse caretaker Thomas receives a young assistant named Ephraim. He is thrown off by Thomas’s gruffness and brutality, but becomes increasingly engrossed in the mysteries surrounding the lighthouse itself, suspecting demonic foul play.
Dafoe and Pattison form a drunken, riotous, tour-de-force duo. The antiquated English they both speak helps elevate their roles to mythic Melville heights. Cinematographer Jarin Blaschke captures the claustrophobic, daydream world in crisp, contrast-rich black-and-white, and with dramatic, vertiginous angles. As in Eggers’ previous film, the drama primarily lies in the collapse between internal and external worlds. When these collide, and the lighthouse’s dangerous charms take effect, Ephraim plunges into despair, between a reckless struggle to wrangle authority from his Ahab-like boss and the need to preserve a sliver of his own sanity. The complex sound design further blurs the lines – a plunge into the unknown, exhilarating yet frightful. (Ela Bittencourt)

Credits
  • Willem Dafoe - Thomas Wake
  • Robert Pattinson - Ephraim Winslow
  • Valeriia Karaman - Mermaid
  • Max Eggers
  • Robert Eggers
  • Jarin Blaschke
  • Louise Ford
  • Mark Korven
  • Craig Lathrop
  • Linda Muir
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