The Language of Art
Robert Eggers has established himself as a flock of seagulls in the cinema with The Lighthouse. With just one other feature film, he is able to evoke a historical period with centuries-old colloquialisms. Its tactile details are accurate, and its visual schematic is rooted in the past. He made his debut on the festival circuit in 2015 with the film The Witch. It impressed him with his attention to finer points. The Lighthouse is an obsessive investigation into seventeenth-century New England, and the two protagonists are played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. Eggers kept them isolated on a rocky island off the Atlantic coast. In addition to taking care of the navigation beacons, his brother, Max Eggers, helped write the material that compiles such ideas.
The director builds a truly convincing historical space. Dialogue also draws from the language used in Sarah Orne Jewett’s work. By combining black-and-white visuals and cropping the aspect ratio of a narrow box, the film haunts beautiful objects and impressive works of art. Regardless of which, the over-substantial approach makes the audience stay away. In a specific moment, material can be funny in its fun through bodily functions. His majesty’s approach was also unusual, which had a significant impact on David Lynch’s work. ensures higher pay due to its setting and a story about two lighthouse keepers preparing for a four-week stint.
Sleeping with Sirens
Wake is a captain with a thick beard, but he is rough. He has years of experience in lighthouse maintenance and as a sailor. He also uses his seniority over new members. Enter Winslow, a mustachioed young man set to replace Thomas’ last assistant, who went mad. while enduring Wake’s orders and insults. Winslow immediately saw the hallucination of bodies and wood in the ocean. In addition to resisting Wake’s commands and insults, he must also continue to adapt to Wake’s knocks, which never stop at all. The memories that Winslow tries to suppress are from his days as a lumberjack.
He also found a carved mermaid statue on his mattress, followed by an image of a finned siren. The siren seeks to haunt Winslow’s nightmarish and erotic fantasies. On the other hand, Wake’s antagonism revolves around Winslow’s mind as a lighthouse keeper. He turned every habit and sentence into a dagger. The older man told endless stories about his conquests of the oceans. He was also a terrible cook and often barked at Winslow’s orders. He was always barking at Winslow to do the most disgusting jobs, like dumping their room potty. In addition, he also refuses to let Winslow tend to the light. In addition, it seems to have a greater meaning for Wake.
At first glance, the audience seems unable to figure out how The Lighthouse is like a flock of seagulls itself. However, the key to understanding how to analyze the film is to understand the importance of folklore and mythology. Eggers is a filmmaker who people know is steeped in his research. In such a case, the audience mostly deals with two myths, especially the figures of Prometheus and Proteus. In mythology, they never get along. However, that seems to be what happened in the film. According to Eggers, Prometheus probably took on some characteristics that he did not have in his past world.
On the other hand, Proteus is one of the first old men at sea in myth. He is the primordial guardian of knowledge and the all-knowing friend of the sea beasts. However, he hates sharing this knowledge. Bottom line, he is an asshole. On the other hand, Prometheus was a giver but a swindler. People know him for stealing fire from the gods and sparking intelligent life in humanity. On the other hand, Zeus was a famous bastard. He ordered Prometheus to be chained to a rock where eagles would arrive each day to take his organs.
A Brief Tantrum
The Lighthouse easily likens a flock of seagulls to Proteus and Prometheus. When Pattinson defies the gods, he tries to climb the spinning Mount Olympus. At the top of the mountain, he tasted the forbidden light before his stomach was eaten by doves because of his evil. What’s more, Eggers has noted that the film’s final image depicts the Titan’s theft from Prometheus as bold, sad, yet beautiful. However, what’s interesting about the film is the way Eggers changes character traits from the common myth of matching and mixing behind jargon and flatulence.
The film is more concerned with identity. The two men lie about who they are to each other. It becomes pretty clear that Wake doesn’t have much of a past as a seasoned sailor. It’s like being crammed into a melee asylum by forcing both characters to confess. They may lie to themselves too. However, they are frustrated that a man, such as possessiveness or aggression, becomes intoxicated by Wake. He refers to himself as what looks like two animals butting horns. However, the brief tantrum between Wake and Winslow is also almost a kiss in a specific scene.
The Superstition Representation of Storytelling
In a narrow aspect ratio, Eggers shoots squares and makes brief use of the transitions between speech and mute film. In a flock of seagulls, the vertical contraction stands out due to the height of the lighthouse as well as the narrow interior space. His cinematography, by Jarin Blaschke, was also shot in high-contrast black and white. He used lenses from the early twentieth century to enhance the setting commitment of the 1890s. In essence, Eggers and Blaschke make excellent use of black shadows.
They leave a small part of the screen on at any given time. Within a frame, no detail is overlooked. The distinct foghorns spread from a distance and have the correct sound for such a period. Despite sounding like an air raid siren, the warnings of things to come were used by the actors. It elevates Eggers’ commitment to credibility from storytelling to madness. Apart from reflecting superstition, it is an entirely convincing representation of place and time. It makes every carefully planned shot into a very beautiful painting.
In addition to talking about a flock of seagulls, The Lighthouse is also very broad in exploring the Freudian, especially the masculinity of the mechanism. In Freud’s case, the important thing to notice is that the theory is perfectly compatible with the mechanism. It is necessary for biology to bring the sexual attraction to the opposite sex parent into play. But, after that, children learn how to be a man through modeling, identification with, and observation of their same-sex parent. On such an account, it is not learning how to be the prototypical male. Given the vast range of individual differences between parents and children, children could be learning any of a large number of different personality traits.
One could assume that there would be some traits which a given culture would assign more frequently to men than to women and vice versa. In other cases, the Oedipus complex is the crucial analogy in the development of sex differences. Children develop on the way to becoming a man for anything other than learned once the child’s biological sex sets the attraction to the opposite sex parent into motion. Paralleling religious behavior with behavior rooted in neurosis is an attempt to control the sensory world through the imaginary world. Instead of an abstract figure, The Lighthouse essentially focuses the rituals and seagulls of each character on fixating on a flock.
At that specific moment, Winslow saw the lighthouse lantern as a savior. Seabirds play the role of souls who die in the sea. For him, it is because of his lack of respect for such a ritual. Apart from being the world that Wake wants to escape from the grip of isolation, the mermaid hallucinations serve a similar function. One social norm is that they should not be intimate with each other. In another scene, their alcohol supply is dwindling. At the same time, their tolerance for each other is also reduced. It leaves Winslow without a reprieve from Wake’s antagonism. Neither of the two men could agree on what they had said to each other.
They no longer know which one of the things they have seen is true. Like the character, it is completely immersed in a complicated myth. It contradicts what the myth says. However, the conflicting myths threaten the stability and comfort of the rituals they maintain. In a sense, it becomes a story about forbidden love. Rituals against their alienation replace meaningful relationships between men. Wake and Winslow’s geographic isolation from the rest of the world parallels the physical isolation they have from each other while awake. Winslow’s stoic seclusion and the mermaid totem are attempts to eliminate the possibility of a certain kind of intimacy. In essence, the object serves to serve to negate the potential for a true relationship between men outside of drunkenness.
The Chaos of A24
In such areas of abstraction, Eggers often applies material effects to chaos, causing a real time jump between explosions and motivated characters. The theme of claustrophobia is testament to Eggers’ attention to detail. On the other hand, it may be that such a quality results in the film’s being mystical. As it were, it became an event depicted in a fateful cycle. To be sure, it is a film that has an impulse, apart from works like British folklore or Lovecraftian. Eggers left any questions posed by the film unanswered. Dafoe and Pattinson seem to get better with each new role.
Despite being given plenty of room to maneuver, each hallucination feels like the director’s manipulation function as a filmmaker. In essence, he likes to explore an idea. There is no real dramatic depth to the film. The fact that A24 distributes multiplexes with multiple themes is simply too impressive to ignore. At the same time, he doubles down on his willingness to isolate his audience with its devotion to a place and time more than just deep character. Overall, what Eggers adds to all literary illusions is the theme of man’s eternal battle with the forces of nature. With all existential threats present, audiences seek to regain control over uncertainty if Wake and Winslow kill each other with axes or become pets.
- Flanagan Jr, O. J. (1982). Freud: Masculinity, femininity and the philosophy of the mind. Femininity”,“masculinity” and “androgyny”: A modern philosophical discussion, 60-76.
- Fletcher, R. (2020). The Lighthouse: the myths and archetypes behind the movie explained. Den of Geek.
- Shevchenko-Rosliakova, A. (2021). “The Devil’s Cinema”: from Jean Epstein’s Theory to Robert Eggers’ Films. Vestnik VGIK I Journal of Film Arts and Film Studies, 13(1 (47)), 84-98.