30 Things We Learned from ‘The Lighthouse’ Commentary
Welcome to Commentary Commentary, where we sit and listen to filmmakers talk about their work, then share the most interesting parts. In this edition, Rob Hunter settles in for black & white weirdness with Robert Eggers’ commentary for The Lighthouse!
The Witch (2015) was something of a stunner crafted with the kind of exquisite care typically absent from genre fare. The question as to what director Robert Eggers would do next was answered with another period piece, but while the former film aims for terror the latter aims for a more tonally fluid sense of weirdness. The precision is still on display, though, with its story of two men crumbling mentally on a remote rock island. Keep reading to see what I heard on the Eggers’ commentary track for The Lighthouse!
The Lighthouse (2019)
Commentator: Robert Eggers (director, co-writer, producer)
1. The opening title treatment is from the treatise of a 19th century book called The Lighthouse “that has nothing to do with the plot or story of this movie.” He found it to be an attractive typeface that “suited the atmosphere of this movie.”
2. The opening shot was filmed with a Petzval lens which was designed around 1840. “There’s obviously a lot of weird lens characteristics which helps transport us back into time and make for a mysterious shot. hopefully.”
3. It was filmed in part on the southern tip of Nova Scotia in a small fishing village called Cape Forchu.
4. They built all of the buildings including the 70-foot working lighthouse tower.
5. “The sound design is very delicate here,” he says, roughly fifty seconds before the first fart is heard.
6. Around the 4:22 mark we see Thomas Howard (Robert Pattinson) trying to get into Thom