Here at RankStuff we are starting a new weekly tradition to give a more critical eye to the cinema. We have some diverse/passionate movie watchers in this group. The setup is this: On Monday we all nominate a movie and pitch it. The following day we vote and consume. The next day or two we will dissect the film in sometimes in light and other times more in-depth ways.
The first movie voted and won was The Lighthouse directed by Robert Eggers and written by Robert Eggers and Max Eggers. The same artist that brought us The Witch. Both are critically acclaimed, but whereas The Witch every snap of the twig, movement in the woods, and breath made you catch yours. The LIghthouse sonically drowns you in the chaos of foghorns and storms. A two-man theater-inspired psychological comedy. Yeah, that is a lot, but a lot did well. Here are some quick-fire /prompts and responses from us about the film.
In 5 words or less describe how the movie made you feel?
Chase: Disturbed, hopeless, curious
Creg: Inspired, Challenged, Trapped, Alienated, puzzled
Smoky: In chronological order: bummed, uneasy, confused, impressed, grossed-out
In 15 words or less describe the movie.
Chase: Two lighthouse keepers descend into madness as they are stranded on an Island.
Creg: Two wickies let desire/boredom consume them denying their true ambition of fucking each other.
Diesel: Two lighthouse workers get stranded, devolve into alcoholism and paranoid ideation.
Smoky: Two men go mad after four weeks in seclusion. Dialog only adds to the absurdity.
In 30 words or less give your take on the movie.
Chase: Ephraim is being punished for his past, some strange lovecraftian being is driving him to madness with visions and Thomas Wake.
Creg: Beautifully shot film, with meticulous writing letting two actors straight up cook. A methodical movie that shows power dynamics shift, not letting the viewer know who to trust. Sneaky Comedy. It will consume you.
Diesel: I thought it drew interesting parallels, had incredible character arch, and really put into perspective what loneliness can do to the human brain.
Smoky: I imagine listening to an old sea shanty being sung by your crewmates sailing through a stormy night would make you feel like I did while watching this movie
Insert a gif that you believe encapsulates the film.
Chase: When Thomas and Ephraim and Drinking the Lighthouse oil/gas in the lighthouse, their body positions mirror each other and the view from above with the spiraling staircase conveys the downward spiral they are on.
Creg: The great cooking debate. Shows how far they have gone from the start of the movie in the most hilarious fashion.
Diesel: “Alright, have it your way, I like your cooking”
Smoky: When Thomas and Ephraim are drinking and singing and dancing around. Then it cuts to them slow dancing. The dance slowly escalates into a tender moment where they almost kiss, but then they check their masculinity and break out in a fistfight to even things out.
Ask an unanswerable question
Chase: What did Epharim see in the lighthouse?
Creg: How much was gaslighting/how much was madness?
Diesel: What was in the light?
Smoky: Why were there not more scenes with the mermaid?
MVP of the movie
Chase: Willem Dafoe and his Monologues
Creg: The Lighthouse. The setting of this movie gives it the jolt it needs. You could have people isolated in a cabin, on a mountain, etc. The symbolism of having something at the top of the climb that needs to be had creates tension within the viewer to want it too. What seems more alluring than light in the dark and cold? Harsh weather, tight space perfect location for this film.
Diesel: Willem Dafoe
Smoky: The mermaid
Ephraim Winslow/Thomas Howard or Thomas Wake?
Chase: Thomas Howard
Creg: Patterson and Defoe go all out in this film. Their off-beat father/son - lover - boss/subordinate dynamic creates the drama and comedy to fill the screen the entirety of the viewing.
I have to choose Winslow/Thomas in the end. His descent into madness was one we got to experience together whereas Wake must have happened years prior. Who can’t relate about not wanting to take more shit from your boss!
Diesel: Thomas Howard
Smoky: Thomas Wake for sure. The old man knew what he had and knew that he needed to keep it to himself
Would you recommend and is it worth re-watching?
Chase: I would recommend and It is worth rewatching
Creg: I recommend it ten times over for the same reason why it’s worth re-watching. You might watch it for the script and camera work, the cinematography, to decipher meanings and draw interpretations. There are talks about the homosexual connection between the characters. The nods to mythology. Having the two characters with the same name representing different parts of the same soul. A lot of theories have no perfect answer. The monologues alone are worth re-visiting.
Diesel: I’d recommend, I’d re-watch it if I wanted to look for different things in the movie, once is probably enough though.
Smoky: Would not recommend it to most people. Would watch again with the right people
What is your personal rating of the movie?
Chase: If this movie was a steak I’d fuck it
Creg: I give it - 7 one-eyed gulls and two dead wickies
Diesel: Out of 100, I’d give it an 82. On an artistic scale, I’d give it a 94 (the black and white gave it an interesting touch and it was very well shot). On a scary level, I’d give it a 39, not very scary but the looming fog horn and feel of impending doom/dread gave it a spookier vibe.
Smoky: Overall Watson House Movie Experience: 6.3
Thanks for reading check more of these out in the upcoming weeks.
- Moving Pictures Committee