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Reply to "MOVIES: What are you watching?"

The Lighthouse--it was only recently I commented on the movie I'm Thinking of Ending Things. I talked about that it was shot in the old Academy ratio of 4:3, which was the standard aspect ratio until the 1950s. So I was quite surprised when, after it being recommended to me, the first thing I noticed about The Lighthouse is that its AR is almost square. Shot at at pre-1920s ratio of 1.19:1, both these movies use their narrow ratios to force their two main characters close together. With The Lighthouse's made-for-the-role Willem Defoe, as an overbearing lighthouse tender and Robert Patterson's, at first accepting, harrareessed assistant, they create scene after scene of wildness that would almost be too much full screen.

Also of note is that it was shot on film (!) using old Kodak Tri-X and then used filters that would strip away red to give the film the look of orthochromatic stock. This was all that was available in the early days of photography and movies. The director said that, surprisingly, he had to fight the studio not on using such a weird AR, but on the releasing of the film in black and white.

There is so much going on in this film and while it's attempting perhaps too much it's almost impossible to simply say "I liked it" because it doesn't convey the range of this film. Great, nutty, too wild, an unforgettable experience, discomfort, silly and wonderful. It's all there. Also one of the best food related lines since Daniel Plainview talked about milkshakes--"Yer fond of me lobster aint' ye? I seen it - yer fond of me lobster! Say it! Say it. Say it!"

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