Hour of the Wolf
A married couple vacationing on an isolated island cottage is the focus of “Hour of the Wolf.”. The artist Johan Borg (Max Von Sydow) suffers from nightmares and insomnia. He likes to listen to long, solemn monologues while cleaning the house with his wife, Alma. Having to be alone with each other all the time strains the couple’s marriage, and Johan Borg starts to have constant hallucinations. Are his nightmares coming true?
A masterclass in tropical gothic horror, “Hour of the Wolf” creates an atmosphere that is simultaneously horrific and mind-boggling. With its dreamy and subconsciously driven scenes, this 1968 film haunts young and old alike. The hallucinations of Johan Borg feel more raw and real than those of Robert Pattinson. There is a particularly disturbing scene in which a child attacks Borg, which makes the viewer feel trapped in a nightmare.
Ingmar Bergman’s “Hour of the Wolf” is another flawless gem in his illustrious career. Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and Through a Glass Darkly have less influence on “Lighthouse.”. According to Robert Eggers (quite snootily), “Bergman’s my favorite filmmaker if I had to pick.” That’s evident in Eggers’ two big A24 hits. Ingmar Bergman is cooler, and he always will be, but Robert Eggers won’t agree. Robert Eggers cannot rival Bergman’s coolness when it comes to themes of identity as depicted in his films such as “Persona” and “Through a Glass Darkly.” But Bergman will always be cooler than Eggers. It will never be possible for Robert Eggers to surpass the greatness of Ingmar Bergman, regardless of how many movies he makes. “The Magic Lantern” has sold many copies due to its insight into Bergman’s life. There will never be an autobiography by Robert Eggers. The reason is that Ingmar Bergman was an amazing person who lived an incredible life. It’s not unusual for actors to attend fancy-schmancy acting schools.
“Kameradschaft,” a masterpiece from Director George Wilhelm Pabst’s “Social Realism” oeuvre, tells the tale of a mine split into two sections after World War I. German and French rivalry causes only three old German coal miners to put their lives on the line in order to save the French miners. With its anti-nationalist, anti-divide tone, this mining film speaks to audiences about the brotherhood of men, based on true events.
The authentic realism in “Kameradschaft” and Pabst’s “Westfront 1918” can only be distinguished as distinctively Italian. “Kameradschaft” is not only worth watching for its social critique but as a gritty, tragic picture commenting on post-World War I European relations. This film features the best set design of the early 1900s, outranking even Hollywood’s Golden Age film sets. It was led by artist Erno Metzner. As intense as any disaster movie released in the 21st century, the mine sets perfectly capture the claustrophobia, working conditions, and terror of coal mining in the early 20th century. “The Lighthouse” was inspired by the film’s aspect ratio and crowded nerve-wracking atmosphere.
The director Robert Eggers says in an interview with the BFI that his movie and Kameradschaft (1931) by G.W. Pabst are the only films in which the aspect ratio serves the story, because it takes place in a mine. Pabst shoots vertical smokestacks and the cramped locations in the mine.”
The Lighthouse Keepers
An island near the coasts of Brittany has to host a father and son lighthouse keeper duo for a month. The son has gone insane after being bitten by a rabid dog. The daughter’s sanity waxes and wanes with the tide, while the lighthouse inhabitants bombard them with surreal and hallucinatory flashbacks.
The Lighthouse Keepers, a masterpiece of silent cinema by French movie maestro Jean Grémillon, needs a rediscovery and reevaluation. “The Lighthouse” pays obvious homage to this early atmospheric psychodrama. Robert Eggers stated this regarding Grémillon’s film: “We nod to the image in Grémillon’s The Lighthouse Keepers (1929) of the bite of the rabid dog on the son who is gazing at the light. A single overhead zoom shot is used for it. We pay our respects to that.”
A Field in England
A deserter escapes war in 1600s England steeped in the civil war by running into a crowded field, where he is captured by an alchemist. The deserters descend into madness and absurdity.
“The Lighthouse” might seem like the only genre film in recent years to be dressed in black and white, but that’s not true. Robert Eggers and his team pilfered from director Ben Wheatley’s “A Field in England”. In a black and white period piece with a touch of the dark, creepy, and supernatural, “A Field in England” reminds me of Robert Egger’s cult films, now distributed by A24. The juxtaposition of surrealism and odd humor in every shot is reminiscent of Egger’s latest work, which contains oddly humorous moments.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
A prospector named Howard (Walter Huston) the third tough guy (Humphrey Bogart) searching for treasure in the harshest parts of Mexico is accompanied by bank robber Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart). Even though they find fortune, the trio is very unfortunate as nature, robbers, and greed threaten to devour their precious gold.
Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston star in one of the greatest movies of the Golden Age of American cinema, “The Treasure of Sierra Madre”. Bogart plays a degraded version of the romantic Hollywood hero he became known for playing. Due to the dynamics and chemistry of these two actors, the seeds of mistrust and desire flourished perfectly, most likely inspiring the actions of “Lighthouse’s” protagonists. This picture is also Huston’s best work in terms of writing and directing – its highly quotable dialogue is among the best in cinema. This movie should be seen by anyone who enjoyed “The Lighthouse.”