The Lighthouse (Blu-ray SteelBook) (Zavvi Exclusive) [UK]

Added to Calendar: 11-30-20

BluSteel2012

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Jan 4, 2012
20,333
Ireland
Why did they shoot it in that ratio? What were trying to achieve?

The price of TV's (and cinemas and Physical media) and you're left watching something for 2 hrs in a small box because the director wants it to feel arty farty!

I don't believe in that shite!
 
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VVD

Feb 25, 2020
304
Why did they shoot it in that ratio? What were trying to achieve?

The price of TV's (and cinemas and Physical media) and you're left watching something for 2 hrs in a small box because the director wants it to feel arty farty!

I don't believe in that shite!
The Lighthouse’s aspect ratio isn’t too far off square, at 1.19. (Normally, the “1:” bit of the aspect ratio is left out. A ratio of 1:1 would be perfectly square.) The film is set in the 1890s, when most films were shot in roughly square aspect ratios and people had very long attention spans. So how to make it seem like a more authentic period piece? Shoot in a roughly square aspect ratio. And make the film so slow people begin to pine for a lighthouse of their own just so they can throw themselves off it into the thunderous surf.

Eggers is an avowed fan of early cinema and he and his cinematographer Jarin Blaschke have spoken of paying homage to German expressionist filmmakers such as FW Murnau (he of Nosferatu fame) who used it consistently, as did Fritz Lang. Eggers and Blaschke could have just tweeted “we like old films and have seen lots of them” or “we have better taste than u plebs”, but, instead, they made this collection of nods to Lang and Murnau so that fact could sink in over 110 minutes.

Presumably, 1.19 was also chosen to build a sense of claustrophobia and perhaps to mirror the narrow, tall feeling of, well, a lighthouse. Without stating the obvious, filming in a box-like aspect ratio gives the feeling of being boxed in. It also has the bonus of earning The Lighthouse a place on lists like this, which is great publicity.


 

Noodles

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Premium Supporter
Why did they shoot it in that ratio? What were trying to achieve?

The price of TV's (and cinemas and Physical media) and you're left watching something for 2 hrs in a small box because the director wants it to feel arty farty!

I don't believe in that shite!
I'm not a fan of this new trend either... always feel like I'm watching an Instagram video or something.
 
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Sep 21, 2020
167
Most films were presented in this format pre 1950’s. before the widescreen ratio became more standard. It’s obviously an attempt, along with the monochrome filming, to make the movie feel old. I agree though. The matting out isn’t necessary and although I haven’t seen the movie, probably limits depth of the photography. Real shame.
 

RedFridge007

Premium Supporter
Mar 7, 2019
152
UK
I would have to politely disagree that the choice of aspect ratio is merely artsy fartsy or part of a trend. Are there films that do this? Sure, but to lump them all together would be unfair and I would be really sad if all films were the same widescreen aspect ratio - I know nobody is saying make all films the same aspect ratio here, but I can't help think of so many films where the format choice is integral to the film.
(Also, the IMAX 70mm format gets pretty close to the square side of things so y'know, can't be that bad :p )

In the case of The Lighthouse, with the low budget and no need to appeal to mass market the filmmakers were free to experiment and do something unique. It would have been far cheaper and easier to shoot this film traditionally, but instead this choice gave way for some really exciting and varied cinematography through it. I'd recommend listening to the A24 podcast featuring Ari Aster and Robert Eggers, they chat about their films, both two apiece now, and it's generally quite interesting, but they do also speak of their influences, why they love those films and why they wanted to include some of those essences in their films.
I will admit tho, if you were going to watch The Lighthouse on a small cheap telly in the corner of your room, you probably wouldn't have a very good time.

Steelbook? Yes will be getting this one, fingers crossed on the finish
 
Mar 24, 2013
9,141
I've watched loads of 1930 and 1940s films in 1:33/1:37 on a 4:3 TV before widescreen TVs came in and even though I'd prefer to watch a film in that ratio on an old style squarish TV without black bars down the sides I don't mind the bars when watching these films on a regular 1:85 widescreen TV.
Admittedly only watched very few films in the 1:19/1:20 ratio on a widescreen TV and don't expect to have an issue with black bars covering almost half of the screen.

Looks to me like this film is using an idea last seen in Wes Anderson's GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - only without the ratio changes - with THE LIGHTHOUSE set in one time period
(the 1890s) the 1:19 ratio = the film ratio of the time.
For example, GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL in the present day (2010s) = 1:85
1603363614630.png


... 2:40 for when the film switches to the 1960s
1603363697558.png


... and 1:33 for the 1930s
1603363763649.png


As with THE LIGHTHOUSE all eras are reflected by the ratios employed.
 

BluSteel2012

Premium Supporter
Jan 4, 2012
20,333
Ireland
The Lighthouse’s aspect ratio isn’t too far off square, at 1.19. (Normally, the “1:” bit of the aspect ratio is left out. A ratio of 1:1 would be perfectly square.) The film is set in the 1890s, when most films were shot in roughly square aspect ratios and people had very long attention spans. So how to make it seem like a more authentic period piece? Shoot in a roughly square aspect ratio. And make the film so slow people begin to pine for a lighthouse of their own just so they can throw themselves off it into the thunderous surf.

Eggers is an avowed fan of early cinema and he and his cinematographer Jarin Blaschke have spoken of paying homage to German expressionist filmmakers such as FW Murnau (he of Nosferatu fame) who used it consistently, as did Fritz Lang. Eggers and Blaschke could have just tweeted “we like old films and have seen lots of them” or “we have better taste than u plebs”, but, instead, they made this collection of nods to Lang and Murnau so that fact could sink in over 110 minutes.

Presumably, 1.19 was also chosen to build a sense of claustrophobia and perhaps to mirror the narrow, tall feeling of, well, a lighthouse. Without stating the obvious, filming in a box-like aspect ratio gives the feeling of being boxed in. It also has the bonus of earning The Lighthouse a place on lists like this, which is great publicity.


...... because the director wanted it to feel arty farty!!! Point proven!! :p

This film is obviously not for me then.
 
Sep 21, 2020
167
Yes I agree that they weren’t merely trying to be artsy. More like trying to give that uneasy feeling of olden day flickery arcade “what the butler saw “ type atmosphere. And from what I’ve seen very successfully but the photography has been compromised for that look. It’s their movie and their choice clearly. It’s the same when people complain about film grain. I like film grain and hate it when they scrub the detail out digitally. The amount of reviews I’ve read about how how certain scenes have more grain and are ruined in the scan etc. Completely wrong. When shooting on film, the lighting conditions have a significant impact on the photography. Darker scenes require more light sensitive film stock and this has larger grain emulsion to capture lower light. Brighter scenes require less light sensitive emulsion so grain can be almost invisible. This is why grain charges from scene to scene. It’s not because they messed up. A good example is goodfellas 4K. Always gets a bashing for bad transfer but in fact the grain structure is very visible in every scene and the variations are due to film stock. The lighthouse I believe was shot on 35 mm black and white film not digitally with fake grain added so not cheaply made really. Much easier to shoot digitally with virtually no lighting issues.
 

Space Cadet

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Premium Supporter
Nov 26, 2017
2,715
Note : might be spoilers !

Can some one help me. I watched the film with English subs and it was not clear to me what the black goo in well like thing was ?
 

RedFridge007

Premium Supporter
Mar 7, 2019
152
UK
Note : might be spoilers !

Can some one help me. I watched the film with English subs and it was not clear to me what the black goo in well like thing was ?
Is this the well where
He finds the dead seagull inside
If it's the place he pours the white stuff into, that'll be the cistern - they used it to collect fresh rainwater off the roof to drink and wash with, and they would use chalk to either decontaminate or reverse the lead in the roofing I'm not 100%.
 
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Space Cadet

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Nov 26, 2017
2,715
Most films were presented in this format pre 1950’s. before the widescreen ratio became more standard. It’s obviously an attempt, along with the monochrome filming, to make the movie feel old. I agree though. The matting out isn’t necessary and although I haven’t seen the movie, probably limits depth of the photography. Real shame.
It's not shame at all as it is as the director intended it to be.
 
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Flloydo

Yo honey-dips, summertime, fine Jheri drippin'
Premium Supporter
Jun 4, 2013
22,106
UK
LOL the aspect ratio is for a claustrophobic feel. Simple as that. Wouldn’t work any other way.

Got to love it when it when creativity just gets called artsy fartsy by film fans on a f**king film forum!
 

Space Cadet

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Nov 26, 2017
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@Retro Parrot

From IMdb

" Since the film is set in 1890, it was shot on 35mm black and white Double-X 5222 film, all while augmenting the Panavision Millennium XL2 camera with vintage Baltar lenses from as early as 1918 to as late as 1938. This makes the aspect ratio approximately 1.19:1, which is practically square. To enhance the image and make it resemble early photography, a custom cyan filter made by Schneider Filters emulated the look and feel of orthochromatic film from the late 19th century. This filter blocks all the red wavelengths from hitting the film, so that the reds appear black. Considering most pores and skin tones have red in them, the orthochromatic emulation allows the audience to see just about every imperfection and pore on the actors faces. "

Why would one wanna make things the easy way ? I appreciate this kind of dedication. :thumbs:

...but do see the film ! It's worth it.
 
LOL the aspect ratio is for a claustrophobic feel. Simple as that. Wouldn’t work any other way.

Got to love it when it when creativity just gets called artsy fartsy by film fans on a f**king film forum!
Haha yeah you always hear people complain about mainstream films and that marvel sucks but the second someone tries something different it's suddenly 'artsy-fartsy'.. What do people want?
 
Sep 21, 2020
167
I just think people want to be more immersed in the image. Any format on the big screen has impact because of the huge scale. For the home market there is a limit to the size of tv we can watch it on. If you have a huge spare room and a 4K projector you’re laughing but most of us don’t. The movie was ultimately shot for the big screen and that’s what the director had in mind I suspect; not the after market. When I said it’s a shame, I merely meant the photography could have been even more stunning in wide screen.
 
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Sep 21, 2020
167
Also could someone tell me if the current blu Ray fills the screen from top to bottom or is is even more cropped and centralised within four black bars? I really hope it does fill up as much of the screen as possible for impact. I remember watching Blair witch at the cinema and it was a tiny squarish image on a huge screen. Absolutely terrible movie coupled with unrealistically bad filming made me feel sick. Off topic but such a great idea wasted.
 

Space Cadet

| Vampyr |
Premium Supporter
Nov 26, 2017
2,715
I just think people want to be more immersed in the image. Any format on the big screen has impact because of the huge scale. For the home market there is a limit to the size of tv we can watch it on. If you have a huge spare room and a 4K projector you’re laughing but most of us don’t. The movie was ultimately shot for the big screen and that’s what the director had in mind I suspect; not the after market. When I said it’s a shame, I merely meant the photography could have been even more stunning in wide screen.
...what if the director did not want us to be stunned by the photography, but what was going on the screen ?
 
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