Marooned on a remote peninsula and haunted by frightening specters, a young man must confront the grotesque denizens of the night, or heed the Lighthouse Keeper's cryptic warning to, 'Always keep a light burning!'
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Based on real events which saw two lighthouse keepers stranded for months at sea in a freak storm, the film tells a tale of death, madness and isolation; a desolate trip into the heart of human darkness.
Mark Lewis Jones,
The suitor rejects elder sister Kunie but likes Kimoko, the younger one. Their father and his mistress have separate shops. Kimiko suddenly learns that she is her mother. Business is bad. The police visit when business shortcuts are taken.
The one-act play on which this film is based premiered at the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Paris in May 1905 with Henri Gouget in the role of Yvon. The play was revived 1913, 1918, 1925 and 1933. See more »
This silent movie must be considered Grémillon's first masterwork;its very bad copy is in need of restoration.
Two lighthouse keepers (the father and the son) are to spend one entire month in the middle of the sea near the coasts of Brittany;a series of bizarre flashbacks reveals us that the young man has been bitten by a rabid dog.He remembers things of his past,his fiancée,the attack of the dog -which he did not take seriously- and he's seeing things too ,sometimes his visions become mad .As his condition gets worse,he and his father,prisoners of their islet ,inaccessible because of the raging sea ,begin to panic.It almost verges on horror movie,and it will be imitated later.
The soundtrack is brilliant,close to musique concrete ,with a metallic predominance and sinister glug-glugs;even when they remember the Britton folk dances ,the sound is not that of bagpipes .Grémillon creates,without the sound effects of modern technology ,a feeling of deadly claustrophobia which grabs the viewer and there's no letup as it continues to build in intensity and drama as the flashbacks ,hallucinations and madness invade the enclosed place.
Grémillon's love for Brittany would emerge again ,notably in "Remorques" and mainly in his swansong "L'Amour D'Une Femme" in which an entire sequence was filmed in a lighthouse.
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