As the wavering cry of the foghorn fills the air, the taciturn former lumberjack, Ephraim Winslow, and the grizzled lighthouse keeper, Thomas Wake, set foot in a secluded and perpetually grey islet off the coast of late-19th-century New England. For the following four weeks of back-breaking work and unfavourable conditions, the tight-lipped men will have no one else for company except for each other, forced to endure irritating idiosyncrasies, bottled-up resentment, and burgeoning hatred. Then, amid bad omens, a furious and unending squall maroons the pale beacon's keepers in the already inhospitable volcanic rock, paving the way for a prolonged period of feral hunger; excruciating agony; manic isolation, and horrible booze-addled visions. Now, the eerie stranglehold of insanity tightens. Is there an escape from the wall-less prison of the mind?Written by
No seagulls were harmed while filming this movie. The seagull scenes were filmed with a puppet, which was digitally replaced with real seagulls. The real birds were trained rescue seagulls named Lady, Tramp and Johnny. They re-shot the scenes with the real seagulls in front of a greenscreen in a studio in the UK, because they couldn't fly the seagulls to Nova Scotia, Canada. The missing eye was done in post-production. Other seagulls seen flying around in the distance were living in that area and were always around while shooting, much to the anger of the crew, because the seagulls quickly realised to use them as their food source. See more »
You think yer so damned high and mighty cause yer a goddamned lighthouse keeper? Well, you ain't a captain of no ship and you never was, you ain't no general, no copper, you ain't the president, and you ain't my father -- and I'm sick of you actin' like you is! I'm sick of your laugh, your snoring, and your goddamned farts. Your damned goddamned farts. Goddamn yer farts! You smell like piss, you smell like jism, like rotten dick, like curdled foreskin, like hot onions fucked a farmyard ...
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This is precisely the type of film that will garner equal amounts of unbridled praise by the arthouse diehards, as well as criticism (and likely rejection) from a lot of other viewers. My opinion lies somewhere in the middle. I give it 6 stars for the undeniably outstanding acting (obviously, Dafoe)... and Pattinson is very impressive. Something new, yes. Effective at mood-setting, check. The b&w filming, the shots, the scenery itself... even the set, the old dilapidated coastal shack, all excellent. The dynamic between the two characters is raw and real. Is it a thought-provoking free-fall into insanity? Maybe. But... there is a such a fine line between "arthouse", trying something different, leaving much up to subjectivity and imagination, and... just trying a bit too hard. Mermaid labia? Hmmm. But, if part of the definition of a cinematic "success" is evoking emotion, then mission accomplished. Total despair, pity, fear, disgust, and a general feeling of creepery, all there.
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