This black-and-white tale of madness and terror, with a splash of glee, is from Robert Eggers – the director of The Witch.
“I shot in black and white 35mm negative. It’s very tactile; you can see every pore of the actors’ faces. It’s not supposed to be like an old film but it does reference them. The square format was great for filming lighthouses and we had a special lens made to create chromatic film. For the language, my brother and I read a lot of period texts to absorb the vibe of how people spoke. Obviously, Moby Dick is great literature and Melville’s language was an influence. Willem’s dialect was that of a Maine farmer and Robert’s was a sailor’s dialect. We had a book by Sarah Orne Jewett of stories that were transcribed using dialects and that was an important source for us.”
Eggers likes working with as much period appropriate materials and methods as possible. The Witch relied on historical texts and he worked with experts on 17th century agriculture; and the entire movie only lit by natural light to help immerse audiences into its story. He succeeded in created an atmosphere that really accentuated the terror. You can see that kind of detail in this new trailer – hopefully it’s as successful.