time is a forward-marching impasse

Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse, and Milton

Since it came up in class yesterday, I just wanted to bring up the film The Lighthouse (dir. Robert Eggers) which is in theaters now. There are a lot of interesting things underneath the surface of the film (which is probably the craziest thing you’ll see in a theater this year — so go check it out), but one of the most prominent mythological influences on the film is the classic tale of Prometheus — and his punishment. Interestingly enough, after class yesterday when I was scouring interviews looking for a connection, I found out that there is a criticism written by R. J. Zwi Werblowsky titled Lucifer and Prometheus in which Milton’s satan is compared directly to Prometheus. I wonder now how much of an influence the work of Milton could’ve also potentially had on Eggers. He is certainly a director that is obsessed with an insane level of historical accuracy in his films, most notably in his dialogue, and is obviously someway inspired by the writings of historical and classical poets such as Milton. Similarly, his work is highly characterized by the strong influence of myth and folk tale. As he said in a recent AMA on r/Movies, in one reply: “Folk tales, fairy tales, religion, the occult—these are the things I’m most passionate about, even more than cinema.”

Also, in this interview for Collider Eggers directly calls out the influence of Shakespeare and Milton on one of Willem Dafoe’s monologues from the film (he mentions it very briefly around the 13:00 mark).

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