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Cult Gala in association with Time Out

The Lighthouse

Robert Eggers, the Sutherland Award-winning director of The Witch, returns to terrorise the LFF with his masterful maritime shocker.

Dir Robert Eggers
Prod Rodrigo Teixeira, Jay Van Hoy, Robert Eggers, Lourenço Sant’ Anna, Youree Henley
Scr Robert Eggers, Max Eggers
With Willem Dafoe, Robert Pattinson, Valeriia Karaman
USA
2019
110min
UK Distribution Universal Pictures International

Leaving Canada behind for the unforgiving terrains of the New England coast, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) reluctantly arrives at the begrimed lighthouse where he will work for the next four weeks. Greeted with gruff hostility by Tom Wake (Willem Dafoe), a veteran seafarer with whom he is obliged to share these uncomfortably close quarters, the pair quickly establish a volatile dynamic, with Tom the baiting slave-driver and Ephraim his battered lackey. As the young apprentice tends to the building’s more onerous and demeaning demands, Tom proudly presides over the mythical light. And with the slow passing of each punishing day, Ephraim’s resentment grows. But when he learns of the mysterious fate which befell his master’s former assistant, a creeping sense of fear and paranoia also begins to stir. Once seen, never forgotten, this hypnotic fusion of beauty and brutality is truly the stuff of nightmares, boasting extraordinary performances from Dafoe and Pattinson as the feuding seadogs, wrapping their scowling mouths around Robert and Max Eggers’ knotty period text with unwavering gusto. Following his remarkable debut The Witch, Eggers continues to prove himself one of contemporary cinema’s most audacious and innovative filmmakers – finding ways entirely of his own of terrifying his audiences.

Michael Blyth

Festival guests

This member of the filmmaking team is expected to attend the festival:

  • Robert Eggers, director.

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.

Additional information

This is a 18+ screening.

All screenings are accessible screenings for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. The film has an audio-description soundtrack, and headphones are available on request.

The screening on Sunday 6 October is an accessible screening for customers who are D/deaf or hard or hearing. The film has English language subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio.

Tickets for the additional screening are on sale to BFI Champions/Patrons Thu 19 Sep 10:00, BFI Members Thu 19 Sep 11:00 and to the public from Fri 20 Sep 10:00.

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