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Nothing hits quite like a double feature. Especially when both films overtly resonate with each other. And given a good chunk of the movie-watching world is flush with spare time (thanks, pandemic), the possibilities are endless. A horny nun double up of The Devils and School of the Holy Beast? An offbeat colonial Giallo pairing of Next of Kin and Black Christmas?
How about two films about psychological breakdown in a confined space? Not that any of us would know anything about that. As detailed in the video essay “The Shining and The Lighthouse: The Horror of Isolation,” Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse not only pair well together, they illuminate each other’s shared thematic threads and underline the true horror of entrapment. In addition to more obvious common ground (men driven to bloodlust and insanity by isolation and loneliness), the essay argues that the pairing highlights more subtle similarities: claustrophobic framing, surreal quick cuts, and a shared interest in Greek mythology.
These days, watching a movie about cabin fever (let alone two!) may seem like a risky on-the-nose move. But consider this: staring straight into the light of what ails you can be cathartic. And hey, sometimes you need a reminder that things can always be worse.
You can watch “The Shining and The Lighthouse: The Horror of Isolation” here:
Who made this?
Based out of the UK, Masters of Movies has been releasing video essays on YouTube over the last year. You can follow them on Twitter here. They also post reviews and blog posts on their website, including a list of ten underrated films to watch during quarantine.
More Videos Like This
- Another taste of what Masters of Movies has to offer: “The Meaning of Long Takes“
- The Kino Corner on how The Lighthouse encapsulates a distinctly American understanding of myth
- The Lighthouse director Robert Eggers on the CBC radio show Q on how he manifested memories from a different era
- I keep recommending this video essay because it’s insightful, well made, and relevant: “Quietly Going Insane Together” by Lessons from the Screenplay
- CinemaTyler has produced a bananapants amount of Kubrik content. His essay on how Kubrik adapted the screenplay of The Shining is one of my favorites.
- Deviating from the horror theme, a marvelous essay from Anna Catley comparing Wes Anderson and Yasujiro Ozu. The way she describes how both filmmakers represent family dynamics and interior space feels relevant.