In recent years, successful filmmakers have emerged who, with their fidelity to their ideas, and their originality when it comes to telling stories, have earned critical acclaim and the affection of the audience. One of them is Robert Eggers, one of the youngest faces who have contributed to psychological terror, drama, suspense with his period pieces like The Witch – 91%, The Lighthouse – 96% and The Northman – 87%.
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As his career progresses, he also gets more opportunities, such as having a recognized cast such as Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe, or with larger budget productions such as the one starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Alexander Skarsgård and Nicole Kidman. The director’s greatest focus has been on the dark side of humanity; and his taste for period pieces goes beyond his own movies.
During a recent interview with SlashFilmthe director talked about how inspiring the medieval era is for him not only to take it and tell a story from it, but he feels a certain envy for the artists of that time who did not exactly have an economic or egocentric interest in the time to create their works because, according to their words, in those times their interests were more religious, they sought to honor God through art.
This sounds super precious, but I think it’s hard to do this kind of creative work in a modern secular society because it’s all about your ego and yourself. And I’m envious, this is the horrible part, I’m envious of the medieval craftsmen who did their work for God. And that becomes a way of… you can be creative to celebrate something else. And also, you’re censoring yourself because it’s not about “me, me, me, me, me, me”. So you say, ‘Oh, I have to control that because it’s not what this tableau needs to be.’ Any view of the world where everything around you is full of meaning is exciting to me, because we now live in a very boring commercial culture.
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Eggers uses the term “modern secular society” to refer to the way in which religion now carries less weight than it used to. It is true that in past ages the image of God and the authorities that represented it had greater power, and perhaps many crimes were committed socially using that as a pretext, but from the artistic side, for the filmmaker, the objective was much more honest than what is now.
Continuing with his idea, it is likely that in our times the cinema, as a particular example of art, has become more of a machine for generating money and popularity, and the way in which this is demonstrated is by taking as an example those great franchises that are they care more about their number of productions per year instead of focusing on a single film that will be significant for a long time.
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This can also be shown if we compare the number of films that are produced now and that reach theaters, as opposed to previous decades in which the titles on the billboards were fewer. It was more important to tell a good story than to create a franchise that could force its own essence.