The Lighthouse Keepers

This Saturday, Music Box will screen Jean Grémillon’s extraordinary silent feature The Lighthouse Keepers (1929) from a rare 35-millimeter print. Films by this inventive French director are hard to come by in this country, particularly the silent ones—only three of Grémillon’s films, all made in the 1940s, are available on DVD in the U.S. But even if Grémillon’s work were more readily available, he might still have a narrow reputation. Unlike most other major French directors who started out in the silent era (Jean Epstein, Jean Renoir, René Clair), Grémillon resists easy categorization. The films of his I’ve seen can’t be labeled impressionist, expressionist, realist, or surrealist; rather, they move between all these modes, operating in a style all their own. Continue reading>>