The Northman director Robert Eggers: ‘I’m shocked I made such a macho movie’

The American film-maker behind arthouse hits The Witch and The Lighthouse on how he came to create The Northman, a blood-soaked Viking blockbuster starring Alexander SkarsgårdIn his first film, the 4m Sundance sensation The Witch, Robert Eggers etched a human battle between Puritanism and the occult in 17th-century New England, written entirely in early modern English.

He followed it up with The Lighthouse, a surrealist survival nightmare, soaked in sea salt and maritime slang, jumbling toxic masculinity, fart jokes and octopus-punching.

This is the kind of film-making upon which auteurist cults are built; but it does not, conventionally, inspire Hollywood studios to write the director in question a fat cheque for a blockbuster.And yet.

The Northman, Eggers’s vast, bonkers, exhilarating third feature, was made for the price of several Witches and Lighthouses, but hasn’t come at much cost to the 38-year-old film-maker’s strange, distinct sensibility.

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