Those who know me personally may be aware of my peculiar fascination with lighthouses. The romance and symbolism of those beacons attracts me, romances me, and causes me to think of important things. The vital responsibilities, the potential loneliness of the keepers, the beauty and conflict of the two worlds, land and sea, meeting at the coast, the light shining in the darkness, even on cloudful nights…all these I love.
And so it comes as little surprise that a short animated story that gets all these elements right is bound to delight me. “The Lighthouse Keeper” (or “Le phare”) by those talented folks at the Gobelins School of the Image is one of their most restrained in terms of color, taking place, as it does, at night. But the light and dark contrast is superbly and dramatically used. A fantasy, like all the others, it involves but one creature…a huge mosquito! Not exactly a welcoming thing, in my opinion. Neither in the lighthouse keeper’s. But as it turns out that, just when disaster seems certain, a surprise of the mildly eucatastrophic kind decides to appear.