Interview: The Witch director Robert Eggers on Fellini, feminism, and period-accurate candlelight

Arriving with endorsements from Stephen King and some honest-to-goodness Satanists, Robert Eggers’ The Witch is poised to become the breakout horror hit of the year. Winner of the Best Director award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Eggers’ film is a meticulously researched, beautifully shot dark historical fairy tale with deep—and deeply unsettling—implications. Newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Thomasin, the eldest daughter of a deeply religious family who finds herself accused of witchcraft by those closest to her in 17th century New England. To shoot the film, Eggers and his crew re-created a 17th century frontier homestead using period materials and tools, a painstaking approach also reflected in Eggers’ use of imagery and dialogue drawn directly from historical texts. It’s a remarkable achievement, made even more remarkable by the fact that The Witch is Eggers’ directorial debut.

Just before the film’s opening weekend, The A …

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