Gina McIntyre has penned a 12.21 L.A. Times piece called “For Filmmakers This season, It’s Hip To Be Square — At Least On The Screen.” The primary focus is on Robert Eggers‘ black-and-white The Lighthouse (Amazon, currently streaming), which Eggers shot “using an aspect ratio dating [back] to the days of silent movies.”
Which is true. 1.19:1 was used during the transitional period when the film industry was converting to sound, or roughly from 1926 to 1932. Pally who knows everything: “It’s from the very early sound era with the soundtrack on the left, before Academy added the printed-in-frame lines to create 1.37.”
The problem is that McIntyre declares that the square-ish format “is known in cinematography circles as 1.3:1 or 4:3.” Sorry but that’s wrong. The Lighthouse aspect ratio, as A24 informed me and as I reported on 7.30, “is actually 1.19:1” — an aspect ratio introduced in 1926. Call it 1.2:1 if you want to simplify, but 4×3 (or 1.33 or 1.37) is definitely incorrect. Variety‘s Jazz Tanquay confirmed the 1.19 aspect ratio on 11.18.19.