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The New ‘Animal Crossing’ Is Being Used to Recreate ‘Portrait of a Lady,’ ‘The Lighthouse’

Because what else are you going to do while social distancing?

"Animal Crossing" and "Portrait of a Lady on Fire"

“Animal Crossing” and “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”


The latest “Animal Crossing” video game, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” was released March 20 for Nintendo Switch and apparently has attracted a fanbase of art house movie lovers. As Polygon’s Karen Han observed over the weekend, a handful of users are recreating popular art house titles like Robert Eggers’ “The Lighthouse” and Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” within the video game. Various moments from both movies are popping up on social media as cinephiles spend time social-distancing by re-staging their favorite scenes with “Animal Crossing” characters.

The “New Horizons” game includes a storyline where at some point a seagull washes up on shore. Viewers are switching the video game to its black-and-white mode, which makes the moment feel straight out of Eggers’ “The Lighthouse.” Fans are capturing stills from the game and posting them paired with “The Lighthouse” dialogue, “I seen you sparring with a gull. Best leave them be. Bad luck to kill a seabird.”

Neon, which distributed “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” in the U.S., posted its own “Animal Crossing” stills that resembled “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” Other scenes from “The Lighthouse” are also being recreated and shared online, one of which is the climactic fight between the characters played by Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe. “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was playing in theaters at the time many of them shut down earlier this month, while “The Lighthouse” is available on VOD and digital. Both titles have proven popular enough for crossovers with “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

“New Horizons” is the fifth entry in the long-running “Animal Crossing” video game franchise. The title has proven to be a worldwide hit, selling more copies in its first weekend in the UK than all the other “Animal Crossing” game launches combined. “New Horizons” is now available for purchase.

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