Robert Eggers’ favorite movies: 10 movies the director recommends

The director of “The Witch,” “The Lighthouse” and “The Northman” has revealed his 2022 Sight & Sound poll for the best movies of all time.

Robert Eggers favorite movies: "Fitzcarraldo," "Nosferatu," "apocalypse now" and "2001: Space Odyssey"

(Clockwise from bottom left): ‘Fitzcarraldo’, ‘Nosferatu’, Robert Eggers, ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

Courtesy Everett Collection/Getty Images

Robert Eggers has only directed three feature films in his short career as a filmmaker, but he’s already developed the kind of instantly recognizable point of view that many artists spend a lifetime cultivating.

Eggers burst onto the scene with 2015’s “The Witch,” a film so fantastical that we’re willing to forgive him for accidentally starting the “elevated horror” discourse. The vernacular horror film took a dagger into the Puritan societies of 17th-century New England, allowing Eggers to demonstrate his disturbingly thorough understanding of the darkness of the human mind as he explored what lies beneath the surface.

She continued to explore themes of isolation and sexual repression with her sophomore film, “The Lighthouse,” which ensured that no one who saw it would ever look at mermaids the same way again. He followed that up with “The Northman,” a historically accurate (and endlessly metallic) Viking epic based on the myth that inspired “Hamlet.”

Eggers’ unflinching work is obviously not for everyone, but it is for those who like it really like him. Although he primarily creates period pieces, he explained that he does so to explore questions about the human condition that are largely ignored by modern society.

“That sounds extremely valuable, but I think it’s hard to do this kind of creative work in a modern secular society because it’s all about your ego and yourself,” Eggers said in a 2022 interview. “And I envy—this is the horrible part—I envy the medieval craftsmen who do the work for God. And it’s a way to… get creative to celebrate something different. And also that you’re censoring yourself because it’s not like me, me, me, me, me, me. So you say, “Oh, I’ve got to push that back, because this altarpiece isn’t supposed to be like that.” For me, any world view where everything around them makes sense is exciting, because we live in such a tiring, lame, commercial culture now.”

Unsurprisingly, Eggers’ 2022 Sight & Sound ballot was filled with unflinching films that take explorations of human nature to their hard-hitting conclusions. But those who have enjoyed Eggers’ work so far will almost certainly appreciate the films that shaped him.

Read on for Eggers’ list of his 10 favorite movies.

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