Robert Eggers’ Favorite Movies: 10 Films the Director Recommends

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Robert Eggers’ Favorite Movies: 10 Films the Director Recommends

“The Witch,” “The Lighthouse,” and “The Northman” filmmaker revealed the movies he considers the best of all time in his 2022 Sight & Sound ballot.

Robert Eggers' Favorite Movies: "Fitzcarraldo," "Nosferatu," "Apocalypse Now," and "2001: A 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 has 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 awesome that we’re willing to forgive it for inadvertently launching the asinine “elevated horror” discourse. The folk horror film took a scalpel to the Puritanical societies of 17th century New England, allowing Eggers to demonstrate his disturbingly thorough understanding of the darkness in the human mind when he exposed what was beneath the surface.

He continued to explore themes of isolation and sexual repression with his sophomore feature “The Lighthouse,” which ensured that nobody who sees it will ever view mermaids the same way again. He followed that with “The Northman,” his historically accurate (and endlessly metal) Viking epic based on the myth that inspired “Hamlet.” 

Eggers’ unflinching work is clearly not for everyone, but those who like him tend to really like him. While he primarily makes period pieces, he has explained that he does so in order to explore issues with the human condition that modern society largely ignores. 

“This sounds super uber-precious, but I think it’s hard to do this kind of creative work in a modern secular society because it becomes all about your ego and yourself,” Eggers said in a 2022 interview. “And I am envious — this is the horrible part — I’m envious of medieval craftsmen who are doing the work for God. And that becomes a way to … you get to be creative to celebrate something else. And also, you’re censoring yourself because it’s not about like me, me, me, me, me, me. So you say, ‘Oh, I got to rein that back because that’s not what this altar piece needs to be.’ Any worldview where everything around them is full of meaning is exciting to me, because we live in such a tiresome, lame, commercial culture now.”

Unsurprisingly, Eggers’ 2022 Sight & Sound ballot was filled with unflinching films that take their explorations of human nature to harsh conclusions. But anyone who has enjoyed Eggers’ work thus far will almost certainly appreciate many of the films that shaped him.

Keep reading for Eggers’ list of his 10 favorite movies. 

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