Roger Ebert’s Favorite Films

| April 4, 2013

Roger Ebert’s Top 10 Films via the Sight and Sound Directors’ Poll (2012)

 1. Aguirre, Wrath of God (Herzog)
Aguirre is the most evocative expression of Herzog’s genius, and I admire it even more after watching him go through it a shot at a time with Ramin Bahrani a few years ago at Boulder.” Chicago Sun-Times
2. Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
“…a film which still causes real, not figurative, chills to run along my spine, and it is certainly the bravest and most ambitious fruit of Coppola’s genius.” Chicago Sun-Times
3. Citizen Kane (Welles)
“Welles gives us a portrait of a gargantuan man of unlimited ambitions and appetites, whose excesses outran his resources.” Wall Street Journal
4. La Dolce Vita (Fellini)
“A film about a kind of life I dreamed of living, then a film about the life I was living, the about my escape from that life. Now, half a century after its release, it is about the arc of my life, and its closing scene is an eerie reflection of my wordlessness and difficulty in communicating.” Chicago Sun-Times

5. The General (Keaton)
“…I consider The General his [Buster Keaton’s] best.” Chicago Sun-Times
6. Raging Bull (Scorsese)
“Many would choose Taxi Driver as Scorsese’s greatest film, but I believe Raging Bull is his best and most personal, a film he says in some ways saved his life. It is the greatest cinematic expression of the torture of jealousy–his Othello.”  Chicago Sun-Times
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
“… a stand-along monument, a great visionary leap, unsurpassed in its vision of man and the universe.” Chicago Sun-Times

8. Tokyo Story (Ozu)
“The older I grow and the more I observe how age affects our relationships, the more I think ‘Tokyo Story’ has to teach us.” Chicago Sun-Times

9. Vertigo (Hitchcock)
“One of my shifts last time was to replace Hitchcock’s Notorious with Vertigo, because after going through both a shot at a time during various campus sessions, I decided that Vertigo was, after all, the better of two nearly perfect films.”

 10. While Kieslowski’s Dekalog, was once on his list, he later changed it to Tree of Life (Malick)
“affirmative and hopeful. I realize [those aren’t] a defensible reasons for choosing one film over the other, but [they are] my reasons, and making this list is essentially impossible, anyway.”


Roger Ebert’s Top 10 Foreign Films

Ebert’s favorites shifted often but that fact that there is no Yimou (Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lanterns), Bergman (Fanny and Alexander, Wild Strawberries) or Truffaut (Jules et Jim, 400 Blows) shows what an independent critic he was.

That said, however, he did list Truffaut’s Small Change as his favorite of 1976, as well as Bergman’s Cries and Whispers for 1973 and Scenes from a Marriage from 1974.

 1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (China)

2. Innocence (Australia)

3. City of God (Brazil)

4. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Mexico)

5. Invincible (Germany)

6. Spirited Away (Japan)

7. The Son (Belgium)

8. In America (Ireland)
9. Moolaade (France)

10. Me and You and Everyone We Know (UK)



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