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The greatest films of all time

I love asking people who are really passionate about something to talk about the person or thing they hold up as best. Ask a guitarist, for instance, who the best guitarist of all time was and you’ll get a thoughtful (and probably surprising) explanation and insight into what one artist looks for in another.

Anyway, it was a pleasure to read Roger Ebert explain his 10 greatest films of all time. This is someone who has spent his whole life thinking about a topic and his reasoning behind each choice is deep (outside his odd pick of Tree of Life at the end). I like his explanation of Raging Bull over Taxi Driver for Scorsese:

“Citizen Kane” speaks for itself. “2001: A Space Odyssey” is likewise a stand-along monument, a great visionary leap, unsurpassed in its vision of man and the universe. It was a statement that came at a time which now looks something like the peak of humanity’s technological optimism. 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.”

April 26, 2012 // This post is about: , , ,

Comments

  • Ian says:

    I’m the exact opposite on this.

    I actually don’t like asking people from a particular field who their favorites are in that same field. I find the answers usually suffer from painful affectation.

    I’d much rather debate movies with you than Ebert.

  • Ric Kallaher says:

    I was fortunate enough to have been at Indiana University when the film studies department was truly first rate. The professors there, especially James Naremore, gave great insights. I couldn’t agree more with Mr. Ebert. Without doubt: RAGING BULL outranks TAXI DRIVER. It is a difficult film to watch given the self-destruction that is portrayed, but it is a more mature film and has far greater reach than the earlier film. It is brilliant not only in its direction, but also its script, the editing, the incredible acting and the out-of-this-world cinematography.

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