Robert Eggers names his favourite Stanley Kubrick movie

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In the broadest and most unflattering of senses, each of Robert Eggers‘ four features to date have been cut from a similar cloth, but they’ve each conspired to be markedly and startlingly different in their own way.

Admittedly, his remake of seminal horror classic and cinematic trailblazer Nosferatu hasn’t been released yet. However, based entirely on the original and its associated mythology, it’s hardly unreasonable to make an educated guess and state that it’ll carry on the filmmaker’s signature themes of blending the folkloric with the otherworldly in a period setting.

The exact same sentiments apply to The Witch, The Lighthouse, and The Northman, and yet they operate under entirely different parameters. His striking feature debut was a supernatural horror drenched in existential dread, his sophomore effort a psychosexual descent into madness, with the most recent a blockbuster-sized historical epic backed by a major studio that hardly skimped on the weirdness.

There may come a time when Eggers decides to abandon his familiar trappings and try his hand at something different. While it would be foolish to expect him to sign on for an effects-heavy franchise film, given that he’s waved away such notions in the past, taking his talents beyond the stars would mark a logical progression.

After all, like many directors of his generation, Star Wars had a profound effect on Eggers when he was a youngster, with the aspiring filmmaker left entranced by the creatures, the effects, and the world-building. Similarly, Steven Spielberg’s E.T. was another touchstone, while Terry Gilliam’s Brazil opened his eyes to the more idiosyncratic side of mainstream cinema.

It’s not like Eggers hasn’t signalled his interest in potentially telling a cosmic story because he very much has, as he explained to Letterboxd. “Never say never because I am interested in sci-fi,” he said. “I feel like generally when people are trying to ask big questions and challenge current philosophies, to look at things that are bigger than ourselves today, it’s always done with sci-fi.”

Having cited The Shining as one of his biggest influences when figuring out the inner workings of the medium in an effort “to try and understand how to make a film with sustained tension,” it shouldn’t be revelatory to discover that of the ten movies he listed as his all-time favourites only one of them is a sci-fi flick, it was helmed by Stanley Kubrick, and it’s one of the greatest ever made.

He’s hardly alone in carrying that opinion when 2001: A Space Odyssey has been celebrated since the day it was released as a masterclass in the moving imagine, and it was the only Kubrickian exercise to make his personal top ten. If Eggers were ever to move into the realms of sci-fi, then it stands to reason, based on his filmography so far, that he’d be much closer to that template than Star Wars.

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