Five Favorite Films with Roland Emmerich

The director of 2012 reveals his inspirations.

Roland Emmerich

We're fairly certain Roland Emmerich's movies hold the record for combined body count. Such a feat is the result of a career built around movies like Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow, bombastic, crowd-pleasing disaster movies that frequently leave the planet in ruins. His latest effort is 2012, opening this Friday and starring John Cusack, Amanda Peet, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as survivors in a world tearing apart at the seams and submerging in water. Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Emmerich to get his Five Favorite Films, and on the following page you can read our interview, where he discusses the upcoming 2012 television show, his thoughts on Avatar, and creating popcorn movies on a global scale.





Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 98% Tomatometer)
Lawrence of Arabia It has the most incredible images. The only movie [from] the 60s that you can look at today and [have] it feel totally modern and real.



Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977, 95% Tomatometer)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind [Thematically,] it's very much like my movies. Extraordinary tasks placed on regular people.




Cinema Paradiso (1989, 91% Tomatometer)
Cinema Paradiso Then, Cinema Paradiso, because it's about a director and his dreams. Very close to my heart. It deals with just a kid who kind of falls in love with somebody in film, and film is also the relationship with a projectionist.

Another one of my favorites is La nuit americaine by Truffaut. I kind of enjoy movies about movies. I'd never really wanted to become a director. I wanted to become a production designer. You know, certain movies had better production design than others, and that was driving me for the longest time.



The Godfather (1972, 100% Tomatometer)
The Godftaher I have to say The Godfather. [Laughs] Incredible movie. The performances, how it's told. That's the longest opening scene in film history -- an hour or so. The whole wedding, and then the movie starts.



Citizen Kane (1941, 100% Tomatometer)
Citizen Kane And then comes Citizen Kane. And that's just how it's put together, how it's structured. It's just a modern film. Sometimes I wish movies like this still get made. It's just super radical in every aspect.


Next, Emmerich talks about creating movies for a global audience, 3D movies, and his thoughts on Avatar.

Comments

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Oh, surprise. The Godfather. . .

Nov 10 - 06:02 PM

girly g.

girly girl

hey, dont knock the godfather!
its a great movie!

Feb 25 - 04:29 PM

Armond White Sucks

Michael Baldelli

Wow, could he have been more brief with his explanations?

Somebody has a short attention span. Makes sense considering the types of films he makes is geared towards those with short attention spans.

Nov 10 - 06:25 PM

Colyn B.

Colyn Bowman

I like your display pic haha, looks awfully familiar to me.

Nov 12 - 08:23 AM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

I actually find it debatable who is a worse director, him or Bay. . .

and I gather 2012 is revered as a comedy. . . so I actually might watch it in theaters for some chuckles.

Nov 10 - 06:32 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Bay is worse. Because Bay wins by an extra "Bad Boys".

Emmerich could learn something from these films.

Nov 10 - 10:06 PM

inactive user

Jared King

...and a "Armageddon", and "Pearl Harbor" and "Transformers 2". In fact, Bay is far worse. Not that Emmerich deserves to keep making movies.

Nov 10 - 10:26 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

I think Bay is much worse than Emmerich. Without "Stargate", we would have no SG-1, Atlantis, or Universe. Without "ID4", Will Smith might have faded into obscurity. Without "Godzilla", . . . well we might have better off without "Godzilla", but without "The Patriot", high schoolers wouldn't have any R-rated movies to watch in class. The point is, at least Emmerich's movies are laughable, while Bay's movies are simply misery. Except for "10,000 B.C.", that movie was s***!

Nov 11 - 02:54 AM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

They're both bad, but Bay is a much worse director then Emmerich. The sloppy, smelly, stupid mess that is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is all the prove I need to call Bay a failure of a filmmaker. At least Emmerich's movies have SOME thought to them. I'm an English major in college, and I couldn't follow the plot for Transformers and make sense out of it if I tried.

Nov 11 - 06:03 PM

manwithoutfear19

Daniel Raimondi

but bay had bad boys 1 and even the first transformers but Emmerich had Independence day which was and is way better.

Nov 11 - 06:59 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol. Well, Superzone, I don't think the problem with TF2 was that the plot was hard to follow. I think the problem (among countless others) is that it was easy to follow, making all its holes and flaws glaringly obvious.

Nov 12 - 11:19 AM

AntonChigurh

Chris Scharlau

There classic films but if you say godfather and citizen cane are your all time favorites, your a hack. It's just such a canned choice, say something new.

Nov 10 - 06:53 PM

Premo Beat

John Noto

AntonChigurh did you fail elementary school english or what? Their/there and your/you're, you should check out the differences.

I defend most directors when they pick a movie like Godfather. Because hell, it really is that good and can be appreciated by anyone alive as one of the best ever. But when ONE LIST has Kane, Godfather, Lawrence, AND A SPIELBERG movie.... I draw a line. Emmerich you suck

Nov 10 - 07:58 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Actually, before you go insulting people for their unedited posts, the word he actually needed was "they're" not there nor their. I'm just saying...

Anyways...
In response to another post, I think Bay is a far worse filmmaker (although I didn't see 10,000 BC). Most of the movies I've seen by Emmerich were just okay, but Bay's portfolio is filled with a couple of the worst movies I've ever seen (i.e. Armageddon, Bad Boys II, Transformers 2 etc).

On a side note... anyone else get the feeling that he hasn't actually seen some of these. I mean that description of Citizen Kane... Come on people, it has been around for almost 70 years, you can't still be speechless about it.

Nov 10 - 10:18 PM

AntonChigurh

Chris Scharlau

And your a douce for correcting me. This is the internet, i'll spell how I want whenever I want.

Nov 11 - 02:16 PM

jimmiescoffee

Eddie Money

yeah. because citizen kane isnt one of the best movies ever. right on.

Nov 11 - 04:17 PM

Anthony P.

Anthony Pittore

Something new? WTF? So, you want him to ignore two of the best films in history. . . so he can entertain you? This was an honest response. It's just impossible to find a film more perfect than The Godfather.

How about you, the whiny little keyboard ****, find something new to say?

Nov 12 - 01:59 PM

Jonny Hero

Jonathon Hero

You just can't please some people I guess...

*cough* I'm defending Roland Emmerich; pardon me as I leave the room quietly...

Nov 10 - 07:05 PM

Josh G.

imgonnaget STABBED

I can't believe how he compared Close Encounters with his films. "Extraordinary tasks placed on ordinary people", as though his movies were actually focused on people.

Nov 10 - 07:10 PM

rebranded001

rebranded001 *

I like that movie of his where stuff blows up.

Also Robocop is good so at least he's not completely awful.

Nov 10 - 07:46 PM

csworky

Scott Workman

Good news. You can consider him completely awful because he didn't direct Robocop. That was Paul Verhoeven.

Nov 10 - 08:38 PM

Double_Down_Again

Brent May

Hey rebranded001,

Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers and Total Recall weren't bad either...

;-)

Nov 13 - 09:18 AM

manwithoutfear19

Daniel Raimondi

emmerich had independence day at least

Nov 10 - 07:49 PM

Premo Beat

John Noto

AntonChigurh did you fail elementary school english or what? Their/there and your/you're, you should check out the differences.

I defend most directors when they pick a movie like Godfather. Because hell, it really is that good and can be appreciated by anyone alive as one of the best ever. But when ONE LIST has Kane, Godfather, Lawrence, AND A SPIELBERG movie.... I draw a line. Emmerich you suck

Nov 10 - 07:58 PM

misterkyle1901

kyle T

Actually, before you go insulting people for their unedited posts, the word he actually needed was "they're" not there nor their. I'm just saying...

Anyways...
In response to another post, I think Bay is a far worse filmmaker (although I didn't see 10,000 BC). Most of the movies I've seen by Emmerich were just okay, but Bay's portfolio is filled with a couple of the worst movies I've ever seen (i.e. Armageddon, Bad Boys II, Transformers 2 etc).

On a side note... anyone else get the feeling that he hasn't actually seen some of these. I mean that description of Citizen Kane... Come on people, it has been around for almost 70 years, you can't still be speechless about it.

Nov 10 - 10:18 PM

AntonChigurh

Chris Scharlau

And your a douce for correcting me. This is the internet, i'll spell how I want whenever I want.

Nov 11 - 02:16 PM

Alexson Philip

Alexson Philipiah

"movies that frequently leaves the planet in runs"

look at dat a spelling mistake.

Nov 10 - 08:14 PM

Alexson Philip

Alexson Philipiah

and ye rowland is like micheal bay, he makes huge films that earn huge moneh but get damn ugly reviews.

Nov 10 - 08:16 PM

Phantom_Lord

Aaron McMillan

The fact that his movies make so much money yet get bad reviews is really an American thing. ****en Brain Dead!

Nov 14 - 11:15 PM

Nine Oh Two

Nine Oh Two .

The Godfather, Cinema Paradiso, Citizen Kane - confused now, I didn't know the title of the article was 5 trendiest films.

Nov 10 - 08:24 PM

mufflermachinegun

stephen riddle

Right, whats trendier than The Godfather and Citizen Kane? Did you see all the Jed Leland costumes this Halloween?

Nov 10 - 10:14 PM

csworky

Scott Workman

Good news. You can consider him completely awful because he didn't direct Robocop. That was Paul Verhoeven.

Nov 10 - 08:38 PM

Escapefromalcatraz

william thresher

Boy oh boy Verhoven had a run there for a while didn't he? RoboCop (1987)Total Recall (1990) Basic Instinct (1992) Showgirls (1995) Starship Troopers (1997)

Nov 10 - 08:54 PM

yoda87960

Andy Heck

So far, the most interesting five favorite movies have been Sasha Grey's. Was she the only one who prepared in advance?

Nov 10 - 09:08 PM

Zeus

zeus manalo

This list does not reflect anything he had made. Fanciful and insincere i may say this list is.

Nov 10 - 09:11 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

I agree about Sasha Grey's list being good.

Nov 10 - 09:13 PM

tomwaitsjrHAPPYICONOCLAST

Greg Guro

Have you caught this insult? He actually says this:

"The only movie [from] the 60s that you can look at today and [have] it feel totally modern and real."

REALLY? REALLY? No movies from the 60s feel as "modern" or "real" as the historical film about Lawrence of Arabia?

What a douche-bag.

Nov 10 - 09:30 PM

Weed17

Naveed Shah

i dont understand why everyone feels aversion towards admitting that the godfather was one heck of a movie. Fair enough, I understand that everybody says the same thing, and all these people who work in the industry always declare that its the greatest movie ever made in their opinion, but have you thought about why everybody says the same thing? It truly was an amazing film. enough said. leave aside what everybody says about it, and base your opinion on what you think for a change about the movie! how's that?

Nov 10 - 10:03 PM

inactive user

Jared King

Bay is worse. Because Bay wins by an extra "Bad Boys".

Emmerich could learn something from these films.

Nov 10 - 10:06 PM

inactive user

Jared King

...and a "Armageddon", and "Pearl Harbor" and "Transformers 2". In fact, Bay is far worse. Not that Emmerich deserves to keep making movies.

Nov 10 - 10:26 PM

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