Lists are dumb, but they have a certain persuasive power. I remember poring over a list of the Ten Greatest Films of All Time that Roger Ebert included in one of his video guides of the nineteen-eighties: it led me to Aguirre, Wrath of God, Errol Morris's Gates of Heaven, and the film that will forever head my personal list — The Third Man. Roger, a writerly hero of mine, dislikes making such lists, but acquiesces in the drill when the proprietors of the Sight and Sound poll come calling. This time, with his customary devotion to the visionary impulse (“Our civilization is starving for great images" is his favorite Werner Herzog saying), Roger has admitted The Tree of Life to his pantheon. No one is asking me, but I'd be tempted to pick, in addition to the above, Andrei Rublev, Vertigo, Chinatown, Touch of Evil, Playtime, The Godfather Part II, La Dolce Vita, and The Passion of Joan of Arc. That's only nine; I want to think about The Tree of Life a little longer.