Thursday 22 August 2013

Professor Spike Lee's Essential Film List

Film lists: everyone's got one. Favorite films, best films, greatest films, essential films, and films To See Before You Die.

In my early days of catching up with quality cinema, I followed The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made. I'm past the halfway mark, and still going.

I'd post their list here, except it's much too long. You can find it online.

Meanwhile, Professor Spike Lee (yes, he's been a professor at NYU Graduate Film School for the past 15 years) has released his own list of "essential" films. It's the one he hands out at the start of semester at NYU. This is part of his Kickstarter campaign. You get to nominate the films he's left out that you think should be on the list, which is a clever way of engaging a future audience.

Here's the video of Spike telling you all that, followed by the list in accessible alpha order, with the spelling corrected, and linked to IMDb.

There are 86 films on Spike Lee's Essential Film List:
A Face in the Crowd (1957)
Ace in the Hole (1951)
An American in Paris (1951)
Apocalypto (2006)
Bad Lieutenant (1992)
Badlands (1973)
Battle of Algiers (1966)
Black Orpheus (1959)
Black Rain (1989)
Blue Collar (1978)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
Breathless (1960)
Casablanca (1942)
Chinatown (1974)
City of God (2002)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Cooley High (1975)
Day for Night (1973)
Days of Heaven (1978)
Dead End (1937)
Dirty Pretty Things (2002)
District 9 (2009)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Fat City (1972)
Home of the Brave (1949)
Hoop Dreams (1984)
I Am Cuba (1964)
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Is Paris Burning? (1966)
Killer of Sheep (1977)
Kung Fu Hustle (2004)
La Dolce Vita (1960)
La Strada (1954)
Last Tango in Paris (1972)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Los Olivados (1950)
Lust for Life (1956)
Mad Max (1979)
Marathon Man (1969)
M*A*S*H (1970)
Mean Streets (1973)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Miracle in Milan (1951)
Night of the Hunter (1955)
North by Northwest (1959)
On The Waterfront (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Paisan (1946)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Patton (1970)
Raging Bull (1980)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Ran (1985)
Rashomon (1950)
Rear Window (1954)
Rome, Open City (1945)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Spartacus (1960)
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
The 400 Blows (1959)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Conformist (1970)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather: Part II (1974)
The Last Detail (1973)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Red Shoes (1948)
The Road Warrior (1981)
The Train (1964)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Thief (1981)
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Touch of Evil (1958)
Vertigo (1958)
West Side Story (1961)
White Heat (1940)
Yojimbo (1961)
Zelig (1983)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

And no Die Hard. It just goes to show, people value different things in movies.

Have you seen this entire list, Henry?