Spike Lee’s list of essential films every filmmaker must see:
I’ve been a professor at the NYU Graduate Film for the past 15 years. The 1st day of every class I hand out my list of films that I feel you must see if you want to make films. Please look at this list and see what you might have missed. As I tell my students if you want your film “game” to be tight you must have seen great movies, world cinema, it just can’t be Hollywood films. Educate yourself. Learn. Grow. Evolve. Make great films. Peace, onward and upward. —Spike Lee
Richard Linklater on being a self-taught filmmaker:
An incredibly illuminating, relatable and one of the most inspiring commentaries you’ll hear. I’ve cut out only the moments where Linklater talks about his twenties, and the 9 years he self-educated himself in filmmaking. The fact that he has become a success on a worldwide level, is all the more inspiring.
A wonderful addendum to this commentary is this 40 minute interview from John Cassavetes. For those who don’t know, John Cassavetes is essentially the father of the independent film movement. He was the lone wolf, who began making films on his own on the east coast in the 60′s, mobilizing everyone he knew. His films are gritty, raw, and relying on pure emotion. They’re solid and inspiring. —filmschoolthrucommentaries
The essential documentaries on John Cassavetes, including Cinéastes de notre temps — John Cassavetes (1969), I’m Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes — the Man and His Work (1984), Anything for John (1993), Cinefile: John Cassavetes: Out Of The Shadows (1993), John Cassavetes: A Constant Forge (2000), John Cassavetes: To Risk Everything to Express It All (1996), rare footage, John Cassavetes directing, from the French TV series “Cinema Cinemas,” a 1983 feature on Cassavetes directing the movie Love Streams (1984), which Cassavetes both wrote and directed, and a super-rare look behind the scenes of Cassavetes’ first ‘big budget’ film, Husbands.