When he’s not crusading against gentrification or boycotting racist award ceremonies, Spike Lee can also be found lecturing at NYU. The Do The Right Thing director, who has been a professor at the heralded TISCH for over 13 years, holds some of the school’s most sought after classes – regularly bestowing his cinematic wisdom to New York’s next generation of filmmakers.
Luckily, Lee has made some allowances for those of us who can’t make it into that classroom. In a post shared on his blog a few years ago, the director revealed his list of “essential” films for students wanting to embark on a career in cinema. This includes gems from Alfred Hitchcock, Jim Jarmusch, Francois Truffaut and Roman Polanski. See below for the initial selection:
Due to the glaring omission of women directors, Lee was swiftly forced by fans to rectify the list – eventually adding an extra eight female-directed films he deemed worthy of the honour. This included The Piano by Jane Campion, Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash, The Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow, Sugar Cane Alley by Euzhan Palcy, and The Seduction of Mimi,Love and Anarchy, Swept Away, and Seven Beauties Lina Wertmuller.