What films can you recommend a film student?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by nikkif99uk, Sep 15, 2006.

  1. nikkif99uk

    nikkif99uk Supporting Actor

    Sep 9, 2006
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    Am a film student and have loads of movies but what do you guys recommend a film studies student should own. I do have Citizen Kane.

  2. Dale MA

    Dale MA Screenwriter

    May 22, 2004
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    For starters you could pick-up the Warner Bros. Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection and the Universal Hitchcock Masterpiece Collection, thats if you do not already own them. Or you could use the AFI top 100 movies list as a starting point and work from there.
  3. Lars Vermundsberget

    Lars Vermundsberget Supporting Actor

    Nov 20, 2000
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    How about a good selection of titles from the Criterion Collection? A lot of interesting titles there and more or less "film school" in the same package.
  4. Craig Beam

    Craig Beam Screenwriter

    Oct 16, 2000
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    Gresham, OR
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    Craig Beam
    I don't think you're necessarily obligated to own certain films on DVD simply because you're a film student. You should own what you like.... if you aren't sure what that is, rent first. Get yourself a Netflix membership and go crazy. [​IMG] Now, having said that, the following titles are absolute essentials in my collection:

    Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo
    Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Double Indemnity
    Walt Disney's Fantasia
    Walt Disney's Bambi
    Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal
    Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai
    The Third Man
    Citizen Kane (already mentioned)
    Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey
    The Bride of Frankenstein
  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Lead Actor

    Jun 10, 2003
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    Josh Steinberg
    I went to film school.. some of my favorites that aren't necessarily the typical "film student" viewing:

    -Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, Curtiz/Keighley)
    -Apocalypse Now (see the original version before you see the "Redux")
    -Bringing Up Baby (Hawks)
    -Caligula (perhaps the worst movie ever made, I used to watch it whenever I felt bad about my own stuff, watching this would cheer me up because I couldn't make something this bad if I tried)
    -City Lights (Chaplin)
    -Don't Look Back (Pennebaker)
    -Duck Soup (Marx Bros/McCarey)
    -Gimme Shelter (Maysles Brothers)
    -The Gold Rush (Chaplin)
    -The Great Dictator (Chaplin)
    -It Happened One Night (Capra)
    -King Kong (1933 version)
    -Last Temptation of Christ (Scorsese)
    -The Last Waltz (Scorsese)
    -Lawrence Of Arabia (Lean)
    -The Limey (Soderbergh)
    -Lost Horizon (Capra)
    -The Maltese Falcon (Huston)
    -Metropolis (Lang; make sure you get the "restored authorized edition" by Kino)
    -Modern Times (Chaplin)
    -A Night at the Opera (Marx Bros/Wood)
    -The Philadelphia Story (Cukor)
    -Primer (Carruth; this came out when I was in film school and I really liked it)
    -Rashomon (Kurosawa)
    -Red Beard (Kurosawa)
    -Singin' in the Rain (Donen/Kelly)
    -Sunrise (Murnau)
    -Sunset Boulevard (Wilder)
    -Touch of Evil (Welles)
    -Wings of Desire (Wenders)

    It kinda goes without saying that you should check out all of Stanley Kubrick's films as well.

    Hope this helps.
  6. mike kaminski

    mike kaminski Second Unit

    Jul 11, 2006
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    All of Francis Coppola's 1970's work
    All of Wong Kar Wai's films
    Anything from the French New Wave (ie Breathless, Jule et Jim)
    Anything by Ingmar Bergman (Wild Strawberries and Persona are my favs)
    Anything by Akira Kurosawa (Ikiru, Seven Samurai and Throne of Blood probably being the most significant)

    Probably would be good to also be familiar with some of John Ford (ie The Searchers, How Green Was My Valley), Hitchcock (ie Psycho, Rear Window), Murnau (ie Sunrise, Nosferatu) and Lang (ie Metropolis), Leone (ie The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Fistfull of Dollars), Chaplin (ie The Great Dictator, City Lights). The more 1970's material you can see, the better, ie all of Lucas', Scorsese's, Freidkin's, Coppola's early stuff, plus Easy Rider, Harold and Maud, Shampoo, Five Easy Pieces, etc.

    Thats probably a good start. If you are ever curious about classic films just look up some AFI Top 100 list. Those type of lists however usually don't account for for foreign films, which are almost always better than anything produced in american with the one exception of the 1970's.
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Mar 14, 2001
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    I would strongly dispute that statement. There are great foreign language films, and great English language films. Nor is the 70s the be all and end all of American films. Yes, many great films, but every other decade has plenty of great films also.

    From a director point of view, I'd be familiar with at least some work by each of the following, along with a recommended classic:

    Alfred Hitchcock (Rear Window)
    Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal)
    Billy Wilder (The Apartment)
    Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon)
    Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather)
    Sergio Leone (The Good, the Bad & the Ugly)
    Michael Curtiz (Casablanca)
    Federico Fellini (8 1/2)
    Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)
    Jacques Tati (M. Hulot's Holiday)
    Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove)
    Fritz Lang (M)
    Roman Polanski (Chinatown)
    Henri-Georges Clouzot (Diabolique)
    Charlie Chaplin (The Gold Rush)
    Roberto Rossellini (Open City)
    Steven Spielberg (Jaws)
    Werner Herzog (Aguirre: The Wrath of God)
    Mel Brooks (Young Frankenstein)
    Jiri Menzel (Closely Watched Trains)
    Leo McCarey (Duck Soup)
    Jules Dassin (Rififi)
    Frank Capra (It Happened One Night)
    Sergei Eisenstein (Alexander Nevsky)
    John Huston (The African Queen)
    Luis Bunuel (The Exterminating Angel)
    Howard Hawks (The Big Sleep)
    Woody Allen (Zelig)
    Preston Sturges (Sullivan's Travels)

    Hell, that list leaves out so much, but still the key thing, IMO, is to see a wide variety, keep an open mind, and do not fall into the elitist trap that a film can't be good if it's a big blockbuster, or it must be great just because it's artsy-fartsy with subtitles.
  8. Jacob McCraw

    Jacob McCraw Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 24, 2003
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    Do the Right Thing
    Reservoir Dogs
    Stranger than Paradise
  9. ChrisCAB

    ChrisCAB Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 1, 2006
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    Jean-Pierre Melville's Le Samourai is unreal. Every film student should own it and study it.
  10. Nathan V

    Nathan V Supporting Actor

    Jul 16, 2002
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    Go through the AFI list and the Sight and Sound list (extensive threads for each are on this forum). Those'll give you exposure to many filmmaking ideas and help you find your own direction. And, I can't stress this enough- watch old movies. Many film people are over 50, simply because of the nature of the industry, and they definitely appreciate when newbies actually know a thing or two about the classics. It also deepens your appreciation of new films. As far as new stuff that's worth investigating from a filmmaking point of view, I recommend Terrence Malick (structure), every Scorsese film (editing), Peckinpah (also editing), the last 2 Tony Scott films (creativity, organic aesthetics), Michael Bay (composition, sustained rhythm), the "Mexican" new wave (Meirelles, Inarritu, Cauron), and in my opinion most importantly, films approaching the concept of Pure Cinema- 2001, Thin Red Line, Passion of the Christ, and, by the looks of it, Apocalypto. I feel that Pure Cinema is the ultimate realization of the cinematic form. Of course, none of this new stuff is anywhere near as important as watching the old stuff- Welles, Fellini, Hitchcock, Lang, Kurosawa, Griffith, Chaplin. Learn the rules, then break them. Go get the new Seven Samurai dvd!
  11. PaulP

    PaulP Producer

    Oct 22, 2001
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    There's about a good thousand [​IMG] Shall we start?
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

    Feb 8, 2001
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    what films have you seen, what films do you like and from analyzing yourself what do you think you are least familiar with in film history out of the following eras of american film.
    • early silent shorts
    • silent feature comedies
    • silent feature dramas
    • classic pre WWII hollywood (sound films)
    • post WWII hollywood until the end of the production code and industry wide studio restructuring in the 50s and 60s
    • 50s-60s until Star Wars, Jaws, Exorcist, Godfather reignited the failing film industry
    • post Star Wars until Lord of the Rings blockbuster era (includes indy upswing in the 90s)
    • current film popular and independent and documentary
    let us know what you know about these american eras and I'll work up some recommendations. If you want I can also do foreign film recommendations. I just graduated from USC film school so I've a fair idea of what sort of films you'll be expected to watch or know.
  13. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist

    Feb 8, 1999
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    Robert Harris
    David Lean's Great Expectations
  14. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

    Jul 14, 1999
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    Chad Rouch
    Are you actually in film school now, or planning on it? Either way, when you're in class the professors there will expose you to a great deal of classic films as well as talk you through their context and what makes them great. That's what's important: the actual class discussions with your fellow students and professors that will deepen your understanding and appreciation of great films.

    It wasn't until film school that I was exposed to films such as "The Bicycle Thief" and "Rules of the Game", which I thought were interesting, but the class discussion really widened my eyes and cemented an understanding of why they are great.
  15. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

    May 23, 2003
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    Windermere, FL
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    The AFI Top 100 and BFI Sight and Sound lists are great places to start. If you don't have the money, don't purchase a bunch of stuff yet. If you don't know what you like, don't purchase a bunch of stuff yet.

    Get a few good film books, and then sit down and watch as much as possible. You'll hear a lot about different films in your classes, which i assume mean a weekly screening if its anything ilke the few film classes I took in college.

    I didn't understand some of my favorite films until someone told me that I should watch them or i read that i should. After a few viewings, I fell in love with Vertigo, Seven Samurai, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Third Man.
  16. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

    Feb 24, 2005
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    Choosing the best movies is not an easy task as they always reflects personal tastes and preferences.

    I agree with all the previous great suggestions.

    I found the following lists very helpful in building my own movie library:

    This is the list of 360 classics of world cinema compiled by the BFI by year (1914 through 1981). It's a thought provoking companion to the AFI Best 100 list:

    This is the BFI list of 100 best British movies:

    This is the list of 100 best movies compiled by the members of the dvdbeaver.com:

    This is the list compiled by Roger Ebert:
  17. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

    Feb 14, 2002
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    This may sound like a useless cliché, but: "Everything". There's insight to be found even in dreadful films, even if it's only a long list of devices and techniques to avoid. Watch everything you can, and learn from it all.

    I always get a chuckle out of people speaking of "foreign films" as if they all came from the same magical place. Sorta like "world music" [​IMG]

    There's a couple hundred countries in the world, most of which are home to several different cultures, which in turn are host to endless sub-cultures, so it's a little odd to have everything outside the USA lumped into one big uniform category.

    Ever stop to consider the possibility that maybe "foreign films" are perceived as being superior to the Hollywood mainstream because only the best of the best are hyped beyond the film's country of origin? There's just as much crap to be found in European cinema, and in Asian cinema, and ESPECIALLY in the burgeoning Latin American cinema world. You just don't hear about it [​IMG]
  18. CameronMcC

    CameronMcC Second Unit

    Oct 23, 2005
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    moreso than just picking movies to watch....choose dvds with tons of commentaries and extra features...this will help you percieve and understand things better.

    I would grab both of Scorcese's documentaries on cinema...A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies, and My Voyage to Italy. It's like cliff notes really. After watching that, and getting an appreciation for whats out there choose some of those titles that intrigued you.

    I also really like the documentary on editing on disc 2 of the Bullit Special Edition.
  19. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Screenwriter

    Feb 19, 2004
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    I think the Classical Hollywood cinema (~1930 - ~1960) wins for having the highest average quailty of any cinema industry. But in the contemporary setting, if you are interested in seeing innovative use of the film medium, then you have to look to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, some South Korea, or the middle East, especially the Iranian new wave.
  20. AlexCremers

    AlexCremers Second Unit

    Nov 29, 2004
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    Spielberg's Duel or how to make an suspenseful action movie with virtually no story or financial means.

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