100 Films Every Filmmaker Should See According To Spike Lee

NYU Professor, award-winning director, producer, writer and actor Spike Lee is no stranger to hard work — and with cliches, tropes, and bad acting aside — differentiating a good film from a potential Razzie Nominee can be harder than it seems, according to Spike.

“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.”

Spike Lee.

As a seasoned filmmaker, the Do The Right Thing director shares his secret for improving a beginner’s film “game” while reasserting the importance of getting comfortable watching and reviewing films outside one’s scope of interest.

And while we may not all be lucky enough to score a seat in the highly competitive New York University Graduate Film Program with Professor Lee, we can study at the feet of some of the greatest filmmakers of the last one-hundred years, including those both well-known and obscure.

Take a look at the list and see how many you’ve seen. Are there any films you can’t believe didn’t make the cut? Leave us a comment and let us know!




The Black TV & Film Collective a 501c3 organization that operates as a NYC film collective. In our work, we support all artists of color including but not limited to black filmmakers. We are a collaborative platform that represents diversity in film and supports inclusion in Hollywood and TV. Our professional network of New York City filmmakers gives knowledge to those who want to learn how to produce film, how to make a web series, how to budget film projects and more. We host NYC film workshops that welcome a variety of experience levels from first time filmmakers who are either students in film school or to notables within the television and film industry. See how you can make a difference in the world of cinema by becoming a member of our NYC film collective.

3 thoughts on “100 Films Every Filmmaker Should See According To Spike Lee”

  1. I also frequently watch foreign language films; japanese, french, spanish, arabic, afrikan, some with or without english subtitles, for the scene locations, cinematography, special effects, storyline, and costuming.

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