Spike Lee’s greatest movie, "Do the Right Thing," didn’t even get a best picture nomination in 1989, with the Academy instead opting for the safer, gentler, but nevertheless forgettable, whimsical depiction of racism in "Driving Miss Daisy." We all know which film stood the test of time and which film, as Lee pointed out recently, is taught in film schools all across the U.S. It wasn’t just that movie, either: Lee’s filmography reads quite impressively at the moment, even with more than a few misfires to his name, he’s managed to make great films like “Jungle Fever,” “The 25th Hour,” “Malcolm X,” “BlackKklansman” and the highly underrated“Summer of Sam.” Not to mention a few excellent docs (“4 Little Girls,” “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.”)
Suffice to say, Lee belongs in the pantheon of American filmmakers. But which films and filmmakers influenced him? I found this little nugget on Reddit. it’s a list of films that Lee deems to be most essential for every inspiring director to see. I do love the inclusion of Paul Schrader’s “Blue Collar” in here. Some of the list reads like film school 101 minus the silent era, but the majority of these are excellent selections. I personally wouldn’t put “Kung-Fu hustle” and “District 9” on mine, but to each their own! That’s why they call ‘em lists! [Source].