3 Ways Stanley Kubrick’s 93 Favorite Movies Can Help You Grow as a Filmmaker
Art and Experience: Ready for a massive movie curriculum?
Recently on Twitter, there have been a handful of trends where users post their top movies. Top 5 movies that define them, etc. This isn’t a singular event though, we all often use a list of favorites to indicate something about our personality.
When it comes to movies and filmmaking, so much is defined by what your key influences are. It alters your taste, forms your point of view, and sets your goals.
At No Film School, we prefer to share content about filmmaking, but there is a side of film viewing that has a very direct influence on how we learn and grow as creators.
Which is why this list of Stanley Kubricks 93 favorite movies posted on Open Culture, is so interesting to look at.
Here are a few ways you can use this type of list and this list specifically to become a better filmmaker.
1. It’s a curriculum.
What better way to familiarize yourself with important moments in cinema than to watch the 93 movies Professor Kubrick assigns? Have you seen them all? Maybe there are some worth watching again!
2. It’s a way to understand Kubrick.
Kubrick is considered one of the great cinema artists of all time. Most of us won’t ever be Kubrick. He’s singular. Whatever you think of him, his role in pushing visual storytelling is undeniable. Why not gain better insight into what influenced him and made him who he was.
It helps to go back to the source. If Kubrick is your inspiration, find out what his inspirations were and get an even deeper understanding of his work.
3. It’s a place to get ideas.
Great artists steal, right? Now, we’re not saying go try and remake some of these movies or rip them off, but consider how all the greatest filmmakers grab and repurpose shots they love. Or how all great writers and storytellers grab and repurpose iconography. After all, what is Joseph Campbell but a study of unifying story technique?
You don’t just need to watch these movies to understand Kubrick or movie history, but to get ideas for shots you want to try or scenes you think are amazing.
What’s your spin? Do you watch movies actively or passively? Never turn off your creative engine. Maybe something in one of these movies is the patch that lights your next project.
93 Movies Stanley Kubrick Loved
Ok, so you’ve been patient. Here is the list!
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen, 1992)
Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)
Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
If… (Lindsay Anderson, 1968)
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1998)
La notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1961)
Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971)
Pelle the Conqueror (Bille August, 1987)
Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987)
Casque d’Or (Jacques Becker, 1952)
Édouard et Caroline (Jacques Becker, 1951)
Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)
Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
Henry V (Kenneth Branagh, 1989)
Modern Romance (Albert Brooks, 1981)
Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945)
City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
The Bank Dick (Edward Cline, 1940)
Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)
Alexander Nevsky (Sergei Eisenstein, 1938)
The Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973)
La strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
I vitelloni (Federico Fellini, 1953)
La Kermesse Héroïque (Jacques Feyder, 1935)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (Richard Fleischer, 1970)
The Fireman’s Ball (Miloš Forman, 1967)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)
Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)
Get Carter (Mike Hodges, 1971)
The Terminal Man (Mike Hodges, 1974)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
Hell’s Angels (Howard Hughes, 1930)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1947)
Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1990)
Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
An American Werewolf in London (John Landis, 1981)
Abigail’s Party (Mike Leigh, 1977)
La bonne année (Claude Lelouch, 1973)
Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
Very Nice, Very Nice (Arthur Lipsett, 1961)
American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973)
Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975)
Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1976)
House of Games (David Mamet, 1987)
The Red Squirrel (Julio Medem, 1993)
Bob le flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956)
Closely Watched Trains (Jiří Menzel, 1966)
Pacific 231 (Jean Mitry, 1949)
Roger & Me (Michael Moore, 1989)
Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1944)
The Earrings of Madame de… (Max Ophuls, 1953)
Le plaisir (Max Ophuls, 1951)
La ronde (Max Ophuls, 1950)
Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)
Heimat (Edgar Reitz, 1984)
Blood Wedding (Carlos Saura, 1981)
Cría Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1975)
Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967)
Alien (Ridley Scott, 1977)
The Anderson Platoon (Pierre Schoendoerffer, 1967)
White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shelton, 1992)
Miss Julie (Alf Sjöberg, 1951)
The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1921)
The Vanishing (George Sluizer, 1988)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
E.T. the Extra-terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964)
Platoon (Oliver Stone, 1986)
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
The Sacrifice (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1986)
Solaris (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1972)
The Emigrants (Jan Troell, 1970)
The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)
Danton (Andrzej Wajda, 1984)
Girl Friends (Claudia Weill, 1978)
The Cars that Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975)
Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
Roxie Hart (William Wellman, 1942)
Ådalen 31 (Bo Widerberg, 1969)
The Siege of Manchester (Herbert Wise, 1965)
10 Movies That Influenced Stanley Kubrick
That’s a really long list. Luckily, Open Culture also ha a list of Kubrick’s top ten. Apparently, Kubrick made this list in 1963, so it has a time stamp on it. It definitely gives us a sense of what was influencing him as an early and developing creator—not so much what he loved as he grew older and was established in his own right.
1. I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953)
2. Wild Strawberries (Bergman, 1957)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948)
5. City Lights (Chaplin, 1931)
6. Henry V (Olivier, 1944)
7. La notte (Antonioni, 1961)
8. The Bank Dick (Fields, 1940—above)
9. Roxie Hart (Wellman, 1942)
10. Hell’s Angels (Hughes, 1930)
City Lights, Citizen Kane, Treasure of Sierra Madre are all amazing. I’m not sure that I agree about Henry V. But who cares what I think… What do YOU think?