Martin Scorsese lists 39 essential foreign films for any young filmmaker

About twelve years ago, a young filmmaker named Colin Levy won the national YoungArts award for a five-minute short he created in high school. His prize? A one-on-one meeting with the legendary director Martin Scorsese.

A few weeks after the meeting, Scorsese’s assistant would send Levy a stack of books and a list of 39 foreign flicks personally selected by the director. So, young filmmakers take note… these are the films that Scorsese thinks will kickstart a great film career.

This should be a jump start to your film education“: Martin Scorsese lists 39 essential foreign films for any young, aspiring filmmakers out there.

On his blog, Levy recounted his experience meeting with Scorsese, saying: “Martin Scorsese was intimidating, to say the least. But very jovial, very talkative, and he took me seriously. (Or convinced me, at least). I pretty much kept my mouth shut.

Every 30 seconds he would mention an actor, producer, director or film title I had never heard of before. I was stunned just to be in his presence. He liked my film, he said. “How did you do the little creatures?” I tried to explain how I figured out the basics of 3D animation. His eyes lit up and he started talking about the digital effects in The Aviator.”

The juxtaposition of scales was overpowering. I felt like I was in a movie. Why he spent so much time with me I do not know, but it was amazing just to be in his presence. A few weeks afterwards I laboured over a thank-you card, in which I expressed the overwhelming impression I had gotten that I don’t know enough about anything. I especially don’t know enough about film history and foreign cinema. I asked if he had any suggestions for where to start.”

Scorsese’s suggestions include such classics as Metropolis, Nosferatu, Seven Samurai, plus a few lesser-known flicks. Check out the list for yourself above.

Via Open Culture.