Lee Unkrich’s Closet Picks

As a key member of the creative team at Pixar since the 1990s, Lee Unkrich has helped shepherd to the screen some of the most beloved animated films of all time. After working as a codirector on Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo, Unkrich assumed full directing duties with 2010’s Toy Story 3, a film for which he took home an Oscar for best animated feature. It’s an award he’s up for yet again this year, with his widely acclaimed Coco, a vibrant fantasy about an aspiring young Mexican musician who finds himself transported to the Land of the Dead.

Unkrich recently stopped by for a visit to our closet—or, as he calls it, “mecca.” In the video above, he shares stories about some of the movies most near and dear to him, including Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves and John Frankenheimer’s Seconds—which he first saw while attending film school at USC, where he also worked as a projectionist—and Mike Nichols’s The Graduate and Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, which brought home to him the “power of editing.” Unkrich also takes the opportunity to grab Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy (a recommendation by his Pixar colleague Andrew Stanton), rhapsodize over the innovative techniques of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, and tell of meeting Jane Campion, “the most nervous I’ve ever been meeting a filmmaker.”

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