Joshua Z Weinstein’s Top 10

Joshua Z Weinstein’s Top10

Joshua Z Weinstein has directed the feature documentaries Drivers Wanted and Flying on One Engine. His recent credits as director of photography include Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Code of the West, and the forthcoming Bikini Moon. Weinstein has been nominated for a Cannes Lion for his advertising work and has won a first-place POY award for his work with the New York Times. Menashe marks his debut as a director of narrative fiction.

Jul 25, 2017
  • 1 (tie)

    Satyajit Ray

    Pather Panchali

  • Satyajit Ray


  • Satyajit Ray

    Apur Sansar

    This trilogy was rereleased at Film Forum in the summer of 2015, right before we started shooting Menashe. I went once a week and cried in the theater by myself. A universal story of birth, death, love, and coming of age. So many moments I can never forget: the joy of the school montage, and the famous scene in which the children see a train for the first time, a symbol of the arrival of modernity.

  • 2

    Milcho Manchevski

    Before the Rain

    I mainly work as a cinematographer, and I recently had the opportunity to shoot a new film for Milcho Manchevski. It was like being paid to attend a master class in filmmaking. I love this film not just because of its innovative structure but because of the way it transported me to a war-torn country I’d only heard about in the news.

  • 3

    Vittorio De Sica

    Bicycle Thieves

    Neorealism started here. I have stolen from this film in so many obvious ways.

  • 4

    Spike Lee

    Do the Right Thing

    This was one of my favorite films when I was in high school. It’s funny and has a great soundtrack. Sal reminded me of my grandfather in his Canarsie store. The film helped humanize the perspective from both sides of the counter. It was the first film I saw that shed light on the African-American experience in a changing New York City.

  • 5

    Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    How do you make a movie where so little happens? Only the Coens know. They care so little about basic structure that they actually make fun of it by adding a plotline early on in which Llewyn has to rescue a cat. It’s a running joke that references a famous screenwriting technique called “save the cat,” a simple device that’s supposed to make protagonists likable. And we all know how much the Coens care about making people likable.

  • 6

    Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

    The Kid with a Bike

    I watched excerpts of this film almost every morning before going to set for Menashe. On first glance the blocking and camera work seem erratic, but the results are so graceful and precise.

  • 7

    John Cassavetes

    The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

    Mr. Sophistication. The Crazy Horse West. How else would Cassavetes have made a genre film?

  • 8

    Robert Altman


    The Long Goodbye, California Split, and Nashville might represent the best three years of any director’s career. There is a mix of realism and grittiness that Altman does to perfection.

  • 9

    Jim Jarmusch

    Night on Earth

    Every time I think of Roberto Benigni making sheep sounds, my belly hurts with laughter.

  • 10

    David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin


    This might have been the first film that made me realize what type of filmmaker I was going to be. The faces and personalities are so vivid. I always wonder if people would care about this simply observed masterpiece if it were produced today, after the advent of reality TV and YouTube.