Top 10s

Joshua Z Weinstein’s Top 10

Joshua Z Weinstein’s Top 10

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.

  • Pather Panchali

    1.
    Pather Panchali

    Satyajit Ray

  • Aparajito

    (tie)
    Aparajito

    Satyajit Ray

  • Apur Sansar

    (tie)
    Apur Sansar

    Satyajit Ray

    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.

  • Before the Rain

    2.
    Before the Rain

    Milcho Manchevski

    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.

  • Bicycle Thieves

    3.
    Bicycle Thieves

    Vittorio De Sica

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

  • Do the Right Thing

    4.
    Do the Right Thing

    Spike Lee

    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.

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    5.
    Inside Llewyn Davis

    Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

    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.

  • The Kid with a Bike

    6.
    The Kid with a Bike

    Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne

    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.

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

  • Nashville

    8.
    Nashville

    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.

  • Night on Earth

    9.
    Night on Earth

    Jim Jarmusch

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

  • Salesman

    10.
    Salesman

    Albert Maysles, David 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.