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Ben Yennie: 5 MORE movies Every Filmmaker Needs to See

Welcome back!  In this week’s blog we’re sharing 5 MORE movies every filmmaker needs to see.  As with before, each of the films chosen has decisive reasons to be on this list.  It’s not just the standard Godfather, Apocalypse now, Battleship Potemkin, and all of those film history mainstays.  For 1-5, check out last week’s blog here.  Let’s dive right in. 

6. No Country For Old Men

There are many reasons this film is on this list.  The use of Negative space is one, the storytelling is another, the fact that the film is entirely without a musical score is still another.  All that being said, the reason we’ve chosen to put it on this list is the Sound Design.  From something as simple as the pop from the cow killing needle as the brains exit the back of the heads of the victims to the crunch as a broken leg is reset in a motel room.  

Watch (and listen to) this film on Amazon with this link.  https://amzn.to/2MpCARX

7.  Action!

OK, I slightly lied in the title.  This one is a series, not a movie.  BUT, it’s still on a single DVD, since it got cancelled after the first season because it pissed off too many executives.  

Action is the most true to life depiction of how the Hollywood studio system works that exists in media.  Or, at least how it worked before the #MeToo Movement.  It’s a favorite of all my film industry friends, and they all say it holds up.  I completely agree.  When they called for writers in the process of developing the show, they asked them to tell all their true Hollywood stories.  If half of these tales are true, It’s no wonder it got taken off the air almost immediately.  

Get the DVD on Amazon.  https://amzn.to/2Mry0ma

8.  Best in Show

Best in show made this list for a couple of reasons, the biggest among them the need for people making movies to trust each other.  Best in Show went into Production without a script and was largely improvised by the actors on set.  Without trust, there’s no way this film could even exist.  It’s also a showcase of what you can do with improvisation, and why it’s an important skill for any actor and most people on set. 

Get the DVD on Amazon.  https://amzn.to/2MqJk23

9.  Crazy Stupid Love

It’s important to have a genre in a film.  Genre helps classify the film and helps your sales agent or distributor find it’s proper audience.  However sometimes in order to make a truly great genre film, you need to bend the genre, and turn it on it’s head.  That’s what Crazy Stupid Love does.  After all, it’s a romantic comedy about divorce.  

I don’t want to say any more for fear of spoilers, but it’s definitely worth a watch, even if you don’t like Romantic Comedies.  Plus, you get to see Ryan Gosling slap Steve Carell across the face.  Several times. 

Check it out on Amazon! https://amzn.to/2Mm5534

10.  Lost Highways

The Final item on our list is Lost highways.  Lost Highways is my absolute favorite David Lynch film, but that’s not why it’s on this list.  It’s here because while you definitely need some elements highlighted from the other films on these lists, you often don’t need all of them in every single movie.  

In this instance, Lynch makes an enthralling film that is actually really complicated to understand.  Lynch largely ignores 3 act narrative structure.  That said, the confusion serves the purpose of the narrative.  

This film is the closest I’ve ever felt to having schizophrenia, and the confusing narrative structure plays right into the Lynch’s goal in portraying that feeling to the audience.

Get the DVD on Amazon https://amzn.to/2MqKo63

Thank you so much for reading.  Now that you’ve found 10 films to study to make your next film better, you might want to consider joining our site so you can put what you’ve learned into action!  ProductionNext handles all of your indie film production needs, including film budgeting, film scheduling, call sheet generation, inventory management, contact management, and so much more than I can really touch in this already over my word count limit blog!

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