Spike Lee, the very accomplished director, producer, and Madison Square Garden defender, has been a film professor at NYU for the last 15 years. Every semester on the first day of class, the former Harvard instructor distributes a list of essential movies he considers "the greatest films ever made," cinematic titles he deems required education for all aspiring directors. Now, Professor Lee has entrusted this academic canon to the electronic world.

Lee's motivation in posting the coursework online is to keep publicizing his inaugural Kickstarter campaign, a seven-day-old push to raise $1,250,000 for a film he's only deigned to admit will be about "human beings who are addicted to blood." Even with that minuscule amount of information, the project's goal is already 32 percent fulfilled, bringing in nearly $400,000 from more than 1900 backers. "The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint" will absolutely, positively be funded—which is why the Oldboy rebooter insists that he's not taking resources away from independent filmmakers by commandeering their tools, but rather introducing them to a bigger audience by bringing Kickstarter "to people who don't even know what Kickstarter is." OK!

In any case, the award-winning director of Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X suggests that along with Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront, Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, intelligent minds also spend time with Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, Neill Blomkamp's District 9, and Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle. Who knew?

Lee's full list, spotted via Open Culture:

[The Newest Hottest Spike Lee Joint Kickstarter via Open Culture]

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