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Spike Lee's 'Essential Films List' Reveals Director's Favorite Movies

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Spike Lee has long been distributing an "Essential Films List" to every master's student who graduates from the film program at New York University, where he teaches. Now the director has shared the list with the rest of us, leaving the common folk to debate his selections.

Lee posted the list to the Kickstarter page for his latest project, along with an accompaying video (seen above). Certain standard best-of entries are intact ("The Godfather," "8 1/2," "Vertigo"). The most recent entries on the list -- Mel Gibson's 2006 film "Apocalypto" and Neill Blomkamp's 2009 Best Picture nominee "District 9" -- are arguably the most surprising. What's not surprising is the dearth of women included. But, of course, there are also some notable omissions. On first glance, here's what we notice is missing:

"2001: A Space Odyssey" -- Stanley Kubrick
"American Beauty" -- Sam Mendes
"Annie Hall" -- Woody Allen
"Apocalypse Now" -- Francis Ford Coppola
"Citizen Kane" -- Orson Welles
"Fargo" -- Ethan & Joel Coen
"Gone With the Wind" -- Victor Fleming
"Goodfellas" -- Martin Scorsese
"The Graduate" -- Mike Nichols
"The Grapes of Wrath" -- John Ford
"How Green Was My Valley" -- John Ford
"The Hurt Locker" -- Kathryn Bigelow
"Pulp Fiction" -- Quentin Tarantino
"Sunset Blvd." -- Billy Wilder
"Taxi Driver" -- Martin Scorsese

Take a look at the full list, and sound off in the comments below on what you're surprised to see.

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