Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films With Toy Story 3 Director Lee Unkrich

The man at the helm of Pixar's latest reveals some curious personal picks

by | June 16, 2010 | Comments


One of Pixar’s core creative team, Lee Unkrich joined the studio as an editor in 1994, where he cut Toy Story and A Bug’s Life before moving on to co-direct Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. and Finding Nemo… not a bad track record, to put it mildly. With this week’s superb Toy Story 3, Unkrich has created what may be his best work for Pixar yet — a rich, layered sequel that extends the characters and adventures from its beloved predecessors and yet manages to feel like an essential third chapter in a unified story. We caught up with the director ahead of the film’s release and asked him to name his five favorite films, which proved to be an interesting — and revealing — list. “This is always such a tricky one,” Unkrich says.”I’m trying to go with different filmmakers and not repeat anybody.”

The Shining (1980,
87% Tomatometer)

The Shining
My favorite film is The Shining, mostly because it was the film that inspired me to become a filmmaker myself.

Punch-Drunk Love (2002,
79% Tomatometer)

Punch-Drunk Love
Really, that just kind of encapsulates all of Paul Thomas Anderson’s films for me. I’m inspired by the kinetic energy of his films, and the richness of the characters and the performances especially.

Blue Velvet (1986,
91% Tomatometer)

Blue Velvet
It wasn’t the first film to show a kind of alternate vision of suburbia, but it left an indelible impression, I think, on everybody, and all films like that will forever be measured against Blue Velvet.

An Angel at My Table (1991,
92% Tomatometer)

An Angel at My Table
Here’s an odd one — An Angel at My Table, by Jane Campion. It’s an odd choice and I can’t quite tell you why. I’ve always found that film very affecting. Kerry Fox’s performance is great and it’s such a particular study of such a particular character done in a very stylish way. It’s just always stayed with me.

Raising Arizona (1987,
90% Tomatometer)

Raising Arizona
I need one more, huh? How about a good comedy? Raising Arizona. Remains the funniest movie I’ve ever seen in my life. There you go!

Click here for our extended interview with Lee, in which he discusses the pressure of creating the sequel.

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