The world of ballet has served as a flashpoint for a handful of filmmakers over the 21st century, decades after the art form was more dominant in popular culture. In the last couple decades, ballet has served as the foundation for some of the great independent filmmakers, from Robert Altman with his 2003 drama The Company to Darren Aronofsky with his horror-tinged Black Swan in 2010 and Luca Guadagnino with the upcoming remake of Dario Argento’s iconic ’70s tale of terror, Suspiria.

But the best of the ballet films transcends its specific craft, and has become massively influential not only to these newer auteurs, but throughout all cinema in its depiction of the single-minded, almost murderous passion to create art in spite of everything else. It’s a film that turns 70 today and remains timeless: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s The Red Shoes.

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Screen Epiphanies: Filmmakers on the Films that Inspired Them

I’ve always loved reading and hearing what great filmmakers think of other great films and directors. You may have noticed that we ask some directors about their favorite films, from time to time, and I’ve even featured other websites and books that delve into this subject on the site from time to time.

Geoffrey Macnab and the British Film Institute have put together a book titled Screen Epiphanies: Filmmakers on the Films that Inspired Them collecting the stories of thirty-five leading international filmmakers focusing on “the film moments that stayed with them long after they left the movie theater” which inspired them to pursue a career in the movie industry.

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