America’s favorite cameraman John Wilson has been making “tutorial” videos about everyday life in New York for over a decade. His popular HBO series, How To with John Wilson explored pressing topics like “How to Find a Public Restroom” and “How to Invest in Real Estate” while offering glimpses of NYC’s idiosyncratic characters and eccentric sights. It also earned Wilson a Gotham Award in 2021 and a Primetime Emmy Award in 2022. We asked Wilson to share five films he loves.

THE ENDLESS SUMMER, Bruce Brown, 1966

I got the VHS of this next to my computer and I kind of just have it on a second screen while I do other stuff. I don’t surf.

OVERNIGHT, Tony Montana & Mark Brian Smith, 2003

Should be required viewing on the first day of every film 101 class. Don’t ever be too sure of your own genius.

ASPEN, Frederick Wiseman, 1991

Maybe my favorite Wiseman film — so colorful and such funny gender dynamics across the whole thing.

BLAST OF SILENCE, Allen Baron, 1961

Amazing NYC noir that has excellent use of second-person narration

FAMILY BUSINESS, Tom Cohen, 1978

Part of Peter Davis’s Middletown series — this one might be my favorite. Follows the day-to-day struggle of operating a family owned pizza franchise called “Shakey’s” in Muncie, Indiana. Has one of the most dramatic family arguments I’ve ever seen captured on film. There are a few of these still operating around Los Angeles, but they don’t resemble the golden age sit-down pizza joints anymore.