Best Films of 2000

Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia, 1999

Paul Thomas Anderson, Magnolia, 1999

The Buzzing. Always the Buzzing.

Top 10:

1. Werckmeister Harmonies - Tarr 2. Magnolia - Anderson (1999) 3. The House of Mirth - Davies 4. L’Humanité - Dumont (1999) 5. Beau Travail - Denis 6. Les Glaneurs et La Glaneuse (Gleaners and I) - Varda (documentary) 7. Tie: Rosetta - Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (1999) and Seule (Alone) - Zonca (short, 1997) 8. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai - Jarmusch 9. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Lee 10. Not I - Jordan (short)

Best Rep:

1. Rear Window - Hitchcock (restored, 1954) 2. Nosferatu - Murnau (1922) 3. Seconds - Frankenheimer (1966) 4. Sweet Smell of Success - Mackendrick (1957) 5. Rififi - Dassin (1955)

Guilty Pleasure:

Road Trip - Phillips

If I Could Do It All Over Again and Stay Home (in no particular order):

American Psycho - Harron, The Cell - Singh, La Captive - Akerman, Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. - Morris, Gladiator - Scott

If I Could Do It All Over Again and Go Out (in no particular order):

The Beach - Boyle (DVD), The Ninth Gate - Polanski (V), Loss of Sexual Innocence - Figgis (DVD), Erin Brockovich - Soderbergh (V)

Gleanings from Otherwise Unreadable Notes:

“2000. The opposite of ‘99.” a colleague and friend remarked recently, on our way to lunch: stir-fried bean curd and vegetables, hot, white (or fried) rice, and a (complimentary) fortune cookie for $5.49.

“But it’s also the sort of Tsui Hark film that Zhang Yimou might have made: serene and outrageous, contemplative yet filled with slam-bang popcorn, a spider inside a butterfly.” — Chuck Stephens writing an ambivalent review of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Film Comment, 11-12/00)

I hear theaters are closing, maybe the result of consolidation or maybe because the films/movies themselves aren’t attracting audiences like they used to. Even I, of the “you must see it on the big screen!” persuasion, spent considerable time menuing through DVDs, listening to this or that director’s insights and idle chatter, scanning once lost and/or censored footage, and clamoring down ‘making of’ rabbit holes. In fact, to be honest, the best film I saw this year was the DVD version of Kieslowski’s Decalogue  (1988). Long-awaited, it was one of those rare experiences you find yourself in the middle of, realizing the end is sadly near and immediately dreading its arrival.