TOP TEN FILMS SEEN IN THE YEAR 2001

 

1.)  APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX                                    100+                          

(1979 film re-edited in 2001)

USA                                                                            Francis Ford Coppola

 

powerful stuff, one of the most amazing film experiences ever, unbelievably intense, film and sound composition are perfect, and the film is truly representative of all the conflicting elements of that 60’s Vietnam era, which still happens to be the single most significant event in my life, and this film reveals why with utterly convincing graphic revelations, as the consequences of the nightmarish journey from colonialism to Cambodia abroad certainly helped unite the anti-war and civil rights movements at home, where a government’s lies and deceptions to their own people, even to their own soldiers, eventually lost a war and brought down their own house 

 

2.)  PRELUDES – THE  HEART OF THE WORLD       98                               

Canada – 7 mi short                                              Guy Maddin

 

the happiest and most joyous film event of the year, and by no means an accident, like all of Maddin’s films, it was painstakingly put together, frame by frame, and is simply wonderful 

 

3.)  EUREKA                                                                        97

Japan                                                                        Shinji Aoyama

 

the most emotionally devastating film of the year, hauntingly powerful, serene, filled with long, drawn out silences, with superb acting performances by the adult bus driver and the two children, a long, carefully crafted, well focused film that slowly builds to an extraordinary climax

 

4.)  MULHOLLAND DRIVE                                                96

USA                                                                            David Lynch

 

a joy to watch such a beautifully paced, well-acted, interwoven story about drive and personal ambition in the already altered state of Hollywood, California, about the dreams you feel inside and the affect it has on your inner soul, one of the most intelligent and perhaps the best directed film of the year         

 

5.)  MILLENNIUM MAMBO                                                96

Taiwan                                                                      Hou Hsiao-Hsien

 

a deceptively hypnotic, mesmerizing film that creates such an original universe on the screen, challenging the viewer to immerse themselves into that universe and experience a beautifully conceived, melancholy homage to youth, whose endless supply of beauty and energy fades in an instant

 

6.)  BEFORE NIGHT FALLS                                             96

USA                                                                            Julian Schnabel

 

another emotional powerhouse, featuring in my view, the best acting performance of the year by Javier Bardem, whose bold commitment to the raw authenticity of this story was both powerful and dramatic, the balloon sequence and the late cab ride along the New York waterfront are among the most elegantly beautiful scenes one could ever experience

 

7.)  GOHATTO                                                                      96                               

aka:    TABOO

Japan                                                                        Nagisa Oshima

 

a ravishingly beautiful film, Takeshi Kitano is brilliant as a samurai warrior in a story not so much about homosexuality in the military as what homosexuality represents in the eyes of others, and how misconstrued actual events become in people's minds, or in the eyes of society such as the conformist-oriented Japanese, here rumors are imagined by others, re-created, changed, twisted, leading to one of the most astonishingly beautiful, hallucination-tinged endings

 

8.)  THE SON’S ROOM                                                       96

Italy                                                                            Nanny Moretti

 

a gentle, humane, beautifully written and transforming film about one family’s reflections on grief and loss, including small, brief portraits of pain that are among the most intensely passionate moments you’ll experience in film, with a totally unexpected, yet wondrous ending

 

9.)  INTIMACY                                                                       95

France                                                                       Patrice Chereau

 

while this is not cinema verite, or existential angst and despair, there is a complete sense of urgency about this film, an extreme exhilaration which is presented at breakneck speed, but when the camera idles and slows down, the characters in the film are devastated and at a loss how to recover emotionally, each attempt seems to take a little bit more out of them and us

 

10.)  SKIN OF MAN, HEART OF BEAST                        95

France                                                                       Helene Angel

the originality of this film is striking, a wonderfully unique and complex way of telling a dark story through the innocent eyes of two children, contrasted against the almost maniac delirium of their dad and his 2 brothers, with edgy characters, slowly unraveling tensions, unresolved feelings, and the element of violence and fear that creep out of the shadows into the light of day, the subject matter is difficult, yet throughout it all, these charming sisters maintain a sense of sanity and decency in a decrepit world by creating a whole other alternative world where love still prevails, which leads to a climactic ending that I found simply fabulous  

 

Best Actress                                                            Best Actor

 

Lena Endre – Faithless                                                Javier Bardem – Before Night Falls

Dominique Blanc – Stand-By

 

 

Best Director                                                           Best Screenplay

 

David Lynch – Mulholland Drive                      Paz Alicea Garciadiego – The Ruination of Men

 

 

Best Cinematography

 

Mark Pin Bin Lee –  In the Mood for Love, Millennium Mambo, and Vertical Ray of the Sun