Thursday, May 25, 2006

Alive and well

I've been decidedly absent from these pages lately and I apologize. I've spent the week in my hometown with family. While I love my family, I'm suffocating from the lack of Netflix and my local arthouse (damn it... Assayas "Clean" opened there this week. I can only hope it's still showing when I'm back in town on Tuesday). I've had to subsidize my cinematic viewing with a showing of Wolfgang Peterson's maddeningly under-characterized and overly aggressive "Poseidon" and the somewhat thrilling (but ultimately middling)"Da Vinci Code". Readers of the book will not be disappointed. And the most surprising thing about all of my ra-ra Hollywood viewings this week? I absolutely loved "Mission Impossible 3". Director J.J. Abrams fills the screen with meta action set pieces, allowing his mise-en-scene to thoroughly embroil the viewer in detailed and coherent shoot outs and explosions. He has created, probably, the best action film in the last five years. Ohh, and there's a brilliant portrayal of the villain by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Best....Villain....ever.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

List-o-mania #2


1. Magnolia (Anderson)
2. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (Medem)
3. The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (Williams)
4. The Insider (Mann)
5. Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick)
6. Limbo (Sayles)
7. Three Kings (Russell)
8. Talented Mr. Ripley (Minghella)
9. The Messenger (Besson)
10. The Iron Giant (Bird)


1. Almost Famous (Crowe)
2. Traffic (Soderbergh)
3. Kikujiro (Kitano)
4. Requiem For a Dream (Aronofsky)
5. Wonderland (Winterbottom)
6. Late August, Early September (Assayas)
7. Way of the Gun (McQuarrie)
8. Keeping the Faith (Norton)
9. L’Humanite (Dumont)
10. Legend of Bagger Vance (Redford)


1. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Coens)
2. The Yards (Gray)
3. Mulholland Drive (Lynch)
4. Memento (Nolan)
5. The Royal Tenebaums (Anderson)
6. The Claim (Winterbottom)
7. Made (Favreau)
8. Chopper (Dominik)
9. Ali (Mann)
10. Eureka (Aoyama)


1. Gangs of New York (Scorsese)
2. The Bed You Sleep In (Jost)
3. Minority Report (Spielberg)
4. Punch Drunk Love (Anderson)
5. 25th Hour (Lee)
6. Insomnia (Nolan)
7. Sex and Lucia (Medem)
8. Narc (Carnahan)
9. Last Orders (Schepsi)
10. The Son’s Room (Moretti)


1. Mystic River (Eastwood)
2. Lost In Translation (Coppola)
3. Return of the King (Jackson)
4. demonlover (Assayas)
5. All the Real Girls (Green)
6. Irreversible (Noe)
7. The Dancer Upstairs (Malkovich)
8. In America (Sheridan)
9. Purple Butterfly (Le)
10. Cold Mountain (Minghella)


1. The Aviator (Scorsese)
2. House of Flying Daggers (Yimou)
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry)
4. Spartan (Mamet)
5. Garden State (Braff)
6. Code 46 (Winterbottom)
7. The Life Aquatic (Anderson)
8. I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead (Hodges)
9. Crimson Gold (Pahar)
10. Collateral (Mann)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


So... in order to gather a more comprehensive idea of my cinematic tastes (and it is broad, if I may say so) I've decided to post a copy of my "favs of the year" from 1990 on. It's amazing, looking back at some of these lists, how much they've changed. A majority of them have been left intact, and only a marginal number of films have been added, but a couple have been drastically re-numbered (especially 1998... P.T. Anderson's two breathtaking masterpieces now top my list whereas Kasi Lemmons' more moderate and accomplished character piece has fallen). Hindsight is 20-20. If only I could have the luxury of seeing every film that comes out every year.. then I'd feel more comfortable with these lists, but we know that will never happen, so here goes: The first post is from 1990-1998. 1998-2005 will be up soon.


1. Goodfellas (Scorsese)
2. King of New York (Ferrera)
3. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
4. Twin Peaks (TV- Lynch)
5. Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer (McNaughton)
6. Miller’s Crossing (Coens)
7. Edward Scissorhands (Burton)
8. State of Grace (Joanau)
9. The Godfather Part 3 (Coppola)
10. Wild at Heart (Lynch)


1. The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)
2. The Indian Runner (Penn)
3. JFK (Stone)
4. Zentropa (vonTrier)
5. Grand Canyon (Kasdan)
6. Homicide (Mamet)
7. Ju Dou (Yimou)
8. Bullet in the Head (Woo)
9. Barton Fink (Coens)
10. City of Hope (Sayles)


1. Laws of Gravity (Gomez)
2. Glengary Glen Ross (Mamet)
3. Bad Lieutenant (Ferrera)
4. The Player (Altman)
5. Bob Roberts (Robbins)
6. Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)
7. All the Vermeers in New York (Jost)
8. A River Runs Through It (Redford)
9. Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou)
10. Last of the Mohicans (Mann)


1. Schindler’s List (Spielberg)
2. Short Cuts (Altman)
3. True Romance (Scott)
4. Fearless (Weir)
5. Age of Innocence (Scorsese)
6. Faraway, So Close (Wenders)
7. A Perfect World (Eastwood)
8. In the Name of the Father (Sheridan)
9. The Puppet Master (Hsiou-Hsien)
10. In the Line of Fire (Peterson)


1. Imaginary Crimes ( Drazan)
2. To Live (Yimou)
3. Cold Water (Assayas)
4. Trois Colors Trilogy (Kieslowski)
5. Forrest Gump (Zemeckis)
6. Last Seduction (Dahl)
7. Dangerous Game (Ferrera)
8. Clean, Shaven (Kerrigan)
9. Red Rock West (Dahl)
10. Hudsucker Proxy (Coens)


1. Casino (Scorsese)
2. Heat (Mann)
3. Seven (Fincher)
4. Smoke/Blue In the Face (Auster/Wang)
5. The Kingdom (vonTrier)
6. Funny Bones (Chelsom)
7. Kicking and Screaming (Stillman)
8. Shanghai Triad (Yimou)
9. Sonatine (Kitano)
10. Little Odessa (Gray)
11. The Day the Sun Turned Cold (Yim)
12. Clockers (Lee)


1. Breaking the Waves (vonTrier)
2. Swingers (Liman)
3. The English Patient (Minghella)
4. The Whole Wide World (Ireland)
5. Lone Star (Sayles)
6. Fargo (Coens)
7. The Funeral (Ferrera)
8. Irma Vep (Assayas)
9. Bottle Rocket (Anderson)
10. Basquiat (Schnabel)
11. Beautiful Girls (demme)
12. He Got Game (Lee)
13. Sleepers (Levinson)


1. Boogie Nights (Anderson)
2. Hard Eight (Anderson)
3. Kundun (Scorsese)
4. Eve’s Bayou (Lemmons)
5. Fireworks (Kitano)
6. La Scorta (Tognazzi)
7. Gattaca (Niccol)
8. Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)
9. L.A. Confidential (Hanson)
10. Daytrippers (Mottola)


1. The Thin Red Line (Malick)
2. The Big Lebowski (Coens)
3. Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg)
4. The Truman Show (Weir)
5. Out of Sight (Soderbergh)
6. Zero Effect (Kasdan)
7. Chinese Box (Wang)
8. Pi (Aronofsky)
9. The Game (Fincher)
10. A Simple Plan (Raimi)
11. Lulu On the Bridge (Auster)