PRINT December 1999

Howard Hampton

1. The Last Bolshevik (Chris Marker, 1992) Farewell to the twentieth century: remembering the casualties of history, their dreams of a future that never came to pass.

2. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch, 1995) The slippery, totemic poetry of America, wherein an innocent named William Blake receives his last rites from an Indian called Nobody.

3. Swordsman II (Ching Siu-tung, 1991) In the realm of the senses—beautifully convulsive, irresistibly phantasmagorical.

4. Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997) Sex, displacement, metamorphosis; out of Kafka by way of In a Lonely Place.

5. Underground (Emir Kusturica, 1995) A surrealpolitik wedding of comedy and nightmare, holding its reception in the shock corridors of power.

6. Ashes of Time (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Contemplative panoramas, eroticized ennui, and good old-fashioned Hong Kong movie mania.

7. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996) Cinema as love letter.

8. The Wife (Tom Noonan, 1996) Scenes from a marriage of Kieslowski and Woody Allen. A perfectly shaped, exquisitely acted, devastatingly observed comedy of psychological manners.

9. The Addiction (Abel Ferrara, 1995) Of the myriad ’90s neo–pulp fictions, this was the messiest, the most suggestive, and the most terrifying, held together by Lili Taylor’s stricken bitterness and a single spat-out epithet: “Collaborator.”

10. Zentropa (Lars von Trier, 1991) More about collaboration: complicity as the secret language of the twentieth century.