PRINT December 1999

J. Hoberman

1. Conspirators of Pleasure (Jan Svankmajer, 1996) The last Surrealist presents his obscure object of desire—a radical mix of Sade, Freud, and Rube Goldberg.

2. Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996) Uncompromising in its melancholia.

3. D’Est (Chantal Akerman, 1993) On the road and into the void.

4. Fallen Angels (Wong Kar-wai, 1995) Another long goodbye, the epitome of neo–New Wave cinephilia.

5. Lessons of Darkness (Werner Herzog, 1992) The Gulf War was a movie in itself. This stunning documentary—already in danger of being lost—finds Revelations in the war’s aftermath.

6. The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992) The movies are dead, long live the movies.

7. The Puppetmaster (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1993) Hou is the director of the decade. I could just as well have listed Goodbye South, Goodbye (1996) or Flowers of Shanghai (1998).

8. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994) Seven hours on the Puszta. If there were only one movie . . .

9. Side/Walk/Shuttle (Ernie Gehr, 1991) The real vertigo, made at some hazard to the filmmaker’s health (and without permission) on a glass hotel elevator overlooking San Francisco.

10. Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (Craig Baldwin, 1992) The ultimate expression of the fin de siècle, a parody of JFK avant la lettre, the quintessential expression of the tabloid decade, national entertainment state, life the movie, conspiracy of pleasure, or whatever you choose to call the spectacle.