PRINT December 2000


Ian Birnie


1. You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan) The most accomplished of this year’s American indie debuts.

2. Chunhyang (Im Kwon-taek) From Korea, a completely original, magisterial work that combines sung narration with ravishing images.

3. Chicken Run (Peter Lord and Nick Park) The Ealing comedy is alive and well and living in claymation.

4. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai) A concerto for two ill-starred couples and pure pleasure for the senses. Elegant, restrained, stylized, brilliantly sure of itself from its first frame to its astonishing epiphany at Angkor Wat.

5. Long Night’s Journey Into Day (Deborah Hoffmann and Frances Reid) The documentary of the year explores the pain and trauma of South Africa’s villains and victims by examining four cases before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

6. The Circle (Jafar Panahi) A compelling and compassionate look at women’s lives in Iran. Perhaps the year’s most courageous political film.

7. Djomeh (Hassan Yektapanah) A perfect balance of the verbal and the visual: Think blue rectangle against brown field. A jewel in the crown of new Iranian cinema.

8. Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier) A mass of indulgent contradictions, it is nonetheless the most exciting and challenging film of the year.

9. Before Night Falls ( Julian Schnabel) Adapted from the memoirs of Cuban poet Reinaldo Arenas, Schnabel’s second biopic passionately affirms the artist as heroic individualist.

10. Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang) A superior soap opera with important things to say about human frailty and everyday life.