PRINT December 2000


Kent Jones


1. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies) Davies’s mesmerizing Wharton adaptation is as physically and emotionally precise a film as I’ve seen in years.

2. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr) Passionate, mournful, gorgeous, and genuinely visionary.

3. Les Destinées sentimentales (Olivier Assayas) Another literary adaptation (from Jacques Chardonne), and one of the director’s most personal films: a devastating meditation on time and identity, made with the lightest touch.

4. L’origine du XXlème siècle ( Jean-Luc Godard) Godard’s first completed work of the new century wonders where the old one could have gone. A heartbreaker.

5. Arbor Vitae (Nathaniel Dorsky) and Time and Tide (Peter Hutton) New films from “two of the greatest silent filmmakers of the sound era,” as independent curator Mark McElhatten put it.

6. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai) A work of consummate artistry.

7. Fah Talai Jone (Wisit Sasanatieng) A thrillingly unclassifiable, highly entertaining re-creation of various lost Thai genres—more fun than Guy Maddin.

8. Not Forgotten (Makoto Shinozaki) Beautifully written, structured, and acted, a sharp, moving portrait of contemporary Japan through the eyes of its lost youth and forgotten elders.

9. Taboo (Nagisa Oshima) Wry but electrifying, a movie only an old master could make.

10. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe) Why all the complaints? Movies this fun don’t grow on trees.

Runners-up: Yi Yi (Edward Yang), Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee), and Space Cowboys (Clint Eastwood).