PRINT December 2001


Kent Jones


1. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson) Some saw repetition and inflation, but I found Anderson’s comic epic about a family of eccentric genuises, set in a romantically reconfigured Manhattan, every bit as surprising and inventive as Bottle Rocket and Rushmore.

2. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch) Probably the best movie ever made about Hollywood.

3. Waking Life (Richard Linklater) A dizzying, oddly moving metaphysical inquiry, a sort of oneiric first cousin to Slacker.

4. Loin (André Téchiné) A gorgeous tapestry of emotional, sexual, and cultural crosscurrents in modern Tangier.

5. Jung (War): In the Land of the Mujaheddin (Alberto Vendemmiati and Fabrizio Lazzaretti) Timeliness aside, this documentary about a hospital set up by an Italian doctor in Afghanistan provides an unflinching look at a people caught up in a never-ending cycle of war.

6. Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 PM (Claude Lanzmann) The most suspenseful movie of 2001.

7. The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel Coen) I’m not exactly a Coen Brothers fan, but this lustrous, Cain-drenched story about displaced passion and dry cleaning in 1949 Santa Rosa is probably their most emotionally powerful film—with one of the greatest last lines in movie history.

8. Shallow Hal (Bobby and Peter Farrelly) A romantic comedy that stares down the ugliest side of American culture and doesn’t blink. It moved me to tears.

9. Confessions of a Sociopath (Joe Gibbons) Treating life as an aesthetic inquiry, Gibbons’s hilarious sixty-minute DV/Super-8 “autobiography,” thirty years in the making, is as harrowing as Hawthorne’s “Wakefield.”

10. Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann) Most cinephiles despised this glittering pop object. I had a blast—and happily sat through it four times.

Kent Jones is a New York-based critic and film programmer.