PRINT December 2002

Film: Best of 2002

Chrissie Iles


1. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson) Anderson’s razor-sharp direction incorporates artwork by Jeremy Blake and music by John Brion and Harry Nilsson.

2. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov) In the longest single take in film history, Sokurov escorts us through thirty-three rooms in the Hermitage, past 867 actors and three orchestras, as though traversing his country’s history in a dream.

3. What’s the Time in Vyborg? (Liisa Roberts) Written with teenagers in the formerly Finnish town of Vyborg, Russia, Roberts’s film rebuilds this lost city through images of the present, as part of a larger project involving the restoration of Vyborg’s Aalto Library.

4. Empire (Paul Sietsema) An exploration of filmic and architectural space through three constructed interiors: a labyrinth, a Rococo room, and Clement Greenberg’s New York apartment.

5. Southeast Passage: A Journey to New Blank Spots on the Map of Europe (Ulrike Ottinger) Ottinger charts the forgotten places in the post-1989 splintering of old Europe.

6. The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismäki) A powerful portrayal of psychological fragility from the director who shaped the Finnish cinematic climate out of which Eija-Liisa Ahtila emerged.

7. Angel on the Right (Jamshed Usmonov). A searing drama of life in post-Soviet Tajikistan, in a rare film from the region.

8. CREMASTER 3 (Matthew Barney) The final film in the CREMASTER cycle; Barney’s oedipal battle with Ken Russell, Roger Daltrey, and Richard Serra.

9. Love Is a Treasure (Eija-Liisa Ahtila) Ahtila expresses the trauma of suppressed libidinal rage in a blurring of documentary and fiction.

10. C’est le murmure de l’eau qui chante (Brigitte Cornand) Louise Bourgeois’s evident trust in Cornand reveals the artist’s daily life with a rare intimacy.

Chrissie Iles is curator of film and video at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, where she has organized film series by Andy Warhol, Liisa Roberts, Gary Hill, and, most recently, Jack Goldstein.