PRINT December 2002

Film: Best of 2002

John Waters


1. Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes) My favorite film of the year. A Douglas Sirk–inspired melodrama that actually works without being campy. How does a director this young know so much?

2. La Chatte à deux têtes (Jacques Nolot) This hilarious, entertaining, and authentic film takes place entirely inside a Parisian porn theater. Somebody! Please! Give this movie American distribution!

3. The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke) Not since Salò have we had a shocker like this. Isabelle Huppert is God.

4. Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón) Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal get my vote for screen couple of the year (even if they were drunk and don’t remember a thing).

5. Merci pour le chocolat (Claude Chabrol) It’s her again. Isabelle Huppert poisons her family, and Claude Chabrol tells her how to do it with cinematic perfection.

6. Gerry (Gus Van Sant) So slow, so formal, so ballsy, so fucking good. Don’t sleep with anybody who doesn’t love this film.

7. In Praise of Love (Jean-Luc Godard) Right in the middle of a scene the music rises, overlaps, and completely drowns out the dialogue. The most beautiful and radical sound mix of the year.

8. Storytelling (Todd Solondz) The director of Happiness leaves you squirming in your seat, feeling gloriously bad. What more do you want for a ten-dollar admission?

9. Read My Lips (Jacques Audiard) A drab female office worker with a hearing problem falls for French rough trade. Not getting laid never seemed so exciting.

10. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar) My kind of romantic comedy—a wise and kind love affair with a girl in a coma. To hell with the Oscars, award Pedro the Nobel Peace Prize.

Filmmaker John Waters is organizing an exhibition of his new photographs for American Fine Arts at P.H.A.G., New York, in March 2003.