PRINT December 2003

FILM: Best of 2003

James Quandt


1. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Rapturous Thai long-take languor; the copious sex and strangeness camouflage the film’s political intent.

2. Come and Go (João César Monteiro) The Portuguese master’s serenely scabrous requiem, a three-hour relinquishing of the world.

3. Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan) Adrift and bereft in Istanbul’s snowy gloaming; the insistent homages are to Tarkovsky, but in their glowering shroud, the city and sea suggest Sokurov.

4. The Ground and The Hedge Theater (Robert Beavers) Exquisite in their precision, gorgeous and mystifying in their slant rhyming of landscape, architecture, frescoes, and beatifically lit flesh.

5. The Man Without a Past (Aki Kaurismäki) The po-faced Finn revives the communitarian values of Renoir’s prewar films, fashioning a new Popular Front: an amnesia victim, his Salvation Army sweetheart, assorted paupers and put-upons,

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