PRINT December 2003

FILM: Best of 2003

John Waters


1. Irreversible (Gaspar Noé) The art shocker of the year is also the year’s best. Put on the horrifying sound-track CD (there is one), take a roofie, and remember this amazing journey into rape and, yes . . . intimacy.

2. Dog Days (Ulrich Seidl) Runner-up. The most humiliating film ever made (for both actors and audience). Astonishingly hateful and original. Vienna never looked so depressing.

3. The Son (Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne) Lead actor Olivier Gourmet won the best-actor award at Cannes for this performance, despite the fact that he’s filmed almost entirely from the back of the head. If this isn’t art, what is?

4. Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary (André Heller and Othmar Schmiderer) Very Paul Morrissey. Very Andy Warhol’s Hitler’s Kelly Girl. Chillingly simple.

5. Medea (Lars von Trier) I kiss the ground of New York’s Screening Room for booking this beautifully muddy, 1988 shot-on-video masterpiece when it finally got a theatrical release this year.

6. Swimming Pool (François Ozon) Sexual compulsion, a semi-erect “Hollywood loaf,” and the most amazingly naked performance of the year (Ludivine Sagnier).

7. Cet Amour-là (Josée Dayan) Jeanne Moreau is Marguerite Duras—and as much fun as Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest.

8. Ken Park (Larry Clark and Edward Lachman) Leave It to Beaver goes hard-core. Bravo! Clark’s the only director who consistently makes the New York Times rise to his bait.

9. Anything Else (Woody Allen) The critics are full of it! Woody is still smart and funny, and nobody does a medium master shot better. Christina Ricci is the perfect Woody Allen leading lady.

10. Friday Night (Claire Denis) The most provocative traffic jam since Fellini’s 8 1/2. So slow. So infuriating. So sexy.