PRINT December 2004

FILM: Best of 2004

John Waters


1. Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette) The best movie of the year. A scarily original underground documentary about a boy (the director) who saves his own life with a video camera. A truly sensational debut.

2. Baadasssss! (Mario Van Peebles) Not since Ed Wood has there been a film that captures the “making of a movie” with such a first-hand knowledge and love of showmanship.

3. The Mother (Roger Michell) A recently widowed grandmother turns horny and has a secret affair with her daughter’s much younger, loutish boyfriend. Gerontophilia never seemed so exciting.

4. Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar) Even the Catholic Church and child abuse can be joyous in Almodóvar’s hands. Isn’t Pedro simply the greatest director in the world?

5. The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo) All that beautiful scenery behind the bug-splattered windshield is sheer genius. I wish I’d seen the longer version.

6. The Dreamers (Bernardo Bertolucci) Everybody always looks sexy in a left-wing riot. Maybe they’re even sexier when they stay home instead and have threesomes. Especially with a sound track this great.

7. Kill Bill, Volume 2 (Quentin Tarantino) Being buried alive with Uma and Quentin was the thrill ride of the season. Coolest end-credits of the decade.

8. The Saddest Music in the World (Guy Maddin) A maddeningly arty musical that will haunt your memory, even if you hated the movie. Maddin puts the capital A in Auteur.

9. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater) Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy walk around Paris and talk. That’s it. The only romantic comedy I’ve ever loved.

10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry) Jim Carrey used to look like Tex Watson’s mug shot, but in this film he’s the handsomest man in Hollywood. Most Artforum readers will want to have sex with him.

John Waters just released A John Waters Christmas on New Line Records.