PRINT December 2007


John Waters


1 Grindhouse (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino) The coolest high-concept art film of the year. A faux exploitation double feature from hell with coming attractions in between for films you’d kill to see if they were real. I could feel the ghost rats from Baltimore theaters past brushing up against my legs as I watched.

2 Before I Forget (Jacques Nolot) This negative movie about an HIV-positive man is brave, funny, gaily incorrect, and smart as a whip. The best feel-bad gay movie ever made.

3 Away from Her (Sarah Polley) Julie Christie deserves an Oscar for this wonderfully terrifying story of falling in love the second time around on Alzheimer’s. What does a husband do when his wife forgets she is in love with him and hooks up with somebody else who can’t remember either?

4 Zoo (Robinson Devor) They fuck horses, don’t they? No, the horses fuck them! Jaw-dropping, sympathetic documentary about the appalling true-crime story of the so-called Enumclaw Horse-Sex Incident.

5 Lust, Caution (Ang Lee) At first, I thought it was the only film to be rated NC-17 for excessive cigarette smoking, but I soon realized it was a really sexy movie for adults. The best underarm-hair shot of the decade.

6 Brand Upon the Brain! (Guy Maddin) He may be the most original auteur working these days. Nuts. Defiantly uncommercial. Hilarious. Give the man more grants and prizes.

7 An American Crime (Tommy O’Haver) The sad but true story of Gertrude Baniszewski, brilliantly told. When Gertie, the scariest foster mother in the world, encourages her own hateful children and their mutant neighborhood chums to carve I AM A PROSTITUTE AND PROUD OF IT on their teenage girl victim’s stomach, you know you’re on the outer edges of entertainment but somehow glad to be along for the horrifying ride.

8 I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With (Jeff Garlin) A terrific tiny little movie that is a masterpiece of munching, melancholy, and the “magic of self-loathing.”

9 Flanders (Bruno Dumont) A relentlessly punishing and depressing slowpaced French film about mud, barnyard animals, bad sex, and ugly war. The worst date movie of the year made me happy, happy, happy!

10 I’m Not There (Todd Haynes) A suggestion of a biography whose million little fractions add up to one knockout of a movie. The exact opposite of Ray !

The Broadway musical based on John Waters’s Cry-Baby opens in March 2008.