Film: Best of 2009

James Quandt


1 Wilhelm Noack oHG (Simon Starling) Metacinema machine to end all others: a projector whose celluloid elaborately loops into a helical, neo-Tatlin sculpture while its film presents a record of the mechanism’s fabrication in a Berlin metalworks associated with both the Bauhaus and the Third Reich. Ideal companions: Rodney Graham’s Rheinmetall/Victoria 8, 2003; Moholy-Nagy’s Lichtspiel Schwarz-Weiss-Grau (Lightplay Black, White, Gray, 1930).

2 Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu) A Romanian police procedural, edited so precisely it seems determinist, becomes a dialectical study in ethics and etymology. Not since the misspelled word in Tarkovsky’s Mirror have semantic matters seemed so consequential.

3 To Die like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues) The carmine-colored pastorale—moon magic and Baby Dee!—at the heart of Rodrigues’s tranny tragedy best conjures its transcendent

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