The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Friday, December 27, 2002
THIRTY YEARS AFTER: In which I continue to avoid listing my favorite films of 2002. I've already offered top-ten lists for
1992 and 1982 as substitutes. Now we visit 1972.

1. The Godfather
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Coppola and Mario Puzo, from Puzo's novel

Well, duh.

2. The Ruling Class
Directed by Peter Medak
Written by Peter Barnes, from his play

The rap on this movie is that it isn't nearly as profound as it thinks it is. My response: Yes, but it's funny.

3. Images
Directed by Robert Altman
Written by Altman and Susannah York

An unacknowledged horror picture.

4. The Candidate
Directed by Michael Ritchie
Written by Jeremy Larner

Every time I flip by this on TV, I wind up watching it to the end.

5. Frenzy
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Anthony Shaffer, from a novel by Arthur La Bern

Hitch's most modern movie -- this is the second-to-last film he made, and the first with any nudity or genuinely graphic violence -- is also remarkably traditional, a straightforward thriller starring one of his most familiar characters: the innocent man wrongly accused.

6. Sleuth
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by Anthony Shaffer, from his play

Witty, suspenseful, perfectly crafted.

7. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Directed by Luis Bunuel
Written by Bunuel and Jean-Claude Carrière

Cinema's greatest surrealist having fun.

8. Cries and Whispers
Written and Directed by Ingmar Bergman

One of the most painful and depressing films I've ever seen. Part of me thinks it should be much higher in this list. Another part doesn't want to include it at all.

9. Play it Again, Sam
Directed by Herbert Ross
Written by Woody Allen, from his play

Remember when Woody was young enough that you could hope he gets the girl without creeping yourself out?

10. The Heartbreak Kid
Directed by Elaine May
Written by Neil Simon, from a story by Bruce Jay Friedman

For once in his mostly regrettable career, Neil Simon shows some fangs -- or maybe I should credit Elaine May for refusing to soften the story's edges. Either way, this comedy is exquisitely cruel.


posted by Jesse 6:52 PM
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