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

Sunday, December 14, 2003
MOVIE-LIST SEASON: When the critics started to announce their top ten movie lists last December, I realized I hadn't seen enough of the past year's pictures to produce a credible list of my own. So instead I vaulted back a decade, and listed my favorite films of
1992. That was fun, so I kept skipping backwards: to 1982, to 1972, and to 1962. And now, 12 months later, I'm going to start all over again.

Without further ado, I give you the top ten movies of 1993:

1. Short Cuts
Directed by Robert Altman
Written by Altman and Frank Barhydt, from stories by Raymond Carver

Ever see Magnolia? This is the original.

2. Groundhog Day
Directed by Harold Ramis
Written by Ramis and Danny Rubin

Buddha's favorite romantic comedy.

3. A Perfect World
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by John Lee Hancock

The joke goes that this is the movie that proved Eastwood's standing as a great director, because he actually managed to elicit a good performance from Kevin Costner. After The Outlaw Josey Wales, it's my favorite of Eastwood's films.

4. Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould
Directed by François Girard
Written by Girard, Don McKellar, and Nick McKinney

So much better than a conventional biopic.

5. Latcho Drom
Written and Directed by Tony Gatlif

A celebration of Gypsy music and culture. Frequently described as a documentary, but since the entire thing was scripted and staged it might be better to regard it as a hundred-minute music video.

6. Fearless
Directed by Peter Weir
Written by Rafael Yglesias, from his novel

Someone once told me he saw this movie on an airplane. I don't believe him.

7. Manhattan Murder Mystery
Directed by Woody Allen
Written by Allen and Marshall Brickman

Proof that Woody was capable of being laugh-out-loud funny as late as the 1990s.

8. Dottie Gets Spanked
Written and Directed by Todd Haynes

A strange and smart short about childhood, homosexuality, and television.

9. The Bed You Sleep In
Written and Directed by Jon Jost

Brings intelligence and ambiguity to a topic that rarely fares well on film. Can't tell you what that topic is, though; that would be a spoiler.

10. True Romance
Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Quentin Tarantino

Tony Scott probably wasn't the right director for this, but Tarantino's charmingly boyish script still manages to shine through.

Honorable mention:

11. Red Rock West (John Dahl)
12. Mad Dog and Glory (John McNaughton)
13. The Scent of Green Papaya (Tran Anh Hung)
14. The Wrong Trousers (Nick Park)
15. The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (Ray Müller)
16. Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrara)
17. White (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
18. High Lonesome (Rachel Liebling)
19. The Junky's Christmas (Nick Donkin, Melodie McDaniel)
20. In the Name of the Father (Jim Sheridan)

posted by Jesse 12:26 AM
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