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

Friday, December 19, 2003
NOW GIVE ME TWENTY: On Sunday, rather than list my favorite films of 2003, I posted a top ten list for
1993. Today we go back another decade, to 1983:

1. Videodrome
Written and Directed by David Cronenberg

Still one of my favorite horror movies.

2. The King of Comedy
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Written by Paul Zimmerman

If you think about it, this is the flipside of Videodrome. Sort of.

3. Tender Mercies
Directed by Bruce Beresford
Written by Horton Foote

Robert Duvall plays a down-on-his-luck country singer. If you don't think that sounds great, you might be reading the wrong blog.

4. Zelig
Written and Directed by Woody Allen

In the annals of great mockumentaries, this is second only to Spinal Tap.

5. El Norte
Directed by Gregory Nava
Written by Anna Thomas

"They sure sound like Mexicans to me."

6. John Cage
Written and Directed by Peter Greenaway

Explores Cage's music and ideas not just through exposition but by example: it's an extremely Cagean documentary itself, without ever becoming as inaccessible as Cage's own work.

7. Carmen
Written and Directed by Carlos Saura

Two films inspired by Bizet's Carmen came out around the same time. One is a straight adaptation of the opera; the other is a surreal, almost Dickian tale about some flamenco dancers who lose track of the boundary between fantasy and reality. No points for guessing which one this is.

8. The Meaning of Life
Directed by Terry Jones with Terry Gilliam
Written by Jones, Gilliam, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin

Holds nothing sacred, save sperm.

9. A Christmas Story
Directed by Bob Clark
Written by Clark, Leigh Brown, and Jean Shepherd, from the novel by Shepherd

I like the shopping-mall Santa scene best.

10. Trading Places
Directed by John Landis
Written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod

Yes, there's a couple of holes in the plot, including what must be the shortest trading day in the history of capitalism. It's still a fun comedy that holds up 20 years later -- and it's one of the few decent movies out there that stars Dan Aykroyd.

posted by Jesse 5:35 PM
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