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BIZ: indieWIRE's Top Ten Lists for 2000

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire December 15, 2000 at 2:0AM

BIZ: indieWIRE's Top Ten Lists for 2000
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BIZ: indieWIRE's Top Ten Lists for 2000

indieWIRE




Eugene Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief


While "Dancer in the Dark" topped my personal list of favorite films in 2000, trying to prioritize the other nine is impossible. Each one was special to me in a different way. And not to be left out are a few extra movies that made their mark but didn't quite make the list.


1. "Dancer in the Dark"

"Before Night Falls"

"Benjamin Smoke"

"Billy Elliot"

"Chicken Run"

"Human Traffic"

"Small Time Crooks"

"Spring Forward"

"Trans"

"Wonderland"


Honorable Mentions: "Erin Brockovich," "The Filth and the Fury," "Wonder Boys," and "The Virgin Suicides."


Anthony Kaufman, Senior Editor


Though I'm usually against arranging my favorite films in some sort of hierarchy, this year's list poured out naturally, an order somehow determined by the memories of my first viewings of the films, and the emotional and aesthetic impact they had on me at the time.


1. Michael Winterbottom's "Wonderland"

2. and 3. Lars von Trier's "Dancer in the Dark" and "The Idiots"

4. and 5. Leos Carax's "Boy Meets Girl" and "Bad Blood"

6. Alison Maclean's "Jesus' Son"

7. Keith Gordon's "Waking the Dead"

8. Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

9. Jim Jarmusch's "Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai"


Runners-up: Francois Ozon's "Criminal Lovers" and "Water Drops on Burning Rocks," John Curran's "Praise," Miguel Arteta's "Chuck and Buck," Julian Goldberger's "Trans," Lynne Ramsay's "Ratcatcher," Sofia Coppola's "Virgin Suicides," Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic"


Special Mentions for Aesthetic Innovation: Darren Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" and Mike Figgis' "Time Code"


Special Documentary Mentions: "Benjamin Smoke," "Dark Days," "Ballad of Ramblin' Jack," "Twilight: Los Angeles"


Guilty (Studio) Pleasures: "X-Men," "Bring it On" and "Erin Brockovich"


Movies I regret having missed: "The Terrorist," "The Little Thief," "Humanite," "Time Regained," and "The Wind Will Carry Us."


Brian Brooks, Asst. Editor, indieWIRE


"Billy Elliot"

"Dancer in the Dark"

"Small Time Crooks"

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

"Before Night Falls"

"Cecil B. Demented"

"Almost Famous"

"Pollock"

"Requiem for A Dream"

"The Filth And The Fury, The Sex Pistols Documentary"


I wish I could add "The Tammy Faye" Doc; "Chicken Run"; "Erin Brockovich" and "Best in Show"


Andrea Meyer, Managing Editor, ifcRANT


My 10 best in no particular order:


"Billy Elliot"

"Wonderland"

"American Psycho"

"Yi Yi"

"George Washington"

"Quills"

"Water Drops on Burning Rocks"

"Humanité"

"Praise"

"Chuck & Buck"


I had a tough time narrowing it to 10 and feel the need to mention some remarkable runners-up: "Time Code," "Beau Travail," "Suzhou River," "Spring Forward," "Requiem for a Dream," "Criminal Lovers," "You Can Count on Me," "La Bûche," and "Before Night Falls" and "Pollock" for their outstanding lead performances. While I'm not as enamored of "Dancer in the Dark" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" as everyone else, each contains truly magical moments. And the re-releases of "A Hard Day's Night," "Gimme Shelter," "This is Spinal Tap," and "Boy Meets Girl" kick the butts of most movies released this year.


Oh, and at this time, I have not yet seen "Dude, Where's my Car?" So I should add that I can't wait and have every intention of loving it! (Forgive me if my prediction is off the mark.)


Erin Torneo, Associate Editor, ifcRANT


"Time Code"

"Humanite"

"Water Drops on Burning Rocks"

"Wonderland"

"Gimme Shelter" (re-release)

"Yi-Yi"

"Billy Elliot"

"One Day in September"

"Spring Forward"

"Almost Famous"


G. Allen Johnson, Contributing Film Critic


1. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (China/US/Hong Kong) Dir: Ang Lee.

We all know about the epic-scale production design, the dazzling martial arts sequences and the it's-about-time teaming of Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh. But what can't be understated is the depth of feeling contained within this remarkable work, which floats across the screen like a graceful ballet.


2. "Dancer in the Dark" (Denmark/US) Dir: Lars von Trier.

The Cannes prizewinner is stunningly conceived and filmed (or, more accurately, taped), preposterous and over the top, but audaciously brilliant. In all these Dogma pro/con distractions (and this isn't an officially accredited Dogma film, by the way), it's not often discussed that Von Trier has consistently pulled some of the decade's best acting work in his odd and original films. Bjork's delusional Czech immigrant and David Morse's emotionally tortured cop are two more notches for the belt.


3. "Croupier" (UK) Dir: Mike Hodges.

Thank God, a gritty film that really IS gritty. Paul Mayersberg's script is well thought out, with hypnotic narration by creepy antihero Clive Owen.


4. "Time Regained" (France) Dir: Raul Ruiz.

Underrated and thoroughly original, Ruiz's nearly three-hour take on Marcel Proust challenges film conventions with stunning period recreation, sets that move, and characetrs who are sometimes real, sometimes fiction. Seek this out.


5. "Gladiator" (US) Dir: Ridley Scott.

Perhaps no Hollywood director has been able to instill a clear artistic sensibility on big-budget popular entertainment; "Gladiator" is a nice fit in an oeuvre that includes "Blade Runner" and "Alien."


6. "X-Men" (US) Dir: Bryan Singer.

Another indie guy making good in the big, bad world of Hollywood action. With breakout performances by Hugh Jackman and Anna Paquin and a well-executed classical duel between Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart, "X-Men" is action sci/fi filmmaking at its best -- heroes with dark sides, villains with streaks of good lurching below the surface.


7. "Love and Sex" (US) Dir: Valerie Breiman.

The funniest comedy of the year, and a triumph for "X-Men" co-star Famke Janssen, this is a new millennium take on "Annie Hall." Jon Favreau is game, but it's Janssen's show, thanks to the smart script by director Breiman.


8. "Not One Less" (China) Dir: Zhang Yimou.

Stripped down to the basics, Zhang emerges triumphant from his post-Gong Li funk with a beautiful, simple story of a 13-year-old girl who is put in charge of a school class in rural China, and assumes responsibility when a student turns up missing.


9. "Yi Yi" (Taiwan) Ed Yang.

One of the richest character studies in recent memory, Yang tells of a Taipei family becoming increasingly fractured after the matriarch of the family slips into a coma. A rewarding experience and worth all three hours of time invested.


10. "Erin Brockovich" (US) Dir: Steven Soderbergh.

Only Soderbergh could take a Hollywood high-concept script and turn it into a sharp, insightful and funny character study -- as he did with "Out of Sight" and "The Limey." To reign in Julia Roberts is an achievement, indeed.


G. Allen Johnson, Contributing Film Critic


Aimee and Jaguar

American Psycho

Before Night Falls

Billy Elliot

Chuck and Buck

Dark Days

The Idiots

Me and Isaac Newton

Requiem for a Dream

You Can Count on Me