Bring Back 1998

Okay, not really, but I can't say the past twelvemonth was much of an improvement. And since I didn't share the general opinion that '99 was unusually bountiful, that makes three (3) consecutive dogs, which could be a statistical anomaly but looks suspiciously like a trend. Still, I feel the curse about to be lifted -- I've already seen one masterpiece and one near-miss among the slate scheduled for 2001, plus a third film that would be on the list below had it not been picked up by the Shooting Gallery at the eleventh hour. Keep your fingers crossed.

Here it is, then. Commentary may be forthcoming eventually, but in the meantime I briefly address eight of the ten (films that haven't yet screened in New York weren't eligible) in my roundup for Time Out New York. Bear in mind, however, that everything after #2 would have been an honorable mention in '95, '96, '97, etc.

01. State and Main (David Mamet, USA)
02. Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, Sweden/Denmark/Norway)
03. Gladiator (Ridley Scott, USA)
04. Nowhere to Hide (Lee Myung-se, Korea)
05. Jesus' Son (Alison Maclean, USA)
06. The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, UK)
07. You Can Count on Me (Kenneth Lonergan, USA)
08. George Washington (David Gordon Green, USA)
09. Code Unknown (Michael Haneke, Austria)
10. Traffic (Steven Soderbergh, USA)