The Cinéaste's Progress from This List to That Which Is to Come (He Hopes)

Once upon a time, I used to play a coy, rather pointless game w/r/t my annual top ten list -- dramatically "unveiling" it sometime in January, as if most everybody who reads this site didn't already have a pretty good idea of what it was gonna look like. Instead, I now publicly revise the sucker as I go along, so that the whole affair becomes a suspenseful Journey Toward Aesthetic Nirvana. Or something.

Here, then, is what my list would look like if (god forbid) I were forced to make it today:

01. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, USA)
02. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, USA)
03. Devils on the Doorstep (Jiang Wen, China)
04. An Amazing Couple (Lucas Belvaux, France/Belgium)
05. Spider-Man (Sam Raimi, USA)
06. Late Marriage (Dover Kosashvili, Israel/France)
07. 8 Women (François Ozon, France)
08. Daughter from Danang (Gail Dolgin & Vicente Franco, USA)
09. What Time Is It There? (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France)
10. Turning Gate^ (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)

# of films on the above list that I actually consider "listworthy": 7

(Films marked with an asterisk, if any, have not yet been released commercially in the U.S. but are currently scheduled for release during 2002. Films marked with a caret, if any, currently have no U.S. distributor. Films marked with both an asterisk and a caret, if any, have a U.S. distributor but currently have no set release date and hence may or may not turn up this year, who the hell knows. Lithium is no longer available on credit.)