18 January 2005



(sigh) Of course you're right. They both reach out. But as that insecure boy on his first date not sure if his hand will get smacked away lives inside me still, I gave the male reading. Crap ... there goes all my feminist street cred.


I'd like to thank you Conversationalists for providing a wonderful alternative to the mainstream media's self-congratulating idea of film criticism. Indeed, I think enthusiasm for cinema won out this past week -- at least for those of us who were open to it. Personally, if it weren't for the Conversation, I doubt I'd be seriously re-evaluating my "best of" list for 2004 -- being forced, in a way, to write in some depth about Huckabees, which I loved before, has helped me realise that it might just be my favourite film of the year. For that alone [but not alone, if you get my drift], I am thankful.

A few moments from the past year in cinema that really did it for me:

  • Firstly, two of the great endings -- of all time, I mean; not just 2004 -- Joel and Clem running off along the beach [again and again] and Jesse and Celine sitting in the latter's flat: "You're going to miss your plane."/"I know." Two love stories that will go down in history as bona fide classics, I think.

  • Count Olaf cracks onto Aunt Josephine in A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I saw for a second time this evening. The way Carrey handles that pipe is just digusting. Another moment, from the same film, is the moment that he arrives on the boat: the way he says "Hello, hello, hello" should be enough to convince anyone that Carrey did more than play the fool in this picture; he's a genuinely threatening character. Albeit an idiot.

  • As many issues as I had with the film as a whole, the hilarious set-up/pay-off that had as much to say about celebrity -- not one-hundred percent deliberately either, I don't think -- as it did about how clever Soderbergh and the entire Ocean's 12 crew thought they were in daring it in the first place: Tess "playing" Julia Roberts. If I had to pick a moment, however, it'd be the shell-shocked hotel manager when he gets off the phone to her. [For the record, I also liked this film's final freeze-frame.]

  • The public bathroom scene of Kim Ki-duk's Samaria.

  • Though technically a 2003 film, the pizza delivery that gets held up by a religious cult/militant stateout in Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold. Not to mention the whole film.

  • Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy: "Sky rockets in flight, afternoon de-light..."

  • The final scene of The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, when Rush [very deserving of his Golden Globe, by the way] shuts the trailer door on us: could have been the whole film, I swear.

  • The final scene of Huckabees in which Tommy and Albert excitedly compare findings. Whalberg's excitement at Schwartzman's affirmation of the fact that everything is connected is appealingly childlike in its nature -- indeed, the most optimistic picture of the year bar none. With the best music too.

    "Go and knock yourself out..."

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