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Films of 2002

Been in Bali all year but back and wondering what films you missed out on in 2002? Need a trustworthy and wise selection of the finest eye candy of the last twelve months? Look no further because diskant’s highly trained cineastes have gone into cabal and sent up puffs of white and black smoke which we have interpreted and present now for your edification, entertainment and enlightenment. From votes cast we assembled a top ten which we then asked all the committed committee to comment upon so as to give a more complete picture of the pictures. Read on before I come to my sentence beginning “And thus a thousand flowers did bloom…”

Your hosts: Simon Minter, Nelson Stanley, Joe Morris, Danny Cameron, OllieandKim Simpson, Hugues Mouton, Luke Younger and Overlord Marceline.

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Hard to describe but our film of the year so we had to have a go

smint: Eagerly anticipated by everybody in the country it would seem, and – although i hate to say it – possibly not the best film ever made, it’s still a superb, wonderful, crazy film which is about a million miles ahead of so many other films in terms of visual style, ideas and originality.

Nelson: The type of film that people surely aren’t allowed to make anymore; indulging in whimsy, satire, taking on the distorting effects of nostalgia, dealing with the utter horror of growing up in the Eighties, mixing in parallel time streams and quantum physics. A touching, funny, scary movie that deserves to be remembered not just as the best genre/horror movie for some time, but the best movie full stop. Oh yeah: How could anyone resist the beguiling charm of Frank, the cinema’s most loveably enigmatic devil-bunny? Film of the year, at least.

Joe: Brilliantly dark film, one of those ones you can discuss all the way home. Rabbits have never seemed so disturbing

Danny: To be truthful i voted for this before i saw it. In sydney it has only been released at one cinema, and three weeks into screening, every session is ‘sitting next to strangers’ packed. So i knew. Somehow. And was completely right. Drew Barrymore has the potential in her directing to bring us more David Lynch moments. A film that has you thinking hours after you left the cinema. Sydney had its first summer rain in months, a complete downpour, and from this cinema i walked in the rain for the next hour, thinking, then contradicting that last thought with the next theory. Jealousy. Parallel. One moment. No point if those you love to hate are gone.

Luke: Quite possibly the most pointless film I’ve ever seen. Obviously filmed on a huge budget, but tries so very hard to be odd quirky. Boring, annoying, and goes nowhere. A hollywood film pining for cult status. If your favourite bands are Low, Bright Eyes and Death Cab for Cutie you probably loved this.

* * *


Gene Hackman pretends to be dying, Gwyneth Paltrow smokes and shags her brother

smint: Clever, a film in which there’s no over-riding storyline, but the excellent characters help maintain your interest effortlessly for the whole duration. Plus, it’s got Nick Drake on the soundtrack.

Nelson: A great disappointment. Rushmore ruled; this drags like a dying donkey. Gene Hackman has looked like a corpse for years– now he’s acting like one.

Joe: Sadly haven’t seen it yet. Rushmore was great though!

Danny: I laughed more in the directors cut of Betty Blue. Don’t know what the fuss is about.

* * *


Teen movie for geeks or comic book adaptation for nerds?

Luke: Not bad. Lost me a bit towards the end, but was fun for a while.

smint: Perfectly-pitched adaptation of the comic book stories, in equal parts funny and touching, a sympathetic and unpatronising view of what are so often the stereotyped ‘geek’ characters in a movie.

Nelson: Cute, slick, cool; only about one/tenth as good as the comic book, but, hey, at least it got made.

Hugues: I’ve seen that! It’s great. Steve Buscemi is indeed the man. The geek, more like. I wonder if he’ll ever play anything else than the nice loser role ?! The dark haired girl [Thora Birch] is cool too, but the topless white trash american with the mullet definitely deserves all the credits in this movie. He’s hilarious. Don’t forget to check the comic of the same name by Daniel Clowes, by the way. And if you’re a comic nerd, you should also read “pussey!” by the same guy, it’s well funny..

OllieandKim: A lot more enjoyable than I was expecting. The book had seemed a little empty, but the film was somehow quite charming. I think Steve Buscemi was the main redeeming factor.

Joe: Steve Buscemi is great, and I haven’t forgotten the sound of that sweet girl from the Horse Whisperer saying the word ‘cunt’. heh heh

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Massive, sorted, Factory Records, The Hacienda. Nice one?

OllieandKim: The first half of this film was pretty great, with Steve Coogan blurring the line between Tony Wilson and Alan Partridge (the opening scene in particular), and sean harris as a suitably wired Ian Curtis. however, on the whole i didn’t like it, since the whole 2nd half was devoted to fucking Shaun Ryder and Bez, neither of whom deserve to have that amount of screen time wasted on them. Bah.

Joe: Historically accurate? Maybe not, but it certainly made me want to dig out my New Order/Joy Division/Mondays records. Great cameos (except for Simon Pegg, he was rubbish), great fun, great music. Nice to see a decent British film for a change too.

Mar-C: The most fun movie of the year [except for the Powerpuff Girls movie but no-one else voted for that], looking exactly like a bunch of drunken students’ idea of a cool film about music. Highly enjoyable even just for the minor indie celeb cameos and spot on reconstructions of incidents previously read about in the NME when you were a teenager. More films about my youth please.

* * *


General bafflement and no-one admits to voting for it

Mar-C: I can’t believe this is in our top ten films of the year! I also can’t believe that I actually voted for it. I can’t even remember anything about it. Except for R2-D2 flying. At some point I intend to watch all previous star wars films and see how the story would have differed if R2-D2 had used this ability to fly. There was also lots of overexplaining of How Things Happened which are making the new Star Wars films like a very long game of join the dots. The next one I expect to be a long list of Things To Be Explained stuck together with CGI glue. Including How R2-D2 Lost The Ability To Fly.

Danny: Come on, what’s this doing in the top ten. Sure we all had to watch it because the first three are part our everyday lives. But you can’t say this is any where near as close. Part three has a hell of a lot of holes to fill.

Joe: Truly a film for children. First viewing I thought it was okay, second (at the IMAX) I thought it was great, last week at home on DVD I thought it was rubbish – all effects and no characters. Better than Phantom Menace maybe, but until George uses actors that we might actually care about he’s onto a loser.

OllieandKim: More than made up for any disappointing aspects of episode 1 with kickass light saber fights and Christopher Lee kicking some ass and general all round kickass-ness. my one gripe would be the totally gratuitous scene with Amidala and Anakin in the meadow with flowers and romance, which stuck out like a sore thumb, but ultimately it was a small price to pay.

Hugues: Hey, i’ve seen that too! What a load of shite!

Nelson: Another excuse for eighty million lunchbox sales means George Lucas will be kept in mullet-retaining hairspray for, ooh, years…

Luke: I hate Star Wars.

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One of the films this year where Robin Williams is a creepy psychopath (deliberately), the one set in blizzards not Boots. Directed by the man who did Memento, I think.

smint: The original, or the US remake? I only saw the latter – which was pretty good, beautifully filmed and nicely downbeat, but also so very slowly paced it was hard to maintain interest…

Nelson: Not as good as the (Danish?) original; Robin Williams, however, confirms all my long-held suspicions about him: he really IS the Antichrist, isn’t he?

Joe: Haven’t seen it, but the original is great.

* * *


Top Mexican road movie about cumming of age, moving on, the usual road movie stuff. Stands out by virtue of it’s melancholy, Bande a Part-style voiceover pauses and by vice of it’s sex scenes.

Nelson: Charming little movie that deserved to do better than it did.

* * *


Luke: Couldn’t watch all of it, I thought it was pretty boring.

smint: Was this this year? Or last year? Whatever, it’s brilliant. It must be seen on a big screen though.

Nelson: BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, Hobbits, BLAH, Elves, BLAH, Orcs, BLAH, “Epic scale”, BLAH…. Prospect of all this makes me wonder why they didn’t just give the fucking eagle (er, Gwalhir, I think) that bloody ring right at the start and tell him to drop it off Mount Doom or something. And Peter Jackson went from making cool movies like “Bad Taste” and “Brain Dead” to this… OH, did someone mention the “Frighteners”?

Hugues: Fantasy worlds usually totally put me off, plus i was so sick of hearing from Tolkien all the time that i didn’t think i would enjoy this at all. Well, i did. I found it really well done and even th e goody is not too annoying. Or at least it didn’t strike me. Actually i can’t wait for the new one. See?

Joe: Awesome! At the risk of sounding like a complete D&D geek I’ve just got the extended version and it’s superb. It looks stunning, the effects are amazing, but importantly the characters, the story line, and the acting are what really shine (the exact opposite of Star Wars). I have very high hopes for Two Towers.

Danny: However, Peter Jackson is a legend! from Meet The Feebles to Heavenly Creatures, to the greatest story ever written. this was a book entrenched in my imagination and i have not been disappointed for one moment. Some may say it was too slow, but this is all needed for the story to be told in its true form. Have yet to see the extra forty minutes on the dvd, and can nae wait for boxing day. Bring it on.

Mar-C: I saw this twice ‘cos the first time I saw it they decided to have an intermission half way through so everyone could go to the toilet and buy more popcorn. I was APPALLED by this, having just begun to believe that everything on screen was REAL LIFE. At the time I congratulated them for not having a talking tree in the film but I hear there’s one in the next film. Gah.

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The wee man in the box, the dead girl and the scariest cabaret act in Hollywood come together to thrill your eyes and baffle your brain. What you’d get if you invented a “David Lynch Film-Making Machine”

Danny: Don’t cry for me … i will watch this over and over again, and still come no closer, for every theory can be dispelled by one fragment. And every fragment can explode into a new theory.

Joe: David Lynch is great – a film to make you scratch your head, wonder what on earth it was all about, spend hours arguing about with your friends, before going all quiet and glazed eyes at every mention of the word ‘lesbian’. Ahem.

* * *


Slower, more thoughtful film from the director of Run Lola Run from a script by Mr. Three Colours. Pretty damned gorgeous.

Mar-C: This was less a good film than a beautiful piece of cinematography plus Cate Blanchett being a good actress with a plotline seemingly thought up at the last minute so that film reviewers on local newspapers wouldn’t get too confused (see also Mulholland Drive except minus the worrying about people being confused, obv.)

Joe: Haven’t seen it. Hope not to for a very long time. arf.

Our favourite albums of 2002