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EuroAICN: TheTransporter; 29 Palms; JeSuisUneCriminelle; Tron; NoOrdinaryWhiteMan; Sc

Father Geek here with our Euro-editor Robert from Rome. Robert has his yearend Top 10 lists for you, buuuuuuut remember he is in ROME, ITALY and that market area has extremely late releases of many popular films, sooooooo his lists will contain films that many of us saw in 2000 and alot of motion pictures you readers have seen several times won't be available to his country until sometime next year....

So with no further Adeiu, here's our Euro-AICN editor Robert Bernocchi...

Hiya people. Robert here... The 2001 is finishing and, to celebrate this year, I prepared (besides the usual dose of news and tidbits) a list of the best movies I’ve seen this year and another one with my disappointing films of these twelve months.

I’m one of the critics who believe this year was very poor. 95% of American blockbusters were unwatchable, but unfortunately the rest of the world wasn’t able to make alot of films better.

The Iranians, for example, provided many disappointments. And the entire of Europe doesn’t have the strength (even if there is a larger audience than United States) to provide a common movie market. The only country which showed good signs was France (that’s not a coincidence that three movies in my top ten arrive from this nation).

Before proposing you my favorites, please consider that I haven’t seen LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, Amelie, and Monsters,Inc yet (not my fault, simply these films will be distributed next year here in Italy).

Probably these three titles would have been on my list…

And so, my best memories of 2001 are:
  • 1) Moulin Rouge by Baz Luhrmann
  • 2) Memento by Christopher Nolan
  • 3) Amores Perros by Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu
  • 4) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon by Ang Lee
  • 5) Avalon by Mamoru Oshii
  • 6) About Adam by Gerard Stembridge
  • 7) Traffic by Steven Soderbergh
  • 8) The Taste of Others by Agnès Jaoui
  • 9) L’anglaise et le Duc by Eric Rohmer
  • 10) Intimacy by Patrice Chéreau

Having seen the top, we are ready for the flop.

This list doesn’t include the worst movies I’ve seen (anyone interested to know my opinion about See Spot Run?), but the ones that didn’t live up to MY personal expectations.

I want to explain just a couple of things. First, the Ian Harlan documentary is not simply an artistic failure (how is it possible to not provide unpublished information about his subject? Indeed, there is quite nothing you can’t find in Baxter, Lo Brutto or Ciment biographies). I reckon A Life in Pictures as a shameful exploitation, with a unique purpose: to make money. Do you think a reserved man as Kubrick would have liked to see his private pictures and videos shown to a voyeuristic public (who, unfortunately, seems to appreciate this idea)? I don’t believe so…

Second, Apocalypse Now Redux. It remains a great movie, but not the masterwork I adored. The 53 minutes added in this version are not only useless, but even harmful. The worst moment is certainly the 20 minutes at the french plantation, boring (the politique dialogues) and stupid (I mean the sex scene). The problem is that they are just before the arriving to Marlon Brando’s kingdom in the jungle.

That said, let’s get with my list of Flicks that did not reach MY expectations:
  • 1) Stanley Kubrick: a Life in Pictures by Ian Harlan
  • 2) The Brotherhood of the Wolves (Le pacte des Loups) by Christophe Gans
  • 3) From Hell by Albert and Allen Hughes
  • 4) Atlantis by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
  • 5) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by Chris Columbus
  • 6) Monkeybone by Henry Selick
  • 7) Apocalypse Now Redux by Francis Ford Coppola
  • 8) A.I. by Steven Spielberg
  • 9) Finding Forrester by Gus Van Sant
  • 10) Taboo (Gohatto) by Nagisa Oshima

Scènes Intimes

Thus, we can continue with a few hot pics from Catherine Breillat latest opus Scènes Intimes (actually in production). Catherine Breillat stirred a lot of controversy with his precedent two movies, Romance (with the porno star Rocco Siffredi) and A Ma Soeur (a.k.a. Fat Girl, presented this year in competition at the Berlin Film Festival). You can see the pictures here (Not for children: there is a full frontal nudity one!): Check Her Out By Simply Clicking Here

New World

You can now download and watch the first 5 episodes of New World, a sci fi action story about a future where the Earth has lost a war with Aliens and a few upstarts begin to fight their own war. Shot with no budget and done with consumer software, all FX were done on a home PC. You can see it at:

And, as usual, a few interesting news from our man in France, Grozilla:

Jean-Paul Goude first movie

Jean-Paul Goude is gonna directing his first feature film! I guess outside Europe everyone has forgotten this guy. In the 80’s and early 90’s, Goude was one of the most creative people in advertising. Each ad he directed was expected with frenzy. Before the music video-era, Goude was an amazing talent in a nutshell: a combination of Jean-Paul Mondino (a famous photographer of stars) & Michel Gondry (well known video director, like some Bjork’s ones), a kind of Spike Jonze before Spike Jonze appeared on scene. Gondry directed his first movie last year: Human Nature was so-so. Mondino nearly did direct an adaptation of Ranxerox, a post-punk comic-book, before one fuckin’ dumb producer disgusted him to the point he gave up. Goude, who was quite absent from the spotlights in those five latest years, is still full of promises. And more when you read the synopsis of his upcoming No Ordinary White Man: it will be a musical following the destiny of the imaginary André Lepiou, starting as an hairdresser in a small Paris’suburb, ending as an international star, coréographer of some disco diva.

This is the most exciting project since Philippe Decouflé, one of the best coreographers (real this one) was supposed to adapt The gypsy’s curse, the masterful Harry Crews’ novel about one legless freak in a kind of Bogart film noir’s spoof. This has unfortunately aborted. No Ordinary White Man is now in developement. Please, pray that it doesn’t abort.

Tron in London

Disney’s Tron is maybe one of the most visible "videogame film". It might even gain some youth during its screening holding on february 22nd in Contemporary Arts Institute in London: For this occasion only, Ladytron (some very good electronic band) will perform live a new soundtrack they wrote.

A couple of french killers soon on screen...

I’m not sure if this story is well known outside France, but some years ago, Florence Rey and Audrey Maupin, a young couple entered the history by killing half-dozen people in one night. Maupin died, shot by the police and Rey is now in jail, known as one of the sweetest female prisoner. This bloody trip became famous here when some investigators told that Rey & Maupin was inspired in their acts by Natural Born Killers. This story is now used for basis for Je suis une criminelle, an Olivier Panchot movie which will relate the meeting of a young girl and a guy until the carnage night.

A french documentary about Federico Fellini

Damian Pettigrew is making a documentary about Fellini. Among the collaborators of the genius director, he will interview Roberto Benigni, Donald Sutherland, Terence Stamp and Giuseppe Rotundo for Fellini: Je suis un grand menteur (Fellini: I’m a great liar).

Bruno Dumont's next projects

I don’t know if the two Bruno Dumont’s films have been released outside Europe. But any people who saw La vie de Jesus and L’humanité, know for sure that this guy is actually one of the most talented french directors. His movies are some existential experiences, that someone compared to a mix of Lynch and Antonioni’s universes. At the end of January, Dumont is supposed to start shooting one of his two american projects. "29 Palms" will follow a couple of tourists who’ll be prisoner of their sexual pulsions. Later in the year, Dumont will shoot The end of L’humanité teared down the audience in the Festival de Cannes. It’s about an investigation on the discovery of two bodies half eaten in some mexican desert. As his two french films, The end is supposed to be act by non-professional comedians. This filmaker is definitely one the most provocative (in a very good sense) who appeared in the last ten years. I assumed this projects will itch the american sensibility, but God, do I wait for seeing those films!

Luc Besson produces The Transporter

Some months ago there was a buzz saying that Shu Qi (beautiful asian top model turned actress for Hou Hsiao Hsien) has met Luc Besson to work with him. It’ s a done thing: She’ll appear in The Transporter, a Besson’s production shot a few weeks ago between Paris & Nice. This movie will be as many of the latest films this guy produced, an action-flick with some martial arts fights. At first The Transporter was announced as a film directed by Corey Yuen. It’s actually directed by first-timer Louis Leterrier. I guess (but I m’not sure of it) that Yuen had corographed the fights. But as usual when Besson is producing some newcomer behind the camera with a script of his own (remember Kiss of the dragon, and its lazy script) I’m afraid this gonna be again some mild movie designed for average audiences. Anyway, Jason Statham (Lock, stock and Barrel) got the main part in this film.

A feature inspired by Agatha Christie's 10 Little Indians

Sarah Levy will direct in 2002 her second feature. 10 Petits Blèmes, is inspired by Agatha Christie’s 10 little Indians. Levy is one of the most promising french female directors. She’s known as one of the best script doctors too, and has done many wonderful short films (one of them, False Alarm, inspired by the arrest of Jeffrey Dahmer is a real masterpiece). Her first film, Du Bleu jusqu’en Amérique, has quite been not seen here because it was so badly distributed. I believe this was because the producer was in bankruptcy just before the release. Shame, it was such a daring, refreshing film. Besides her talent on sceenwriting, Levy has a sure magic power to find very good actors among the new ones and write them strong and daring roles (Edouard Montoute, Paco Cabezas, Franck Gourlat, Eric Savin) I don’t know yet the whole cast of 10 Petits Blèmes, as far, I just learned that Sylvie Testud and François Berléand, both wonderful actors, are in it.

Ten Minutes Older Projects

I was just wondering what became of Victor Erice, an amazing spanish director (he was behind The Spirit of the Beehive, one of the most astonishing film I ever saw, which is avowed as a major inspiration for Alejandro Amenabar’s work) when I read that he has join the all-stars bunch of directors who will shoot a sketch of Ten Minutes Older, the project built by Wim Wenders, where each one has ten minutes to tell a story about future. Some newspapers assumed that Wenders’s one will be an alternative ending of his Paris, Texas, where Travis arrives too late to meet the Nastassja Kinski’s Character. For now, aside from Wenders and Erice, Mike Figgis ,David Lynch Bernardo Bertolucci, Jean-Luc Godard and Jim Jarmusch has agreed to direct one of those shorts films. This collection of films will be united in one (or maybe two films) and one of them might be screened in the next Cannes Film Festival.

Well that’s all I could pick this time...

And that’s all for today’s Euro Aicn Column Best wishes to everyone for a great 2002!

Robert Bernocchi

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