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2002 Stories by J. Hoberman

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  • Days of Heaven

    published December 31, 2002

    Far From Heaven is something close to universal. As predicted here when the movie opened in early November, Todd Haynes's faux-'50s... More >>

  • Voice Critics' Top Tens

    published December 31, 2002

    Not a bad year at all: The top four films are masterpieces that, rooted in documentary as they are, will only improve with age. Is this the first... More >>

  • Portraits of the Artist

    published December 24, 2002

    Roman Polanski's world is predicated on violent absurdity, and in the first few moments of his new movie, The Pianist, war breaks out with... More >>

  • Vice City

    published December 17, 2002

    Arriving a year late and saddled with abundant backstory, Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is finally slouching into Bethlehem,... More >>

  • Road Warriors

    published December 10, 2002

    Driving into the blizzard of Christmas releases come two star-powered road movies, the echt-American About Schmidt and Brit fave Morvern... More >>

  • The Truths About Charlie

    published December 3, 2002

    Being John Malkovich, the comic brain-twister directed by Spike Jonze from Charlie Kaufman's screenplay, invited analogy seekers to cast... More >>

  • Space Odysseys

    published November 26, 2002

    The unique trajectory of Steven Soderbergh's career takes him close to the stratosphere with his wholly unexpected and unexpectedly fine remake of... More >>

  • Roads to Hell

    published November 19, 2002

    "Life swarms with innocent monsters," Charles Baudelaire famously observed in The Spleen of Paris—and, although none could be... More >>

  • It's a Sin

    published November 12, 2002

    A sensation in Mexico, where it broke Y TuMamá También's opening-weekend record and is now the highest-grossing homemade... More >>

  • Signs of the Times

    published November 5, 2002

    It may not have seemed so then, but the mid-1950s moment of Marilyn and Howl, Disneyland and Songs for Swingin' Lovers, blue suede... More >>

  • Salvage Lot

    published October 29, 2002

    The past isn't dead—it isn't even past—in The Weight of Water, Kathryn Bigelow's fiercely wrought, if sub-Faulknerian,... More >>

  • Deconstructing Hairy

    published October 22, 2002

    She's been dead for nearly half a century, but Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is the quintessential artist of our moment. Kahlo was female, Latina,... More >>

  • Slaves to the Grind

    published October 15, 2002

    Paul Schrader's Auto Focus and Roger Avary's The Rules of Attraction are just about as clinical as their titles imply, and the... More >>

  • They Aim to Please

    published October 8, 2002

    Two cheers for Michael Moore—and a raspberry. Released as the countdown begins for a second Gulf War, Moore's latest documentary psychodrama,... More >>

  • Collision Courses

    published October 1, 2002

    A match made in PR heaven, Punch-Drunk Love brings together Hollywood's most doggedly lowbrow young comic and its most fearlessly grandiose... More >>

  • The Untouchables

    published September 24, 2002

    Fools rush in, and so does British stalkumentarian and pop culture muckraker Nick Broomfield—this time churning up the murky waters that have... More >>

  • Fling Time in a Quiet Town

    published September 17, 2002

    TORONTO—The urbanologist Jane Jacobs imagined Toronto as the idyllic future of city life. New York and national film critics see... More >>

  • Mirror Men

    published September 10, 2002

    Increasingly famous in the decade since his death, the enigmatic Harry Smith pushes to the limit any number of conceptions of the artist as... More >>

  • Invisible Cities

    published September 3, 2002

    Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love is tactile yet elusive—its tragic grandeur is as graspable as running water and as shifty as... More >>

  • Computer Love

    published August 27, 2002

    Once upon a time, motion pictures were theorized as a technology of truth, 24 frames per second. But as movies lose their basis in photographed... More >>

  • Artificially Preserved

    published August 20, 2002

    The comic books of my childhood used to employ the written sound effect "Glorch!" to signify a violent lump in the throat. There's a kindred form... More >>

  • Literary Agents

    published August 13, 2002

    "It is possible for a writer to make, or remake at least, for a reader, the primary pleasures of eating, or drinking, or looking on, or sex," A.S.... More >>

  • Hungry Hearts

    published August 6, 2002

    "Madame Bovary c'est moi," her creator, Gustave Flaubert, is supposed to have said. To which Jennifer Aniston can now add, "Me too." The... More >>

  • Crime Scenes

    published July 30, 2002

    The title Full Frontal promises a daring disclosure, but what Steven Soderbergh's unshapely new movie delivers is a familiar, if... More >>

  • Industrial Symphony

    published July 9, 2002

    The greatest of all pulp fantasies, Fritz Lang's 1927 Metropolis returns to the borough that inspired it in the most complete version since... More >>

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