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2002 Stories by Michael Atkinson

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  • The Mourning After

    published December 31, 2002

    Could a 50-year-old Japanese film about a dying codger be the best film playing in New York this month? Nobody wants to sound like a... More >>

  • Voice Critics' Top Tens

    published December 31, 2002

    1 WHAT TIME IS IT THERE? Tsai Ming-liang's pensive, hyper-distanced romantic hourglass was the only movie I saw this year that possessed... More >>

  • This Is Your Life

    published December 24, 2002

    A Sartrean "impossible history," the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Confessions of a Dangerous Mind hits the meta-movie paradigm running. The... More >>

  • Sales Pitches

    published December 17, 2002

    A four-figure, amphetamanic, self-styled calling-card movie, Joe Carnahan's 1999 directorial debut, Blood, Guts, Bullets & Octane, couldn't... More >>

  • Outrageous Fortune

    published December 10, 2002

    Broodingly ominous and machine-waxed to a high sheen, the new Spanish movie Intacto launches with a series of enigmatic set pieces: In a... More >>

  • Mash Notes

    published December 3, 2002

    Perhaps no American director has been with us, and maintained such an august station in the media forebrain, for as long as Robert Altman. Last... More >>

  • Primal Scenes

    published November 26, 2002

    The political and physical facts of Rabbit-Proof Fence, Phillip Noyce's first Australian film in 13 years, are so stunning that Noyce looks... More >>

  • Jump Cuts

    published November 26, 2002

    I shoplifted the first edition of David Thomson's A Biographical Dictionary of Film when I was 14. A hungry and somewhat indiscriminate... More >>

  • A View to a Kill

    published November 19, 2002

    Bumrushed onto American screens like late-breaking news, the Japanese TV doc Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times is a relatively... More >>

  • Moviehead Holiday Gift Guide

    published November 12, 2002

    As gifts, rare-international-cinema DVDs can be like cherry bombs—compact, light, odorless, maintenance-free, and likely to leave an... More >>

  • Taboo Ya!

    published November 5, 2002

    For over 20 years now, the Hong Kong movie industry has made epic genre films that zoom, splatter, catapult, and scream like the most feral... More >>

  • Twisting the Naïf

    published October 29, 2002

    Once the cool, multiculti arbiter of secular Hollywood idiosyncrasy, Jonathan Demme hasn't visited the Daft Side since the late '80s, when the... More >>

  • Brute Farce

    published October 22, 2002

    An adroitly acted, crudely shot character study-cum-misogyny mudbath, Roger Dodger proudly flaunts its membership in a bizarre subgenre of... More >>

  • Dread Reckoning

    published October 15, 2002

    Arguably the most subtextually loaded and vividly symbolic of all film genres, the horror film has been experiencing something of a decades-long... More >>

  • To Have and to Hold

    published October 8, 2002

    Possessed of a mysterious, swoony relationship with its own history, cinema has indulged in self-eulogization since the Screen Snapshots... More >>

  • Slow Burn

    published October 1, 2002

    Gathering a complete retrospective of Spanish master Victor Erice's work is as easy as falling off a log, seeing as he has made only three... More >>

  • Monsters, Inc.

    published October 1, 2002

    The ubiquity of pulp-novel juggernaut Hannibal Lecter may signify many things to cult-stud scholars, but the phenom is simple to read: We use the... More >>

  • Last Resort

    published September 24, 2002

    Whatever else it may be, Holocaust culture has proven to be a powerful antidote to provincial relativism—almost 60 years hence, it is still... More >>

  • Dreams of Burden

    published September 17, 2002

    Invincible, the first fiction film by combustible cinematic wayfarer Werner Herzog to be released here in the 18 years since Where the... More >>

  • You've Got a Fiend

    published September 10, 2002

    Possibly the most riveting and vital historical document ever put on celluloid, Patricio Guzmán's three-part 1975-79 guerrilla epic The... More >>

  • Hystorical Fiction

    published August 27, 2002

    You'd think that medieval costume dramas might be as obsolete as leech-bleeding after the postmod dressing-down exacted by Roberto Rossellini and... More >>

  • His Life to Live

    published August 27, 2002

    When it comes to Jean-Luc Godard, there's only one significant question to ponder: Is this enigmatic, narrative-discarding hermit the greatest... More >>

  • Ace in the Hole

    published August 20, 2002

    An utterly bewitching atrocity, the notorious Korean nitro-flask The Isle makes a deceptively meditative first impression. A gorgeously... More >>

  • Leaps of Bliss

    published August 13, 2002

    Two years into the country's export thaw, we're seeing more releases out of South Korea than even Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the proliferation... More >>

  • Involuntary Commitment

    published August 13, 2002

    A kind of hair-pulling paesano version of St. Elmo's Fire (or Beautiful Girls), writer-director Gabriele Muccino's The... More >>

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