January/February 2004

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Best of 2003, The Battle of Algiers, Jean-Claude Brisseau, Timothy Carey, William A. Wellman, Gregory Markopoulos’s  The Temenos

Purchase this issue

Featured Articles

Issue Details

FEATURES

LORD OF THE RINGS
By Graham Fuller
Clocking in at over nine hours (not counting the additional scenes on the DVDs), The Lord of the Rings has earned its place among film history’s incontestable epics. Now that the trilogy is complete, we can begin to appreciate Peter Jackson’s awe-inspiring cinematic achievement and majestic vision.

JEAN-CLAUDE BRISSEAU
By Frédéric Bonnaud
Like his other films, Secret Things combines elements of melodrama, fantasy, and social realism, investigates questions of power, class, and sexual politics, and evades clear-cut classification. Welcome to the twisted universe of Jean-Claude Brisseau, one of French cinema’s best-kept secrets.

WILLIAM A. WELLMAN
By Bertrand Tavernier
Andrew Sarris categorized him as “Less Than Meets the Eye,” but a partial survey of his 77-title body of work uncovers a pattern of contradictions, unexpected choices, and perverse moves that suggests its time for a rethink.

FINAL CUT 2003

Film Comment’s End-of-Year Poll

Editors’ Choice

Movies that Mattered Elephant/Gerry, Capturing the Friedmans/The Fog of War/My Architect, Funny Ha Ha, El Bonaerense, In This World, The Human Stain, Panels for the Walls of Heaven/Chinese Series, Rana’s Wedding/Ford Transit/Ticket to Jerusalem, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Mystic River, Lost In Translation

Contributors: Paul Arthur, Elizabeth Helfgott, Harlan Jacobson, Kent Jones, and Amy Taubin

Inessential Cinema: Critics Rank 2003’s Guilty Pleasures WillardThe Texas Chainsaw MassacreImagining ArgentinaHoney, Bruce AlmightyFinal Destination 2Kangaroo JackLove, ActuallyLe DivorceTerminator 3: Rise of the MachinesHead of State

Contributors: Maitland McDonagh, Nathan Lee, Olaf Möller, Matthew Plouffe, Jonathan Romney, Mark Olsen, Chris Chang, Alice Lovejoy, Michael Koresky, Chris Norris, Alissa Quart 

MORE IS LESS: Hollywood’s sequel addiction explained by “Jedediah Leland”

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: Harvey Pekar overpowers the Hulk by Harlan Jacobson

Terra Incognita by Chris Darke, Shigehiko Hasumi, Alexander Horwath, Gary Indiana, Harlan Jacobson, Kent Jones, Alice Lovejoy, Olaf Möller, and Jonathan Romney

THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE: Charlie’s Angels and the stuck-together centerfold by Chuck Stephens

Best Movie Soundtracks of 2003 by John Caps

THE TEMENOS
By Nathan Lee
Self-exiled American avant-garde film pioneer Gregory Markopoulos died in 1991—but his visionary plan to re-edit, preserve, and present his oeuvre in the form of the 80-hour Eniaios is about to be realized.

TIMOTHY CAREY
By Grover Lewis
A close encounter with the eccentric cult character actor who stole scenes in two Kubrick classics and tangled with Wilder, Brando, Coppola, and Cassavetes.
Plus: a look at The World’s Greatest Sinner, the little-seen indie oddity written, produced, and directed by Carey
By Alan Light

DEPARTMENTS

EDITOR’S LETTER

OPENING SHOTS
News, Guy Maddin’s Jolly Corner: Wild Boys of the Road (1933), Letters

OLAF’S WORLD
Olaf Möller on Zelimir Zilnik

FIRST LOOK
Alain Resnais’s Not on the Lips by Frédéric Bonnaud

SOUND & VISION
The After Dinner Collection by Chris Norris and Lothar Baumgarten by Chris Chang

CRITICS CHOICE
Eight critics rate 25 new releases

DISCOVERY
Annemarie Jacir by Amy Taubin

MOVIE OF THE MOMENT
Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers by Larry Gross

FESTIVALS
Vancouver by Chuck Stephens

FICTION
“Movie Beast” by Mary Woronov

REVIEW
Monster by Gary Indiana, Crimson Gold by Richard Combs, Cold Mountain by Michael Koresky, and ( )by Paul Arthur

BOOKS
Colin MacCabe’s Godard: A Portrait of the Artist at Seventy by J. Hoberman

VIDI VIDI VIDI
Star Trek—The Motion Pictures by Gavin Smith, Naked Lunch by Nathan Lee, All Time Greatest Hits by Guy Maddin, One from the Heart by Kent Jones, Avalon by Graham Leggat, Alien Quadrilogy by Amy Taubin, 4 Flicks by Chris Chang

FSLC SEEN
Who’s who at recent Film Society events