Magazine article Artforum International

Amy Taubin

Magazine article Artforum International

Amy Taubin

Article excerpt

1 Milk (Gus Van Sant) The past is present in this biopic of gay activist Harvey Milk, a role brilliantly and unreservedly inhabited by Sean Penn. Like its hero, the movie gradually gains stature, evolving from chamber agitprop piece to epic tragedy. Pity, terror, catharsis--the whole schmear, as Harvey might have said.

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2 Che (Steven Soderbergh) The most ambitious American movie of the year is made largely in Spanish; its ingenuity, technical brilliance, and near-insane willfulness mirror the two revolutionary campaigns that are its subject.

3 Ashes of Time Redux (Wong Kar-wai) The director spent five years digitally revamping his 1994 martial-arts flick. The time-bending, ravishingly painterly result distills all his swooning romances.

4 Tulpan (Sergey Dvortsevoy) Whirling sandstorms on Kazakhstan's Hunger Steppe infuse this wildly engaging depiction of ethnic and generational clashes in an isolated community of sheep farmers with an energy on the brink of chaos.

5 Waltz with Bashir (Air Folman) Confounding filmmaking genres, Folman's excavation of his repressed memory of serving in the Israeli army during the 1982 incursion into Lebanon is at once a nightmarelike animation and an investigative documentary. …

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