Daily Archives: December 11, 2000


Personally, I find the notion of a politically correct Marquis de Sade ridiculous enough to be hilarious, but this didn’t prevent me from thoroughly enjoying Philip Kaufman’s silly romp, adapted by Doug Wright from his own play. This version of French history has it that the real sadist wasn’t Sade (Geoffrey Rush) but the hypocritical doctor (Michael Caine) who kept him locked up in a lunatic asylum, and that the real issues posed by Sade’s work basically boil down to freedom of expression. Check your brain at the concessions counter and you’re likely to have as much fun as I did, not only because the good guys and the villains are easy to spot but because Kaufman is an adroit, sexy storyteller and his cast is delightful. With Kate Winslet, Joaquin Phoenix, and Billie Whitelaw. 123 min. (JR)… Read more »

The Best of the 90s

Written for a Film Comment poll; its web site doesn’t say which issue this appeared in. — J.R.

The Wind Will Carry Us — Kiarostami. City / country, rich / poor, modernity / antiquity, onscreen / offscreen, fast / slow, media / nature, private / public, documentary / fiction: an accurate and very funny report on the current state of the planet.

Hou Hsiao-hsien. The 21st century belongs to Asia, and Hou is its historian, its prophet, and its poet laureate.

Ten Best/Most Underrated (alphabetical): Actress, A Brighter Summer Day (230-minute version), Dead Man, From the East, Histoire(s) du Cinéma (final version, eight parts), Inquietude (Oliveira), The Puppetmaster, Sátántangó, When It Rains (Burnett, 12 minutes), The Wind Will Carry UsRead more »