BEST ART CINEMA - 2001
Whether or not U Film goes along with Oak Street Cinema's recent proposal to merge the two organizations (don't ask Al Milgrom for more details), the fact remains that much of what it gave us during the past 12 months was both indispensable and very much in keeping with its longstanding mission to disregard the bottom line. In fact, this may have been U Film's strongest year of programming in a decade; certainly, there was a period between early last summer and late last fall when it seemed to do no wrong. There was the Belgian neorealist masterpiece Rosetta; the gorgeous African animated film Kirikou and the Sorceress; the searing postapartheid doc Long Night's Journey Into Day; the sprawling "Sound Unseen" series of music-related movies; two modern-day classics by Israeli director Amos Gitaï, Kadosh and Kippur; Lars von Trier's outrageously reflexive The Idiots (and its making-of addendum The Humiliated); and an "Iranian Film Week" that, despite being hastily assembled, gave us the Cities' one and only screening of Abbas Kiarostami's magnificent film The Wind Will Carry Us. So: With all this, plus expansive series of Cuban, Jewish, and queer cinema (not to mention another massive Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival), does U Film really need rescuing? In the spirit of foreign art-film ambiguity (not to mention Al Milgrom), that question shall remain--at least for the moment--unanswered.