BEST MOVIE THEATER - 2001
Our beloved local museum of the moving image went above and beyond its retro roots this past year by playing host to the two greatest films of 2000, Hou Hsiao-hsien's Flowers of Shanghai and Edward Yang's Yi Yi (A One and a Two...)--both from Taiwan, both unspeakably beautiful, and both requiring special care in a culture that too often seems to privilege the known commodity over the lesser-known work of art. To nitpick, the long winter didn't seem to go by any faster with so many extended Oak Street runs of old classics in newly struck prints (e.g., A Hard Day's Night, Gimme Shelter, Ran, Rififi, Raging Bull). And did that dreadful Phish documentary really need to run nine days? But the rest of the programming has been essential: well-timed retros of Kubrick and Antonioni; mini-tributes to Dogme95 and "Saph-o-Rama"; and the embarrassment of riches they called "Out of the Seventies," which, for six weeks in the dead of summer, reminded us of a time when Hollywood movies actually meant something. We also love 'em for giving play to those outrageous genre films from Bollywood and Hong Kong--and for putting Kathryn Bigelow (Strange Days) in the pantheon.