BEST MOVIE THEATER - 2002
Oak Street Cinema - CLOSED
At a time when even upscale cafés have turned to unspooling art cinema as an appetizer, the Cities' venerable museum of the moving image has focused on a healthier variety of film nourishment: local premieres (e.g., the surrealist Little Otik, the globalization doc Life and Debt, the Iranian feminist drama The Circle); proven classics in pristine prints (Ashby's Shampoo, Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits, Buñuel's Diary of a Chambermaid); and audaciously extended blasts from the past (the two-week Dietrich/von Sternberg retro, the 24-film "Cinema 80" series, the playful "Curated by Jean-Luc Godard"). The Oak Street also selectively opened its doors to the worthier examples of local indie film (The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall, Urban Warrior, the animated short "Bike Ride"), and played exclusive host to the latest edition of "Sound Unseen," a loud batch of music-related movies. (Oh, yeah--and they even let a haughty newspaper staff come in for the weekend and screen a dozen new documentaries.) What they'll do in collaboration with U Film Society when the two organizations join forces in July is an ambiguity even more tantalizing than That Obscure Object of Desire.