Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (South Korea, dir. Park Chan-Wook)
2002 is another odd year, to my mind. Whilst the top 10 of my list are all certainly memorable and even arresting films, in retrospect the releases of 2002 all seemed over-shadowed greatly by City of God, which rightly deserves the ample praise heaped upon it. But I would argue that in the intervening 9 years, Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, Punch-Drunk Love and Irreversible have gained the more enduring cult appeal.
Looking back over the most memorable and high quality releases that year, it seems that 2002 is very much characterized by the number of greatly underrated, though none-the-less imperfect, films that have since found favor with some audiences on DVD, such as Sodorburgh’s Solaris, Spider, Bubba Ho-Tep, and even Gangs of New York. But most unjustly underrated (and overlooked) of all is surely Joe Carnahan’s directorial debut, Narc. Before graduating to mainstream shoot-‘em-ups like _Smokin’ Aces_ and The A-Team, Carnahan turned-out this grimy, low-key gem of a police procedural, which will surely strike a chord with fans of the American blue-collar cops & robbers genre, and displays a fine judgment of subtlety and tone that transcends the vast majority of its contemporaries.
City of God (Brazil, dir. Fernando Meirelles)
2002 Watchlist: THE 25th HOUR – ADAPTATION – ALL OR NOTHING – BERLIN SYMPHONY – FAR FROM HEAVEN – FUNNY HA HA – GERRY – GRAVEYARD OF HONOR – IN THIS WORLD – JAPÓN – THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE – LONDON ORBITAL – MORVERN CALLAR – THE PIANIST – THE QUIET AMERICAN – RUSSIAN ARK – TALK TO HER – TEN – WHITE DARKNESS
Punch-Drunk Love (USA, dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
Narc (USA/Canada, dir. Joe Carnahan)
Read my blog, Films Of Every ColourRead less