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E v s

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Well well well, another year has passed us by. This was a year in which some of the biggest names in Hollywood (Jim Carrey, Demi & Bruce, Arnold) flopped harder than that fish at the end of that Faith No More video. This was a year in which potentially the scuzziest man ever to walk the face of the earth (Larry Flynt) was deified by Hollywood as a crusader for justice. This was another year where Chris Farley and Adam Sandler dueled for post-SNL box office supremacy. This was a year in which our thirst for a GREAT horror film was finally quenched. 1996 was a good year for the film industry, despite some of the high profile flops. Of the 46 movies I saw released during the 1996 calendar year, 22 were good enough to be considered for the Top Ten movies of the year. I had such a hard time deciding on ten that I decided to convert my annual list from 10 films to twelve (sort of). This year, you will find 13 films that come HIGHLY recommended from yours truly. An honorary recommendation was given to Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet"; any directorthat has the audacity to make a movie that runs for four hours in 70mm during the MTV age is good enough to make my list, even though I haven't seen it yet. So without further ado, here are my Baker's Dozen of Films to see from 1996...

HONORARY "Hamlet" (directed by Kenneth Branagh)

12) "Looking For Richard" (directed by Al Pacino)

11) "Tin Cup" (directed by Ron Shelton)

10) "Scream" (directed by Wes Craven)

9) "City of Lost Children" (directed by Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro)

8) "Flirting With Disaster" (directed by David O. Russell)

7) "Jerry Maguire" (directed by Cameron Crowe)

6) "Trainspotting" (directed by Danny Boyle)

5) "Everyone Says I Love You" (directed by Woody Allen)

4) "Swingers" (directed by Doug Liman)

3) "Breaking the Waves" (directed by Lars von Trier)

2) "Big Night" (directed by Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott)


1) "Fargo" (directed by Joel Coen)

a new feature of my "top ten" films of the year is this...9independent movies, currently out on video, that you should make apoint of seeing ASAP (you probably missed these when they were out in the theater, they are great films that deserve to be seen)

listed in no particular order

"Exotica" (directed by Atom Egoyan)

"Kicking and Screaming" (directed by Noah Baumbach)

"Party Girl" (directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer)

"Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey" (directed by Steven M. Martin)

"What Happened Was..." (directed by Tom Noonan)

"Living in Oblivion" (directed by Tom DeCillo)

"The Last Supper" (directed by Stacy Title)

"The Trigger Effect" (directed by David Koepp)

"Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave" (directed by Nick Park)

mad props to everyone who took home an award tonight. thank you very much, and until next time, the balcony is closed

Mark Graham

27 january 1997