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laconfid.gif (29657 bytes)Our Favourites of 1998

Everyone has their top ten lists for the year, and we do it one better by presenting our 25 favourite movies released on video for the first time during 1998.

It's an impressive group of films, so make sure you check this list carefully and see as many of them as you can. There are a few obscure films on this list that are well worth seeking out.

So, here are the best videos of 1998:

1. L.A. Confidentialn_90.gif (862 bytes)

Three Los Angeles police officers search for redemption in this poker-hot crime drama where hookers are cut to look like movie stars and someone is muscling the mobsters out of town.

2. The Long Way Homen_90.gif (862 bytes)

This award-winning documentary uses archival footage and personal accounts to recount the displacement of European Jews after World War II. It synthesises a people's need for a homeland as well as the resistance and racism they encountered. Highly recommended.

3. Titanicn_89.gif (862 bytes)

titanic.jpg (4958 bytes)James Cameron’s epic is both a visual spectacle and a great love story. The tragedy of the shipwreck underscores the doomed lovers’ fates. While not ground breaking, the traditional script is true to the era and told on a grand scale.

4. The Winter Guestn_89.gif (862 bytes)

A patient and rewarding film that divulges life's labours and pleasures. Relationships between a mother and daughter, schoolboys, a young couple and elderly friends provide a tender and sometimes-painful reflection on the human need for independence and companionship.

5. Dark Cityn_89.gif (862 bytes)

Our amnesiac hero is pursued by aliens and a host of others in a neo-noir city. This apocalyptic tale of alien abduction, telekinesis, murder and love is an entertaining and fantastic journey from the director of The Crow. Sensational effects.

6. The Butcher Boy  n_88.gif (862 bytes)

Tragic yet humorous story of a boy whose mental health spirals downward as his parents' lives disintegrate. This wonderful film is compelling and strangely entertaining, with credit due to author Patrick McCabe, director Neil Jordan and young star Eamonn Owens.

7. Wild Man Bluesn_88.gif (862 bytes)

Oscar-winning documentary director Barbara Kopple takes us into the private life of Woody Allen, the comedian, auteur, musician, brother, son, husband and neurotic in this must-see for Allen fans. He proves to be a competent traditional Dixieland clarinettist.

8. The Spanish Prisoner n_88.gif (862 bytes)

Written and directed by David Mamet, this is a classic mystery with clever twists and deceptive red herrings. Simple hero Joe Ross falls blindly into a treacherous scam of murder, money and illusion, where he doesn't know who to trust.

9. The Sweet Hereaftern_87.gif (862 bytes)

sweether.gif (27034 bytes)The journey of a lawyer to a small town in shock after a horrific bus crash. His purpose is to convince the townspeople to file a class action lawsuit. This exploration of painful emotions has brains, heart and a soul.

10. Anastasian_87.gif (862 bytes)

Anastasia hooks up with two con-artists on a journey to Paris. The delightfully evil Rasputin is out to murder the young Russian princess. Fox gives Disney a run for its money with fantastic animation and exciting action. Highly recommended.

11. A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsesen_86.gif (862 bytes)

Seminal director Martin Scorsese is our guide on this literate and passionate journey through American cinema. The 'talking heads' approach is static, but Scorsese's fine narration and intriguing choices of film make this a must-see for students of film.

12. Welcome to Sarajevon_85.gif (888 bytes)

Powerful and disturbing story of the horrors of Sarajevo in the early 1990s, honestly portrayed through a combination of dramatic film and news footage. There’s barely a false note in this powerful indictment of terrible war crimes and international neglect.

13. Guantanameran_85.gif (888 bytes)

Gina and her officious husband accompany her aunt's corpse to Havana for a funeral. Along the way, relationships ignite and falter. Romantic, funny and politically savvy; inspiring and potent in its simplicity. From the makers of Strawberry and Chocolate.


14. Hamsunn_85.gif (888 bytes)

Once the embodiment of Norway, Hamsun was the infamous traitor who publicly supported Nazi Germany. Although impeded by a lengthy narrative, this sympathetic profile of an inflexible will is tender and bitter. A prime performance by Max Von Sydow.

15. The Ice Stormn_84.gif (888 bytes)

A low-key story of upper middle class American family life in the 1970s. Kevin Kline and Joan Allen star in this exploration of hypocrisy, loneliness and the struggle for greater meaning. An intelligent, powerful and worthwhile film.

16. Good Will Huntingn_84.gif (888 bytes)

Can young tormented math genius Will Hunting be taught to believe in himself and his gift before he self-destructs? An intelligent, plausible and likeable drama with a fine ear for dialogue and a series of strong performances.

17. Wings of the Doven_84.gif (888 bytes)

A young aristocratic wannabe (Helena Bonham Carter) in Edwardian England hatches a plot to have her penniless lover woo a terminally ill American heiress. This adaptation of the Henry James novel is richly textured, well acted and deeply moving.

18. Primary Colorsn_84.gif (888 bytes)

A fascinating glimpse into both the political machine and the sordid life of Clinton-esque Governor Jack Stanton as he campaigns for his party's 1992 presidential nomination. John Travolta is at his charismatic best as the compelling but tragically flawed politician.

19. Men With Gunsn_84.gif (888 bytes)

menwithg.jpg (3700 bytes)A challenging and powerful film about the terrible realities of poverty, revolutionary conflict and how easy it can be to hide from the truth. It's not easy to sit through, but John Sayles' latest is well worth watching.

20. Amistadn_83.gif (876 bytes)

The story of African mutineers as they fight inhuman conditions aboard a slave ship, then must later battle for their freedom in American courts. The scenes aboard ship are much more dramatic than the courtroom scenes that conclude the film.

21. Kundunn_83.gif (876 bytes)

A beautiful, heartbreaking, spectacular film telling the story of Tibet's Dalai Lama from age two through his 1959 exile China took over his country. Martin Scorsese has done a fabulous job of putting the pieces together into a compelling film.

22. A Perfect Murdern_83.gif (876 bytes)

This fast-paced psychological thriller features a tight plot, believable script and effective performances by Michael Douglas and Gwyneth Paltrow. It's a successful remake of Alfred Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder that proves jealousy, greed and lust are timeless.

23. She's So Lovelyn_83.gif (876 bytes)

A tale of some of life’s more fragile and desperate citizens, She’s So Lovely is not your typical love story. Despite the fact that it’s often hard to figure out who to pull for, this is a terrific film.

24. Hurricane Streetsn_83.gif (876 bytes)

A story of inner city hopelessness, as young criminals progress from petty thievery to more serious trouble. In their midst a romance blossoms, but it too seems doomed. A tragic and compelling film with bang-on performances by its young cast.

25. The Horse Whisperern_82.gif (862 bytes)

horsewhi.gif (19591 bytes)Robert Redford directs and stars in this effective blend of humanist and naturalist filmmaking. A family enlists a 'horse whisperer' to help heal their injured daughter, her horse, and the whole family. Beautiful cinematography overwhelms the love story.






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