#100. Takeshis' (Directed by Takeshi Kitano): Takeshi Kitano's deconstruction of his film career seeks to alternately understand, mock, and bid adieu to the gangster genre he mined so successfully for so many years. Unlike, say, Synecdoche, New York which, to me, felt just too punshingly sad, Takeshis' looks at the creative process with a smile, a frown, and a little wink at the audience. In it, Kitano plays himself, the Japanese movie star, and, himself, the struggling actor/convenience store clerk, they switch places, or do they? There's a giant ridiculous shoot-out in that oh-so-familiar Kitano location, the beach, and a hilarious music montage that sees a DJ scratching records turn into a man tweaking a woman's nipples. Impossible to explain, but irresistible to behold, it's the not a perfect movie, but it's a perfect movie to sit right at #100.
#99. Samaritan Girl (Directed by Ki-duk Kim): A high-school student acts as her friend's pimp, then when tragedy befalls the teenage prostitute, the pimp goes on a mission of atonement; sleeping with all of her friend's customers, then refunding the money they'd been paid for her, ahem, services. Her father gets wind of her, er, liasions, and begins to investigate. It's a film of exquisite sadness, with a scene of shocking brutality mixed in for good measure. All in all, it's pretty damn stunning.