We wrap up the decade with eternal sunshine, angry inches, Pixar superheroes, hobbits, the zed word, a hidden dragon, black gold, and Werner Herzog.
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5. "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"
It is rare as I get older, especially since I've started writing about film for a living, that a movie can sneak up on me so I see it with absolutely no idea what I'm about to watch. Even at festivals, I tend to have some idea of what I'm going to see. When I sat down to "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," I was an absolutely blank slate, and the experience knocked me flat. Working with Stephen Trask, John Cameron Mitchell crafted a shotgun blast of a rock-and-roll musical about a transsexual whose botched sex change operation led to the "angry inch" of the title, then played the title role to absolute rock god perfection. His/her quest to define his/her own identity is hilarious, filthy, incredibly personal, and yet somehow has something to say about the way we all pursue the things we want and the way we figure out what those things are in the first place. In the middle of the film, there's an animated sequence used to illustrate the brilliant song "Origin Of Love" that actually shifted my perception of how sexual identity is defined, and it remains a perfect encapsulation of how profound and beautiful a world view "Hedwig" offers. If I have one real regret about this decade, it's that Mitchell only made one other film, the intentionally explicit "Shortbus." No matter. This is film enough art for any artist for a decade.