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A fragmented, pick’n’mix cinematic culture, represented on this list by highly referential films such as Kill Bill, Moulin Rouge!and Far from Heaven, is increasingly the norm, not the exception.The model indie breakthrough, a fractured thriller, had all the ingredients to wow.Its time-splicing script, in particular, has proven more influential than any other for a new generation of screenwriters.It made influential screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga a name to conjure with, and kick-started a series of audacious films by Mexican directors that dominated non-Anglophone films throughout the decade. Perturbing the world in a green Lycra thong, and parlaying this into unbeatable word-of-mouth, Sacha Baron Cohen’s mock-doc sensation overcame minimal pre-existing brand recognition to gross more than 0 million worldwide, and might just have defined US-Kazakhstan relations for all time.Christopher Nolan, 2000, £17.60: Christopher Nolan could write the rulebook for how to emerge, in no time, as a world-class director.Indifferently sung, clumsily directed – but for millions of people, it was a grand night out.Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001, £9.78: France’s biggest-ever global hit – an idealised view of Paris, and a star vehicle for Audrey Tautou as a young do-gooder.
Its score – by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood – was hugely distinctive. T Anderson’s epic about the birth of America’s obsession with oil was as ruggedly individual, frontier-pushing and darkly magnificent, as its subject matter.It’s the enduring quality of the first instalment, leading us by the hand into Tolkien’s richly imagined world, that made our collective Hobbit-love possible.Paul Thomas anderson, 2007, £10.76: It kick-started a catchphrase: “I drink your milkshake!Mel Gibson, 2004, £9.78: Mel Gibson’s reputation has been tarred by anti-Jewish outbursts.Nothing, though, should take away from this phenomenal work of outsider art, a neo-avant-garde exercise in bodyshock violence that features an unknown cast and dialogue in Latin and Aramaic.