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Part 5: The Return of the Auteur

That noise you heard near the start of the new millennium was the creative din of a brash new breed of filmmakers tearing down the traditions of mainstream moviemaking. Their motion picture mission statements -- including the ones featured on this list -- remain the rulebook for new generations of anxious film artists.

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Formula 51 (2001)

In Ronny Yu's mostly formulaic Formula 51, Samuel L. Jackson plays Elmo McElroy, a chemical whiz busted for smoking reefer.

Cynthia Fuchs
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Fight Club (1999)

Does capitalism have you by the balls? If you're feeling a little limp lately, a little flaccid, emasculated, or impotent, then David Fincher's Fight Club may just have your number. This film kicks butt, and in doing so it also manages to suggest that your need for it and for other butt-kicking films is a late capitalist symptom of contemporary psychosis.

Jonathan Beller and Rhonda Baughman
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