How the movies -- past and present -- change our lives

In 2006, daring filmmakers delivered a fresh crop of exciting films, expressing themselves brilliantly in genres almost as old as the medium itself, i.e. comedies, police thrillers, musicals, war films, actioners, domestic dramas. To put ’06 in context, Variety talked to some of the smartest people on the planet, who had two things in common: a deep appreciation of movies and a safe distance from the moviemaking — and hyping — machinery.

ACTION & SPORTS

Rick Fox

Bob Baffert

Luc Robitaille

Ty Murray

Jerry Rice

ANIMATION

KAWS

Frank Cho

Jeff Smith

BIOPICS

Robert A. Caro

Doris Kearns Goodwin

BIZ & MOGULS

James Cramer

Donald Trump

Paul E. Steiger

COMEDY

Dave Barry

Jamie Masada

Art Buchwald

COPS & CRIME

Michael Connelly

Joseph Wambaugh

Mark Fuhrman

DOMESTIC DRAMA

Raoul Felder

Dr. Phil McGraw

FASHION & GLAM

Tim Gunn

Isaac Mizrahi

Veronica Webb

HISTORY & ART

Lisa Dennison

Ellen V. Futter

Dr. Brent D. Glass

Michael Govan

MESSAGE MOVIES

Gloria Allred

Neil G. Giuliano

Rev. Jesse Jackson

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Phyllis Schlafly

Ralph Nader

Peter Gelb

MUSIC & DANCE

Placido Domingo

Anna Netrebko

Judith Jamison

Esa-Pekka Salonen

POLS & POPCORN

Sen. John McCain

ROMANCE

Hugh Hefner

Danielle Steel

Millie Martini Bratten

SCI-FI & FANTASY

Ray Bradbury

Leonard Susskind

TERRORISM & WAR

Evan Thomas

Alfred McCoy

Kurt Vonnegut

Sen.-Elect James Webb

Lawrence Wright

IT’S A WRAP

Gore Vidal

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