In an era when Hollywood churns out "product" aimed at a limited demographic based on spending power, the rare serious film that resonates and lingers in one's thoughts and draws viewers back for repeated screenings stands out all the more. It's too easy to lift one's hands in resignation and say, "They don't make 'em like they used to." They probably don't, but that doesn't mean there aren't gems still being made and released as high-profile productions. Two from last year won't let this viewer go: • David Lynch's Mulholland Drive is like the particularly vivid dream that haunts all of us. You know the deal: a dream that haunts you for days. This is one reason why Mr. Lynch's dreamscape of film works so well and compels viewers to return over and over. Which is happening to me: For the past six weeks straight, I've screened this masterpiece. And in true Stanley Kubrick-like fashion, David Lynch's film seems to reveal new meaning and subtle shades with each viewing. The film draws one in its gentle grip and casts a stronger hold as time goes by. I might even look at it again this weekend. • Roman Polanski's The Pianist casts just as strong a spell, yet its uniquely disturbing subject matter makes constant repeat viewing painful (genocide never having been the most pleasant of topics). Yet those images, those moods. For a dramatic film to present the 20th century's darkest hour with such documentary-like realism while not lapsing into manipulative and easy cliches is a towering accomplishment. Mr. Polanski could easily have resorted to blatant audience manipulation and gotten away with it (as other Holocaust-related films have done). Yet The Pianist imparts a you-are-there, stark realism without moralizing. In doing so, it catapults the viewer into the icy heart of state-sanctioned barbarism without once overlooking the profoundly human heart at the heart of the film. These are just two modern masterpieces that still prove its possible to rise above the commercial fray yet still speak to a cross section of people, all while saying something a little different to each viewer.