Starring Trini Alvarado, Robin Johnson, Tim Curry, Elizabeth Peña, Peter Coffield, and Steve James
Cinematography by James A. Contner
Trying to fill in gaps in my horror knowledge, attempting to find those moments worth spending time with in a genre plagued with mediocrity. Films either too kitschy, with an actorshippe that is beyond deplorable, structural elements assembled with no thought, absurdist plots or simply no plot at all. Many qualities that in all likelihood attract many viewers, but which are difficult to take after spending time with the masters like Robert Bresson, Chantal Akerman, or John Ford. Perhaps one has to to draw a line somewhere.
Fred Walton's When a Stranger Calls initially attractive because of the poster, then seeing the cast included Carol Kane and Charles Durning I was in. This is the fourth film I have watched this week with a bit about babysitter encounters with darkness: Alan Clarke's 1987 film Rita, Sue and Bob Too where 2 young women have sex with and then an affair with the father that drives them home. Donald Petrie's 1988 film Mystic Pizza where Annabeth Gish has a sexual encounter with the father, and George Roy Hill's 1982 film The World According to Garp where Robin Williams drives home the babysitter and pulls over for a bit of lustful liaisons. And finally here with Carol Kane getting repeated calls from an old Englishman saying "have you checked the children?" almost as a statement than a question, before the chaos ensues. When she calls the police she gets this advice from Seventh Precinct, Sergeant Sacker: "An anonymous caller? Has he threatened you? Has he been using obscene
language? It's probably just some weirdo. The city's full of them.
Believe it or not, we get reports like this every night. It's nothing to
Hospital "To give you medication will calm you down. We are
not putting anything in your food either"
Curt "No?..... I've got to eat the food?.... it doesn't taste right..... "
Hospital "Curt, why are you fidgeting? Can't you get comfortable?"
Curt "No!.... I'm not comfortable! Don't look at me. Don't you talk to me. Don't you touch me. Stay away. Stay away".
The film should have stopped here but sadly goes into another 15 minutes
of awfulness that sadly leaves you feeling a bit like you too have
entered the great nothingness. Perhaps worth it though for the many great moments found within this film. They can't all end as perfectly as they begin.
:: 1990 ::
A Brief History of Time (Errol Morris)
After Dark, My Sweet (James Foley)
Alice (Woody Allen)
Classic Woody Allen film with Joe Mantegna, Mia Farrow, and William Hurt. Lovely interplay between Chinese medicine and an Upper East Side NYC life of privilege. Suburb color palette by the Italian cinematographer Carlo Di Palma whom shot much for Allen and Antonioni.
All the Vermeers in New York (Jon Jost)
An Angel at My Table (Jane Campion)
Another 48 Hrs. (Walter Hill)
Awakenings (Penny Marshall)
Baby Blood (Alain Robak)
Bad Influence (Curtis Hanson)
The eighties spilling over with Rob Lowe and James Spader, getting into a hyper 80s territory, aka the early 1990s.
Boiling Point (Takeshi Kitano)
Bullet in the Head (John Wood)
Cadillac Man (Roger Donaldson)
Catchfire (Dennis Hopper)
The Civil War (Ken Burns)
Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader)
Schrader film that totally has his signature but also feels like someone else made it. Stars Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, and Helen Mirren. Screenplay by Harold Pinter which was adapted from a Ian McEwan novel.
Cry-Baby (John Waters)
Dances with Wolves (Kevin Costner)
Solid Costner film with the always awesome Graham Greene.
Desperate Hours (Michael Cimino)
Remake of the 1955 film by William Wyler and also a hit Broadway play. Stars Mickey Rourke, Anthony Hopkins, Mimi Rogers, Lindsay Crouse (from the world of Mamet), Kelly Lynch, and the truly amazing Elias Koteas. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis. Not an easy watch.
Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty)
Die Hard 2 (Renny Harlin)
More of a good thing but just a little less of it.
Dreams (Akira Kurosawa)
I remember seeing this film as a mere child (just under 20) at the height of my Kurosawa craze and saying to myself "this is a Kurosawa film?!?", but over a couple viewings really getting into the groove of it and loving the film.
Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton)
Not being properly adjusted enough to the goth style as a youth (or now), I am not sure where this fits into the history. I was for sure into music with gothic qualities in high school but was surrounded by farmers in a small town, so really no no idea of what was going on in cities. Watching this recently, Depp's outfit was a bit shocking to me. He in no way appears like an outsider but more the hippest kid in town.
The Exorcist III (William Peter Blatty)
Not usually into sequels but this one is pretty solid. Stars George C. Scott.
The First Power (Robert Resnikoff)
Flatliners (Joel Schumacher)
The Freshman (Andrew Bergman)
The Guardian (William Friedkin)
The Godfather: Part III (Francis Ford Coppola)
GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese)
Marty started out the decade in such a beautiful way with this film, one of his best and one of those films that got this viewer hyper aware of the language of cinema (shot length, edits, the classic Hitchcockian camera pulling back/zooming in shot). After seeing this film a few times in my late teens, the language of cinema was no longer a mystery, and films after became completely alive or just plain flat.
Green Card (Peter Weir)
Another film that seemed a little lame at the time but on a recent viewing was quite good. Nothing like a film by Peter Weir, or a 1990s film taking place in Manhattan.
The Grifters (Stephen Frears)
Hardware (Richard Stanley)
Henry & June (Philip Kaufman)
Fred Ward appears in Tremors, Catchfire, Miami Blues, and Henry & June in 1990. One hell of a great actor.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (John McNaughton)
From 1986, but not released until 1990. The rawness of this film continues to overwhelm.
Hidden Agenda (Ken Loach)
Home Alone (Chris Columbus)
Not a film I like but I love John Heard.
The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan)
I Love You to Death (Lawrence Kasdan)
Jacob’s Ladder (Adrian Lyne)
Being in my first or second year of high school when these films came out, I was of course too young to fully understand them fully, but they sure made an impression. This one in particular scared the hell out of me and really changed the way I thought about the war in Vietnam, where my father served and thankfully came home from.
Ju Dou (Zhang Yimou)
So many great Zhang Yimou films this decade including Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu Ju, To Live, Shanghai Triad, and The Road Home.
The Juniper Tree (Nietzchka Keene)
Kindergarten Cop (Ivan Reitman)
King of New York (Abel Ferrara)
My favorite Ferrara film. Personally I would love to snap his fingers and walk outside to the city presented in this film instead of the Starbucks and rotten Chick-fil-Lays.
La Femme Nikita (Luc Besson)
Some films from this period work for some, and not for others.
Life is Sweet (Mike Leigh)
After seeing Naked in the theater as a youth, Mike Leigh quickly became one of my farorite directors. Still is. Endless wonderful films from him including this one.
Lionheart (Sheldon Lettich)
Lisa (Gary Sherman)
Lord of the Flies (Harry Hook)
Maniac Cop 2 (William Lustig)
Only discovered the films of Lustig recently, some fantastic work, and even the sequels which is rare.
The Match Factory Girl (Aki Kaurismäki)
Never saw a Kaurismäki film until early 2000s, another filmmaker like Mike Leigh that once you see their work, your view of cinema is completely changed.
Mermaids (Richard Benjamin)
I love Bob Hoskins in this film. Directed by Richard Benjamin who starred in Diary of a Mad Housewife, Goodbye, Columbus, Westworld and others where he leaves quite an impression.
Metropolitan (Whit Stillman)
Miller’s Crossing (Joel Coen)
In a career of outstanding films, this one really stands out for the Coen Brothers. Beyond the beauty of it, the film really takes multiple viewings to get a grasp on the story, very much in the Raymond Chandler and Robert Altman spirit.
Misery (Rob Reiner)
Another completely memorable film from the year (and decade). One of the best films from a Stephen King novel.
Mo’ Better Blues (Spike Lee)
New York Portrait, Chapter III (Peter B. Hutton)
Peter Hutton, the profound poet of the cinema's last film in the New York trilogy New York Portraits.
Pacific Heights (John Schlesinger)
Excellent use of San Francisco as a character.
Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston)
Postcards from the Edge (Mike Nichols)
Presumed Innocent (Alan J. Pakula)
Pretty Woman (Garry Marshall)
One of those films I saw as a stuck up youngster and was dismissive of, and later came to really like in my 40s. Had to de-punk rock myself a bit over the years to enjoy certain films.
Pump Up the Volume (Allan Moyle)
Q&A (Sidney Lumet)
Quick Change (Howard Franklin and Bill Murray)
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Tom Stoppard)
At the time, the film was a bit of a head scratcher for a teenager NH kid, but certainly left an impression. Have not seen since then.
The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley)
Truly strange and original film with Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper, Sheila Moore. Not an easy film to digest, but quite unique to the decade and beautifully put together. Shot by the great Dick Pope .
Rocky V (John G. Avildsen)
Growing up in the 1990s, the Rocky sequels probably were watched more by youngsters than the first one (myself included). Not bad films though, worth watching, but the first is the best by far.
The Russia House (Fred Schepisi)
See you later / Au revoir (Michael Snow)
Very slow mo film by Mr. Snow.
Slacker (Richard Linklater)
Stanley & Iris (Martin Ritt)
State of Grace (Phil Joanou)
Texasville (Peter Bogdanovich)
To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett)
The Los Angeles poet of cinema enters the decade with this classic.
Total Recall (Paul Verhoeven)
Seriously strange film from Verhoeven that many are completely obsessed with.
Tremors (Ron Underwood)
Another film that was on repeat for many kids in the 1990s, but somehow this viwer missed it. Stars Fred Ward, Kevin Bacon, Victor Wong, Finn Carter, and Michael Gross whom all really light up the screen.
Truly, Madly, Deeply (Anthony Minghella)
Trust (Hal Hartley)
Somehow I never saw Hartley's films in the nineties, and not until about 8 years ago did I spend any time with them. Perhaps as a immature young man I would have had trouble with the awkwardness and off beat dialogue, but now I truly love it and can't imagine the decade without his many great works. Sometimes it is good to hold out for certain works and let them really engulf you when you are ready.
Twilight (György Fehér)
From the Hungarian director who worked with Béla Tarr. The story of a retired detective who tries to find the murderer of a young girl.
The Two Jakes (Jack Nicholson)
Vincent & Leo (Robert Altman)
Visions in Meditation #3: Plato’s Cave (Stan Brakhage)
Wild at Heart (David Lynch)
Some classic scenes in this film, especially with Willem Defoe. Not Lynch's best work but still pretty good. In college I made a "best of Wild at Heart" VHS, the film distilled down to around thirty minutes, that I rewatched the hell out of it.
The Witches (Nicolas Roeg)
Only saw recently and loved it. Off beat atmosphere, makes sense Roeg directed the film.
46/90 Falter 2 (Kurt Kren)
1998 I had only seen a few films by Kurt Kren, and then Steve Anker programmed a retrospective with every Kren film in one night to honor his death, a life changing event.
:: 1991 ::
A Kiss Before Dying (James Dearden)
A Rage in Harlem (Bill Duke)
The Addams Family (Barry Sonnenfeld)
The Adjuster (Atom Egoyan)
Extremely strange and uncomfortable Elias Koteas/Atom Egoyan film that is not a favorite, but certainly not without interest. Crazy role for Koteas, perhaps looking at this and Crash, and The Thin Red Line would give a strong glimpse at Koteas' range and screen presense.
An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (Simon Wells and Phil Nibbelink)
A Scene at the Sea (Takeshi Kitano)
Barton Fink (Joel Coen)
Billy Bathgate (Robert Benton)
Bloody Morning (Li Shaohong)
Boyz n the Hood (John Singleton)
Hugely influential first film by Singleton, written as an application to film school. Stunning performances by Angela Bassett, Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, and Regina King. Essential 90s.
Bugsy (Barry Levinson)
City of Hope (John Sayles)
Class Action (Michael Apted)
Clearcut (Ryszard Bugajski)
The last few years doing research into horror films, this one staring Graham Greene came up pretty early on as an essential under appreciated film to see. Can't find it anywhere, so it remains a mystery.
Closet Land (Radha Bharadwaj)
The Commitments (Alan Parker)
Outstanding film from Alan Parker about the formation of a working-class soul band in Dublin Ireland. Such a great portrait of a world any interesting person would want to get a look into.
Crooked Hearts (Michael Bortman)
Solid cast with Peter Berg (The Last Seduction), Vincent D'Onofrio, Peter Coyote, Juliette Lewis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and a young Joshua Jackson. Fucked up coming of age film.
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash)
Dead Again (Kenneth Branagh)
Defending Your Life (Albert Brooks)
Delicacies of Molten Horror Synapse (Stan Brakhage)
Departure (Saul Levine)
The Doctor (Randa Haines)
Dogfight (Nancy Savoca)
A group of jarheads try to outdo one another by getting the ugliest date and River Phoenix ends up with the very not ugly Lili Taylor. This film probably wouldn't have worked if directed by a man. In addition to a classic 90s indie film it is a beautiful portrait of San Francisco which is always something to look forward to.
The Doors (Oliver Stone)
Double Impact (Sheldon Lettich)
Elegy (Joe Gibbons)
Europa (Lars von Trier)
Visually stunning film influenced by Franz Kafka's Amerika.
Eve of Destruction (Duncan Gibbins)
Father of the Bride (Charles Shyer)
The Fisher King (Terry Gilliam)
Flight of the Intruder (John Milius)
Flirting (John Duigan)
Frankie and Johnny (Garry Marshall)
Romantic comedy (aka romcom) starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer. Saw this film a few times in high school but the romantic element most likely put me off. Really left an impression when seeing it recently, partially because of the 1990s NYC as starring character.
Fried Green Tomatoes (Jon Avnet)
Grand Canyon (Lawrence Kasdan)
Guilty by Suspicion (Irwin Winkler)
Worth seeing for those wishing to learn more about one of the many stains in American history; McCarthyism. Directed by the renowned producer Irwin Winkler (Rocky franchise, New York, New York, The Right Stuff, Goodfellas, The Irishman and many more) whose new book is an engaging look at the process of making a film from idea to screen.
Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (Simon Wincer)
Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson. Not a bad film.
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola)
Essential doc on the making of a film.
Herein (Marjorie Keller)
He Said, She Said (Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver)
Homicide (David Mamet)
The Indian Runner (Sean Penn)
Definitely of interest for fans of Viggo Mortensen and David Morse.
The Inland Sea (Lucille Carra)
Documentary inspired by Donald Richie's poetic travelogue of the islands of Japan, with music is by Toru Takemitsu.
Is As Is (Saul Levine)
Jacquot de Nantes (Agnes Varda)
JFK (Oliver Stone)
Jumpin at the Boneyard (Jeff Stanzler)
Jungle Fever (Spike Lee)
Kafka (Steven Soderbergh)
La Belle Noiseuse (Jacques Rivette)
Great film which is partially remembered for the nude modeling of Emmanuelle Béart.
La double vie de Véronique (Krzysztof Kieślowski)
One of those films most self respecting film students of the 1990s would watch over and over and over and over, especially if they happen to have any Polish blood in them. Essential 90s film and one of Kieślowski's best.
L.A. Story (Mick Jackson)
Liebestraum (Mike Figgis)
Lionheart (Sheldon Lettich)
The Lovers on the Bridge (Leos Carax)
The Man in the Moon (Robert Mulligan)
Map of the Human Heart (Vincent Ward)
Mississippi Masala (Mira Nair)
Mister Johnson (Bruce Beresford)
Mortal Thoughts (Alan Rudolph)
Naked Lunch (David Cronenberg)
New Jack City (Mario Van Peebles)
Night on Earth (Jim Jarmusch)
One great film in a career of great films. Four sections include Gena Rowlands/Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl/Giancarlo Esposito (I sure love this one), Isaach De Bankolé/Béatrice Dalle, Roberto Benigni/Paolo Bonacelli, and the very Aki Kaurismäki Helsinki ending with Kari Väänänen/Sakari Kuosmanen/Tomi Salmela.
Once Around (Lasse Hallström)
Point Break (Kathryn Bigelow)
My wife and I watch this film about twice a year. Perfect film.
Poison (Todd Haynes)
Was initially introduced to the work of Todd Haynes in film school (pre Safe) with this and his Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, both films have become slightly difficult to see these days. Good pairing with the work of Jean Genet or Jean Cocteau.
The Prince of Tides (Barbra Streisand)
Perhaps a bit over the top performance by Nick Nolte, but worth watching. Yet another memorable portrait of New York City in the 1990s.
Proof (Jocelyn Moorhouse)
Have seen twice in the last few years, truly inspiring work starring Hugo Weaving, Geneviève Picot and Russell Crowe. Hugo Weaving plays a blind photographer, which is a great way to begin thinking of a film, similarly to Elliott Gould in Little Murders being a photographer of dog shite.
Queens Logic (Steve Rash)
Rambling Rose (Martha Coolidge)
The Rapture (Michael Tolkin)
Film follows Mimi Rogers' days of debauchery that transforms into cultism, showing perhaps that they are not far from one another.
Rear Window (Ernie Gehr)
Regarding Henry (Mike Nichols)
Rhapsody in August (Akira Kurosawa)
Ricochet (Russell Mulcahy)
Riff-Raff (Ken Loach)
Starring Robert Carlyle and Ricky Tomlinson.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (Kevin Reynolds)
Run (Geoff Burrowes)
Rush (Lili Fini Zanuck)
Stars Jason Patric, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sam Elliott, and Max Perlich.
Scenes from a Mall (Paul Mazursky)
Scum (Alan Clarke)
TV movie version of the 1979 film aired in 1991 perhaps beginning a small revival of Clarke's work.
Shattered (Wolfgang Petersen)
Shout (Jeffrey Hornaday)
Showdown in Little Tokyo (Mark L. Lester)
The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)
Very good example of some elements of progressive subculture from the 1980s and 1990s making their way into a Hollywood film. From the soundtrack featuring Colin Newman's Alone, and of course Q. Lazzarus' Goodbye Horses to the lifestyle and interest of Ted Levine's Buffalo Bill. This film has been constantly on my mind since first seeing it in the early 90s and contributes greatly to what I look for in film, from its innovative yet subtle structure, to its potrayal of darkness.
Sólo con tu pareja (Alfonso Cuarón)
The Stranger (Satyajit Ray)
The Super (Rod Daniel)
The Taking of Beverly Hills (Sidney J. Furie)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron)
One of the great sequels with a perfect first quarter.
Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott)
When I was in high school, this film was often on television and I would see it often, but not again until recently. Really has that Ridley Scott quality and a beautiful message of feminism.
This Side of Paradise (Ernie Gehr)
Sounds and images from the Polish flea-market in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin.
Tous les Matins du Monde (Alan Corneau)
Stunning film with soundtrack by Jordi Savall (Sainte-Colombe and Marin Marais).
Toy Soldiers (Daniel Petrie Jr.)
True Colors (Herbert Ross)
Until the End of the World (Wim Wenders)
What About Bob? (Frank Oz)
Where Angels Fear to Tread (Charles Sturridge)
White Fang (Randal Kleiser)
World of Glory (Roy Andersson)
Your Television Traveler (Larry Gottheim)
47/91 Ein Fest (Kurt Kren)
:: 1992 ::
American Heart (Martin Bell)
Epitome of the classic 90s indie film, from the director of the 1984 film Streetwise about homeless youths living on the streets of Seattle WA. Jeff Bridges as a ex-con father who doesn't give a shite, and his increassingly streetwise son Edward Furlong.
A Midnight Clear (Keith Gordon)
And Life Goes On (Abbas Kiarostami)
A River Runs Through It (Robert Redford)
Bob Redford's classic film based on Norman Maclean's novella, starring Brad Pitt that takes place in
Missoula Montana. Solid score by Mark Isham.
Baraka (Ron Fricke)
Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven)
Batman Returns (Tim Burton)
Beethoven (Brian Levant)
Benny’s Video (Michael Haneke)
Certainly not a film for everyone, I remember in the early 2000s renting all of Haneke's films after seeing The Piano Teacher, and finding this one on the more shocking side.
The Best Intentions (Bille August)
Written by Ingmar Bergman.
Blade Runner Director's cut (Ridley Scott)
A big deal when this cut hit the streets.
Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins)
The Bodyguard (Mick Jackson)
Was always struck by how strange it was that Whitney Houston's character would sit around the pool listening to her own music. Haven't seen since 1992, but remember that odd detail which at the time made this viewer uncomfortable and does even more now.
Candyman (Bernard Rose)
Much loved supernatural horror film written by Clive Barker with Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Kasi Lemmons, and Xander Berkeley whom always does pretty uncomfortable scumbag-oriented roles like in Safe, Heat, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
Chaplin (Richard Attenborough)
Robert Downey Jr. as Chaplin.
Ciao Professore! (Lina Wertmüller)
City of Joy (Roland Joffé)
Cold Heaven (Nicolas Roeg)
Consenting Adults (Alan J. Pakula)
Cool World (Ralph Bakshi)
Not to be confused with the very wonderful 1963 film by Shirley Clarke The Cool World. Bakshi known for his many fantasy films of the 1970s and 1980s.
Damage (Louise Malle)
Death Becomes Her (Robert Zemeckis)
Deep Cover (Bill Duke)
Dervish Machine (Jeanne Liotta and Bradley Eros)
El Mariachi (Robert Rodriguez)
Enchanted April (Mike Newell)
Great cast including Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, and Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina, Michael Kitchen, and Jim Broadbent.
Fishing with John (John Lurie)
Gladiator (Rowdy Herrington)
From Road House director, boxing film starring Cuba Gooding Jr., James Marshall, Brian Dennehy, and Robert Loggia.
Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley)
Star-studded film that overwhelms every viewing. I remember my father recommended this to me in the mid ninties because he said it reminded him of the many jobs he had in sales, which I still think of when I watch it.
Guncrazy (Tamra Davis)
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Curtis Hanson)
Hard Boiled (John Woo)
Hard to convey how much of a shocker it was to see this film for the first time in the early 1990s, even for someone that grew up watching martial arts films. Key film from the 1990s.
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (Anthony Hickox)
Highway 61 (Bruce McDonald)
Hoffa (Danny DeVito)
Written by David Mamet with Jack Nicholson as Hoffa. Have not seen since the day but would be interesting to compare with Al Pacino's Hoffa in The Irishman.
Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen)
One of Allen's most essential films from the 90s, starring Mr. Allen himself, Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack, Judy Davis, Lysette Anthony, Juliette Lewis, Liam Neeson and Blythe Danner. Handheld camera work by Carlo Di Palma (Antonioni etc.).
Immaculate Conception (Jamil Dehlavi)
Strange one by Jamil Dehlavi who is responsible for the 1986 film Born of Fire.
Indochine (Régis Wargnier)
Juice (Ernest R. Dickerson)
The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann)
Mann's adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper's novel The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757 starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe, Jodhi May, Russell Means, Wes Studi, Pete Postlethwaite, and Jared Harris. Shot by Dante Spinotti. Beautiful film.
La Vie de Bohème (Aki Kaurismäki)
Kaurismäki stunning buddy film about Paris artists beautifully lacking in profundity, whom mostly enjoy a bit of wine and talk.
Laws of Gravity (Nick Gomez)
Crime drama starring Peter Green and Edie Falco.
Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon)
Lessons of Darkness (Werner Herzog)
Stunningly shot film about the Kuwaiti oil fields in flames.
Like Water for Chocolate (Alfonso Aráu)
The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies)
Coming-of-age story of a British boy growing up through a cinemic eye in 1950s Liverpool.
Lorenzo's Oil (George Miller)
Directed by Mad Max, Babe, and The Witches of Eastwick's George Miller. Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon search for a cure for their son's Adrenoleukodystrophy. Very much a classic example of 90s cinema.
The Lover (Jean-Jacques Annaud)
Marguerite Duras story narrated by Jeanne Moreau. Intense love affair acted by Jane March and Tony Leung in 1929 French Indochina.
Malcolm X (Spike Lee)
Solid Spike Lee Joint with The New York Times Best Actor of the 21st Century (So Far) Denzel Washington.
Man Bites Dog (Benoît Poelvoorde, Rémy Belvaux)
Popular film when it came out in the early 1990s, at least in Boston MA.
Map of the Human Heart (Vincent Ward)
Medicine Man (John McTiernan)
The Mighty Ducks (Stephen Herek)
My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn)
Essential for enthusiasts of the great Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci.
Noises Off... (Peter Bogdanovich)
Of Mice and Men (Gary Sinise)
Bizarre performance by John Malkovich. Also starring two 90s heavies Joe Morton and Sherilyn Fenn.
Orlando (Sally Potter)
Introduced this viewer to Tilda Swinton.
Passion Fish (John Sayles)
One of the best Sayles films, in a career with so many damn good films. Beautiful and touching performances by Alfre Woodard and Mary McDonnell. Sayles always has that Classic Sayles male character often played by David Strathairn or Chris Copper (here by David Strathairn). Perfect film.
Patriot Games (Phillip Noyce)
Tom Clancy story.
The Player (Robert Altman)
Poison Ivy (Katt Shea)
Erotic thriller starring Drew Barrymore, Sara Gilbert, and Tom Skerritt.
The Public Eye (Howard Franklin)
Joe Pesci film.
The Quince Tree Sun (Victor Erice)
This viewer most definitely did not see this in the 90s, probably not until 2000, and was hugely overwhelmed by it. A film in many ways about being content with failure, in a Beckett sort of way. I remember jumping out of my chair when Antonio López García put a grid of string before a tree to help him with perspective, just so stunning. This film began an obsession with not only Erice, but also Antonio López García's drawings and paintings which at the time (for Americans) could really only be seen through this film and the giant Rizzoli monograph.
Radio Flyer (Richard Donner)
Starring Lorraine Bracco, John Heard, Elijah Wood, Joseph Mazzello, Adam Baldwin and Ben Johnson. Shot by László Kovács and music by Hans Zimmer.
Rapid Fire (Dwight H. Little)
Very much a solid and rewatchable Brandon Lee film. Not unlike Road House, the films minor imperfections really give a level of sincerity and beauty which somewhat lacking in Brandon Lee's more well known picture The Crow.
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino)
This film was such a big deal when it came out it is hard to imagine a film having a similar popularity these days. I remember even playing the living heck out of the sountrack. Jackie Brown gives a smoother finish, but this film certainly has some good qualities.
Romper Stomper (Geoffrey Wright)
Russell Crowe as a neo-Nazi sleazebag in suburban Melbourne Australia.
Scent of a Woman (Martin Brest)
School Ties (Robert Mandel)
In the 90s this could be confused with Dead Poet's Society. Over the years of watching Dead Poet's so many times the confusion has cleared. Not a bad film, stars Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff, Andrew Lowery, Cole Hauser, Ben Affleck, and Anthony Rapp. Shot by the great Freddie Francis.
Shadows and Fog (Woody Allen)
Woody Allen's German Expressionist film.
Side/Walk/Shuttle (Ernie Gehr)
Gehr's elegantly photographed film illicitly shot from the elevator of San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel.
Simple Men (Hal Hartley)
Classic Hal Harley film, one of the true originators of the 1990s independent film style.
Single White Female (Barbet Schroeder)
Erotic thriller with Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Singles (Cameron Crowe)
Gen-x Seattle romcom with Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillon.
Sister Act (Emile Ardolino)
With Whoopi Goldberg and Harvey Keitel.
Sleepwalkers (Mick Garris)
Stephen King story starring Mädchen Amick.
Sneakers (Phil Alden Robinson)
South Central (Stephen Milburn Anderson)
Stay Tuned (Peter Hyams)
John Ritter film.
The Story of Qiu Ju (Zhang Yimou)
Surviving Desire (Hal Hartley)
Swoon (Tom Kalin)
Thunderheart (Michael Apted)
Neo-Western mystery starring Val Kilmer, Sam Shepard, and Graham Greene. Shot by Roger Deakins.
Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
For 1992, this is one of the best, and certainly one of the strongest 1990s Post-Westerns.
Unlawful Entry (Jonathan Kaplan)
"I got a cop who wants my wife!' Starring Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe, and Ray Liotta as the dirty cop. Loitta is pretty awsome in this film, an extremely uncomfortable performance that fills you with dread but also a small amount of humor.
Untitled (For Marilyn) (Stan Brakhage)
Visions of Light (Arnold Glassman and Todd McCarthy)
Discussions on the art of cinematography.
Voyager (Volker Schlöndorff)
Starring Sam Shepard, Julie Delpy, and Barbara Sukowa. Screenplay Rudy Wurlitzer.
Waterland (Stephen Gyllenhaal)
Wayne’s World (Penelope Spheeris)
White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shelton)
For someone whom grew up hating sports, this was one of those films that I hated liking so much.
Wind (Carroll Ballard)
With Matthew Modine. Screenplay by Mac Gudgeon and Rudy Wurlitzer.
Year of the Comet (Peter Yates)
Zefiro Torna or Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (Fluxus) (Jonas Mekas)
Jonas Mekas' portrait of Lithuania born head of fluxus George Maciunas.
1991: The Year Punk Broke (David Markey)
Documentary about the grunge/punk scene in the early 90s mostly from the point of Sonic Youth.
:: 1993 ::
The Age of Innocence (Martin Scorsese)
For those who closely follow Scorsese's career, this might be a film passed over but it is actually quite beautiful and stands out in his 90s work. Lovely to see a boom mic in a shot, a reminder of how Scorsese has always remained bascially an independent filmmaker.
Alive (Frank Marshall)
And the Band Played On (Roger Spottiswoode)
For those growing up in the 1990s with cable in the house, and especially HBO, this would have been a film seen a few times. Matthew Modine stars in an early look at the AIDS Epidemic.
A New Life (Olivier Assayas)
A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood)
Solid Eastwood film with Kevin Costner as killer with somewhat of a heart.
Arizona Dream (Emir Kusturica)
Very strange with Johnny Depp as Faye Dunaway's lover, and Vincent Gallo doing North by Northwest inspired art performances.
Army of Darkness (Sam Raimi)
The Baby of Mâcon (Peter Greenaway)
Benny & Joon (Jeremiah S. Chechik)
The Birth of Love (Philippe Garrel)
Bodies, Rest & Motion (Michael Steinberg)
Boiling Point (James B. Harris)
Action thriller with Wesley Snipes, Dennis Hopper, Lolita Davidovich, and Viggo Mortensen.
Boulder Blues and Pearls and… (Stan Brakhage)
Boxing Helena (Jennifer Chambers Lynch)
Sherilyn Fenn, Julian Sands and Bill Paxton.
Calendar (Atom Egoyan)
Carlito's Way (Brian De Palma)
I mainly remember this film as being the first time I noticed the great Viggo Mortensen. Also some good work by Luis Guzman and John Leguizamo.
The Cement Garden (Andrew Birkin)
Clean, Shaven (Lodge Kerrigan)
Bizarre entry in the history of horror films with the murder spree of schizophrenic Peter Winter played by Peter Greene. Essential 90s indie and horror film.
Cliffhanger (Renny Harlin)
Cronos (Guillermo del Toro)
Guillermo del Toro's first feature film.
Dangerous Game (Abel Ferrara)
The Dark Half (George A. Romero)
Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater)
Dave (Ivan Reitman)
Falling Down (Joel Schumacher)
Perhaps a bit dated especially with race related matters, but a strong Michael Douglas performance as a man who is just not going to take any more crap. Having never been to Los Angeles as a youngster, the city of this film is sort of how I imagined it.
Faraway, So Close! (Wim Wenders)
Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige)
Essential 1990s film distributed by Miramax Films.
Fearless (Peter Weir)
Jeff Bridges as yuppie who survives a plane crash and experiences PTSD. Peter Weir didn't make any dogs really.
Fire in the Sky (Robert Lieberman)
The Firm (Sydney Pollack)
One of those films I loved to hate when I was a teenager, but seeing it a few years ago, it is actually a pretty good film.
Free Willy (Simon Wincer)
Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis)
This is one of those films I really liked as a young man, and then grew to sort of dislike in my twenties god knows why, and then came back around to really loving in my 30s/40s. Has become one of those films I watch every couple of years and like more each time.
Grumpy Old Men (Donald Petrie)
Pretty solid Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau film with Ann-Margret, Kevin Pollack, Ossie Davis, and Daryl Hannah.
Guilty as Sin (Sidney Lumet)
Legal thriller written by the great Larry Cohen.
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (Duwayne Dunham)
Disney adventure film from the great editor of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and Wild at Heart.
Household Saints (Nancy Savoca)
To find quality lesser-known 90s indie films, one can take a look through the filmography of Michael Imperioli, who showed up in many NYC related independent films both before and after his starring role in David Chase's The Sopranos. In Savoca's Household Saints we also find other familiar faces from the show Michael Rispoli, Judith Malina, and Elizabeth Bracco.
Indecent Proposal (Adrian Lyne)
In college I would do a prank at the video store and put this VHS in the comedy section.
Indian Summer (Mike Binder)
In the Line of Fire (Wolfgang Petersen)
Clint Eastwood tracks down assassin John Malkovich. Shot by the great John Bailey and music by Ennio Morricone.
Joey Breaker (Steven Starr)
Interesting cast with some heavies from 90s cinema like Richard Edson (Sonic Youth's original drummer), Michael Imperioli, Seth Gilliam, Gina Gershon, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Joy Luck Club (Wayne Wang)
Essential film from Wayne Wang who's 1995 Smoke is beyond words.
Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg)
Killing Zoe (Roger Avary)
King of the Hill (Steven Soderbergh)
Leprechaun (Mark Jones)
Little Buddha (Bernardo Bertolucci)
Łódź Symphony (Peter B. Hutton)
Hutton's portrait of Łódź Poland.
Lost in Yonkers (Martha Coolidge)
From the Neil Simon play with Mercedes Ruehl, Richard Dreyfuss, Irene Worth, and David Strathairn.
Malice (Harold Becker)
Manhattan Murder Mystery (Woody Allen)
One of the best Woody Allen films of the decade. Memorable performances by Jerry Adler and Anjelica Huston.
Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence (William Lustig)
Matinee (Joe Dante)
M. Butterfly (David Cronenberg)
Menace II Society (The Hughes Brothers)
A tough watch from Albert and Allen Hughes.
Mi Vida Loca (Allison Anders)
Mr. Wonderful (Anthony Minghella)
Mrs. Doubtfire (Chris Columbus)
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh)
Music of Chance (Philip Haas)
Written by Paul Auster, Belinda Haas, and Philip Haas. Always into seeing films with M. Emmet Walsh.
Naked In New York (Daniel Algrant)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick)
Produced by Tim Burton.
Passage à l’acte (Martin Arnold)
Arnold's re-edit of the classic Robert Mulligan To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Pelican Brief (Alan J. Pakula)
Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme)
Demme's devastating film on the AIDS Epidemic with emotional and subtle performances by Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. Small roles like Silence of the Lambs' Q Lazzarus as party singer, Paul Lazar as Dr. Klenstein, Repo Man's Tracey Walter as bigoted Librarian, Roger Corman as Mr. Roger Laird, and Robert Ridgely (The Colonel from Boogie Nights) as king bigot Walter Kenton. Bruce Springsteen's Streets of Philadelphia, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, opens the film and Neil Young's heartbreaking Philadelphia closes. Score by Howard Shore gives a slight Silence of the Lambs or Cronenbergian eerie quality which mirrors the homophobic pulse central to the story.
Poetic Justice (John Singleton)
Posse (Mario Van Peebles)
Rising Sun (Philip Kaufman)
Based on the Michael Crichton novel. Stars Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, and Harvey Keitel.
Romeo Is Bleeding (Peter Medak)
A favorite Gary Oldman film. Watched the hell out of this film in the nineties on VHS. Good stuff.
Ruby Cairo (Graeme Clifford)
With Andie MacDowell, Liam Neeson, and Viggo Mortensen. Wiki says "One scene features Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law".
The Scent of Green Papaya (Tran Anh Hung)
Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg)
Screenplay by Steven Zaillian. I remembering people saying back in the day this was a sort of Disneyfication of the Holocaust, but the film stands up pretty well over all these years and the performances by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are some of the best of the decade.
Searching for Bobby Fischer (Steven Zaillian)
Solid cast with Joe Mantegna, Joan Allen, Ben Kingsley, and Laurence Fishburne. Cinematography by the great Conrad L. Hall. Good pairing with the recent Queen's Gambit.
The Secret Garden (Agnieszka Holland)
From the 1911 Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. Great film.
Shadowlands (Richard Attenborough)
Anthony Hopkins as C. S. Lewis and his wife Debra Winger.
Short Cuts (Robert Altman)
Would watch this film over and over and over in the late 90s, one of Altman's best and most dark films.
Six Degrees Of Separation (Fred Schepisi)
Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron)
Sliver (Phillip Noyce)
Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano)
From the great Beat Takeshi. A must see in Japanese film history.
Stellar (Stan Brakhage)
Striking Distance (Rowdy Herrington)
Study in Color and Black and White (Stan Brakhage)
Sunset Grill (Kevin Connor)
Tales of the City (Alastair Reid)
Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (François Girard)
Was a huge Gould fanatic in the 90s (still am) and remember having many of the laserdiscs of his films put out by Sony. This film came out and I remember it being of interest but honestly have no memory of the film and need to resee.
This Boy’s Life (Michael Caton-Jones)
Coming of age drama with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Three Colors: Blue (Krzysztof Kieślowski)
The Juliette Binoche chapter. Saw these films a couple/few years after they came out all in a weekend and, like most people, become quite taken by them. Every year after that I would say to myself a certain one was my favorite, White for example (the comedy of the bunch), but I kept changing my mind. Now perhaps I see it as a single film and don't really waste my time comparing them. I love the connections between all of the films from the palette to the characters. Not many trilogies quite like this one.
Three of Hearts (Yurek Bogayevicz)
Tombstone (George P. Cosmatos)
Untamed Heart (Tony Bill)
The Vanishing (George Sluizer)
The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee)
Wonderful twist on the romcom by the master Ang Lee.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Lasse Hallström)
I remember a coworker who was an acting enthusiast saying back in the day that Leonardo DiCaprio's performance here was of no value because any actor can convincingly play someone mentally impaired, but over the years of rewatching this film DiCaprio's subtleties come across being quite strong and unique, and perhaps from the distance of 30 years the performance is pretty incredible for someone his age. It is interesting to compare his performance here with the stunning self-destructive trailer scene in Tarantino's Once Upon a time in Hollywood. The film was shot by Sven Nykvist!
What’s Love Got to Do with It (Brian Gibson)
Wide Sargasso Sea (John Duigan)
From the director of Sirens.
The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (Ray Müller)
Films by Leni Riefenstahl where quite popular back in the 90s and shown in many film schools and repertory houses. Not discussed as much now, but probably for good reason. Hard to not acknowledge the qualities of her film Olympia, but seeing it just once might be enough.
:: 1994 ::
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Tom Shadyac)
Amateur (Hal Hartley)
Classic Hartley film with Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Löwensohn, and Michael Gaston.
A Pure Formality (Giuseppe Tornatore)
Backbeat (Iain Softley)
Barcelona (Whit Stillman)
Before the Rain (Milcho Manchevski)
Bitter Moon (Roman Polanski)
Black Beauty (Caroline Thompson)
Black Ice (Stan Brakhage)
Blink (Michael Apted)
Neo-Noir with Madeleine Stowe and Aidan Quinn.
Blue Chips (William Friedkin)
Nick Nolte as college basketball coach.
Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrara)
Story by Raymond Cistheri and Larry Cohen.
The Browning Version (Mike Figgis)
The Burning Season (John Frankenheimer)
With Raul Julia.
Captives (Angela Pope)
Clerks (Kevin Smith)
Maybe not a film for everyone but not without interest.
The Client (Joel Schumacher)
John Grisham novel with Susan Sarandon, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony LaPaglia, and Anthony Edwards.
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai)
Most popular Wong Kar-Wai film with In The Mood for Love.
Clear and Present Danger (Phillip Noyce)
Cold Water (Olivier Assayas)
First Assayas film I saw, in a class taught by the avant-garde animator Lewis Klahr. Saw again a year later at the Walter Reade Theater introduced by Assayas himself with a few of his other early films. Still my favorite Assayas.
Corrina, Corrina (Jessie Nelson)
The Crow (Alex Proyas)
Includes music by Lustmord.
Crumb (Terry Zwigoff)
Classic Zwigoff. Goes well with his Ghost World and American Splendor by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini.
The Days (Wang Xiaoshuai)
Dead Connection (Nigel Dick)
Death and the Maiden (Roman Polanski)
Disclosure (Barry Levinson)
90s erotic thriller.
Drift (Chris Welsby)
A study of winter light falling on the surface of water, metal and cloud.
Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee)
Ed Wood (Tim Burton)
Biopic on the most wonderful Ed Wood, perhaps not getting the respect these days he deserves. With the fetish for cult cinema now with box sets on every obscure filmmaker imaginable, and even their grandmothers, it is strange there is not a set on him yet. Martin Landau pictured above portraying the great Bela Lugosi and his bit "Pull the string".
Elementary Phrases (Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon)
L’Enfer (Claude Chabrol)
Exotica (Atom Egoyan)
Yet another very strange film by Egoyan with a memorable performance by Mia Kirshner as well as Elias Koteas, Sarah Polley, and Bruce Greenwood. Doing graduate film studies in the 90s, the big art house filmmakers in the circles I ran were Wong Kar-wai, Atom Egoyan, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Tsai Ming-liang, and for the real serious cats there was Béla Tarr. Very pleasurable times getting to know the work of these masters. Some don't seem to be discussed as much lately by the current intelligentsia, so it was really nice to see the Criterion Channel recently putting some emphasis on Egoyan's work. His films are not exactly easy to watch, and definitely have a feel that might be slightly dated now but in a way that makes you long for the past.
Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell)
Pretty good film in the romcom film history.
Fresh (Boaz Yakin)
From: First Hymn to the Night – Novalis (Stan Brakhage)
The Getaway (Roger Donaldson)
From the Jim Thompson novel with screenplay by Walter Hill and Amy Holden Jones. Stars Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger, Michael Madsen, James Woods, and Jennifer Tilly. Particularly brutal scenes of cuckoldry that were quite shocking at the time.
The Glass Shield (Charles Burnett)
Crime drama with Ice Cube, Michael Boatman and Lori Petty (Point Break).
Go Fish (Rose Troche)
Groundbreaking film on lesbian culture. I remember seeing this with my mom perhaps first year of college and being slightly uncomfortable the both of us, but liking the film.
Hand Gun (Whitney Ransick)
Hated: GG Allin & The Murder Junkies (Todd Phillips)
I remember seeing GG Allin on the streets of Manchester NH when I was in high scool. Strange dude.
Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson)
Didn't personally see this until after LOTR. Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh's other really great film for this film enthusiast. Stunning performances by Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet.
Hoop Dreams (Steve James)
The Hudsucker Proxy (Joel Coen)
I Can’t Sleep (Claire Denis)
Il postino (Michael Radford)
Immortal Beloved (Bernard Rose)
Another classic Gary Oldman role, here playing old Ludwig van. Oldman's 90s roles are intoxicatingly sublime, with memorable roles in JFK, Bram Stoker's Dracula, True Romance, Romeo is Bleeding, Léon: The Professional, Basquiat, and some others.. I am more partial to Miloš Forman' 1984 film Amadeus as a composer biopic, but this is worth watching as well. Wondering why biopics of this quality are a thing of the past.
Intersection (Mark Rydell)
Interview with the Vampire (Neil Jordan)
Stars Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Stephen Rea, Antonio Banderas, Christian Slater, and a young Kirsten Dunst. Found the novel unreadable myself, but the film has some moments and overall is visually interesting. Worth a watch for Neil Jordan enthusiasts.
In the Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter)
Iron Will (Charles Haid)
Dog-sled race adventure film.
Killing Zoe (Roger Avary)
Ladybird Ladybird (Ken Loach)
La page blanche (Olivier Assayas)
Part of the television series Tous les garçons et les filles de leur âge... which also included Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the ’60s in Brussels by Chantal Akerman (see below for more details).
The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff)
Little Odessa (James Gray)
With Tim Roth and Edward Furlong.
Little Women (Gillian Armstrong)
Maverick (Richard Donner)
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (Alan Rudolph)
Muriel’s Wedding (PJ Hogan)
Outstanding performance by Toni Collette. One of the best of the 1990s.
Nadja (Michael Almereyda)
This was a big one back in the day but haven't seen since and not sure how it holds up.
Nell (Michael Apted)
Nobody’s Fool (Robert Benton)
Very good older Paul Newman role as a charismatic hustler living in Up State New York, with a solid cast that includes Jessica Tandy, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Dylan Walsh, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Gene Saks, Josef Sommer, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Philip Bosco.
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino)
The buzz around this film in 1994 was pretty overwhelming. Some truly memorable scenes in this film, sort of crazy that Tarantino could cram so many into a single film, the first that come to mind are the stories with Ving Rhames and Bruce Willis.
Queen Margot (Patrice Chéreau)
With Isabelle Adjani.
Quiz Show (Robert Redford)
Extremely rewatchable film with John Turturro, Rob Morrow, Ralph Fiennes, David Paymer, and Paul Scofield and cinematography by Scorsese's Michael Ballhaus. Music by Mark Isham whom did so many big films in the 1990s.
Reality Bites (Ben Stiller)
Very 90s film with Ben Stiller, Winona Ryder, Ethan Hawke, Janeane Garofalo, Joe Don Baker, John Mahoney, and Steve Zahn. Early film for the cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.
River of Grass (Kelly Reichardt)
The River Wild (Curtis Hanson)
Run (Luther Price)
From the filmmaker responsible for the 1989 avant-garde classic Sodom.
The Secret Of Roan Inish (John Sayles)
So many great Sayles films in the 1990s, this one though quite unusual for him and a gem indeed, shot by Haskell Wexler mostly in Donegal, Ireland, and the Isle of Mull in Argyll, Scotland. Unbelievably beautiful film that it is rumored to be forthcoming on Criterion.
Serial Mom (John Waters)
Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle)
Classic 90s Boyle film along with Trainspotting.
The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont)
With Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Gil Bellows, James Whitmore, and the very memorable Clancy Brown. Seems many people either don't like this film or saw it too many times back in the day but I sort of ignored it until 10 years ago and quite enjoy watching it now.
Sirens (John Duigan)
Wonderful film where Hugh Grant plays an Anglican priest visiting an artist of pornographic scenes, played by Sam Neill, to disaude him from continuing in his pursuit of the flesh. Strong screen presense from Tara Fitzgerald, Pamela Rabe, Elle Macpherson, Portia de Rossi, and Kate Fischer but perhaps a tad too much nudity for some viewers.
Spanking the Monkey (David O. Russell)
Big film at the time with Jeremy Davies, pre the David O. Russell craze.
Speed (Jan de Bont)
To Live (Zhang Yimou)
One of those wonderful memories is discovering the films of Zhang Yimou and spending the next month renting them all (Le Video in San Francisco) and truly falling in love.
U.S. Go Home (Claire Denis)
Vanya on 42nd Street (Louis Malle)
Vive L’Amour (Tsai Ming-liang)
Tsai Ming-liang's second feature film about three people unknowingly sharing an apartment. Going to SFAI in the late nineties, a fellow student I was friends with had previosly worked with Tsai Ming-liang and lived in the infamous Taipei apartment when they shot the film.
Wild Reeds (André Téchiné)
Whispering Pages (Aleksandr Sokurov)
Wolf (Mike Nichols)
Wyatt Earp (Lawrence Kasdan)
:: 1995 ::
Angela (Rebecca Miller)
Strange Vincent Gallo role as preacher.
Antonia’s Line (Marleen Gorris)
Described as a feminist fairy tale.
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies (Martin Scorsese and Michael Henry Wilson)
A Trick of the Light (Wim Wenders)
Babe (Chris Noonan)
Outstanding pig film with screenplay written by George Miller and Chris Noonan based on the book The Sheep-Pig by Dick King-Smith.
The Basketball Diaries (Scott Kalvert)
Very popular film at the time, based on the autobiographical novel by Jim Carroll, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as a drug-addicted high school basketball player, and his antics with friends. Also good for seeing 90s performances by Bruno Kirby, Lorraine Bracco, Ernie Hudson, Patrick McGaw, James Madio, Michael Imperioli, and Mark Wahlberg.
Blue in the Face (Wayne Wang and Paul Auster)
Follow up to Smoke which also came out in 1995.
Bouquets 1-10 (Rose Lowder)
Boys On The Side (Herbert Ross)
Braveheart (Mel Gibson)
The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood)
Lovingly humble relationship between Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Wonderful film based on the best-selling Robert James Waller novel.
Butterfly Kiss (Michael Winterbottom)
Amanda Plummer as bisexual serial killer.
Carl Th. Dreyer: My Metier (Torben Skjødt Jensen)
Casino (Martin Scorsese)
The Celluloid Closet (Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman)
Documentary based on Vito Russo's 1981 book The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies.
Citizen X (Chris Gerolmo)
Hunting a 1908s Russian serial killer.
Clockers (Spike Lee)
Clueless (Amy Heckerling)
Huge fan of Heckerling's Fast Times at Ridgemont High from 1982.
Copycat (Jon Amiel)
Crimson Tide (Tony Scott)
The Crossing Guard (Sean Penn)
Jack Nicholson seeks vengeance on David Morse for the death of his daughter.
Cyclo (Tran Anh Hung)
Stars Lê Văn Lộc, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Trần Nữ Yên Khê and won the Golden Lion at the 52nd Venice International Film Festival.
Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins)
Shot by Roger A. Deakins.
Dead Presidents (The Hughes Brothers)
Desperado (Robert Rodriguez)
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (John McTiernan)
Dolores Claiborne (Taylor Hackford)
Screenplay by Tony Gilroy after the Stephen King novel. Psychological thriller drama starring Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, and David Strathairn and music by Danny Elfman.
Doom Generation (Gregg Araki)
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (Christopher Monger)
Flirt (Hal Harley)
More well-known Harley film with some key 90s actors like Martin Donovan, Parker Posey, Bill Sage, and Harold Perrineau, Jr. (Smoke, Lost).
French Kiss (Lawrence Kasdan)
Georgia (Ulu Grosbard)
Lesser known nineties independent film starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mare Winningham. Exploration of their complex and messed up relationship.
Get Shorty (Barry Sonnenfeld)
The Grass Harp (Charles Matthau)
Hackers (Iain Softley)
I Take These Truths (Stan Brakhage)
Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (Brothers Quay)
Robert Walser's Jakob von Gunten (the most beautiful novel in existence) with Mark Rylance and Alice Krige. The section with swaying students to vocal music by Lech Jankowski is quite memorable.
Jefferson in Paris (James Ivory)
Kicking and Screaming (Noah Baumbach)
Kids (Larry Clark)
Every hip cat and their grandmother from Maine to Timbuktu was talking about this film in 1995. Looking back the film is of note for the wonderful Chloë Sevigny and also Leo Fitzpatrick from The Wire. The ending Sebadoh song Spoiled is really quite good.
La Ceremonie (Claude Chabrol)
La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz)
Huge buzz around this film when it came out.
Leaving Las Vegas (Mike Figgis)
Lumière and Company (Various Directors)
40 international directors make a film with the Lumière Brothers' Cinematographe camera with three rules: duration no longer than 52 seconds, no synchronized sound, and no more than three takes. Best one is David Lynch's Premonitions Following an Evil Deed.
Maborosi (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
Beautifully poetic narrative by Kore-eda that washes over you like slow moving fog.
Mallrats (Kevin Smith)
Me Gut No Dog Dog (Luther Price)
Mighty Aphrodite (Woody Allen)
Screenplay inspired by Pygmalion. With Mira Sorvino, Helena Bonham Carter, Jack Warden, Olympia Dukakis, and F. Murray Abraham. Not one of Allen's best but worth watching.
Mr. Holland’s Opus (Stephen Herek)
The Neon Bible (Terence Davies)
New Jersey Drive (Nick Gomez)
Joy riding crime drama.
Now and Then (Lesli Linka Glatter)
One Hundred and One Nights (Agnes Varda)
Palookaville (Alan Taylor)
Saw this in the theater and have never heard anyone mention the film since. Very good, starring William Forsythe, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Vincent Gallo, Adam Trese, and Frances McDormand.
Party Girl (Daisy von Scherler Mayer)
Definitely essential for fans of the great Parker Posey.
The Prophecy (Gregory Widen)
Christopher Walken as Archangel Gabriel loose on the streets. With Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, and Viggo Mortensen.
Rumble in the Bronx (Stanley Tong)
Safe (Todd Haynes)
Astonishing film by Mr. Haynes, an extremely subtle critique of new age culture disguised as a psychological horror. A slight exaggeration, but features a truly disturbing sex scene between Julianne Moore and Xander Berkeley that in a way gets the environmental sickness started in the narrative.
Screamers (Christian Duguay)
Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee)
Ang Lee's Jane Austin film with Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Tom Wilkinson a, and Hugh Grant. Beautiful film.
Se7en (David Fincher)
Solid Fincher film, shot by Darius Khondji, where we see a bit of the 4AD/Vaughan Oliver aesthetic brought to the screen. Always loved the psychopath's notebooks and apartment.
Shanghai Triad (Zhang Yimou)
The Snowman (Phil Solomon)
“A meditation on memory, burial and decay – a belated kaddish for my father.” (Phil Solomon)
Species (Roger Donaldson)
Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow)
Sweet Nothing (Gary Winick)
Michael Imperioli and Mira Sorvino.
The Tie That Binds (Wesley Strick)
Keith Carradine and Daryl Hannah as psychopathic couple.
The Underneath (Steven Soderbergh)
Ulysses’ Gaze (Theo Angelopoulos)
Unzipped (Douglas Keeve)
The Usual Suspects (Bryan Singer)
Welcome to the Dollhouse (Todd Solondz)
First Solondz film I saw, remember being quite uncomfortable in the theater but loving the hell out of the film. Such a masterpiece.
49/95: tausendjahrekino (Kurt Kren)
:: 1996 ::
A Time to Kill (Joel Schumacher)
Courtroom crime drama based on a John Grisham novel with Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L. Jackson, and a ton of other heavies from the period. Essential for McConaughey fans.
Basquiat (Julian Schnabel)
Jeffrey Wright as Basquiat, and David Bowie as Warhol and a ton of other stars. Nice use of Public Image Ltd.
Bastard Out of Carolina (Anjelica Huston)
Big Night (Stanley Tucci, Campbell Scott)
Great film with Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Ian Holm, Isabella Rossellini, and Allison Janney.
The Birdcage (Mike Nichols)
Solid remake of the 1978 film La Cage aux Folles. Screenplay by Elaine May (A New Leaf, Mikey and Nicky).
Bottle Rocket (Wes Anderson)
Personal favorite Wes Anderson film. Worth seeing even for those not fans of his work.
Bound (Lilly & Lana Wachowski)
The Cable Guy (Ben Stiller)
Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick. Interesting that this was directed by Ben Stiller, he has done a few good films over the years.
Caught (Robert M. Young)
Takes place in a Jersey City retail fish market, and stars Edward James Olmos and Arie Verveen.
Citizen Ruth (Alexander Payne)
Comingled Containers (Stan Brakhage)
Concrescence (Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon)
Crash (David Cronenberg)
Cremaster 1 (Matthew Barney)
The Daytrippers (Greg Mottola)
Classic New York City 90s indie film with Hope Davis, Stanley Tucci, Anne Meara, Parker Posey, Marcia Gay Harden, and Liev Schreiber.
Ed's Next Move (John C. Walsh)
Emma (Douglas McGrath)
The English Patient (Anthony Minghella)
One of those films I like to watch every few years, Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas as almost Gods in the realms of actorshippe, and some great work by Naveen Andrews, and Colin Firth. Sound design and film editing by Walter Murch which won him 2 academy awards. Based on the novel by Michael Ondaatje whom also wrote the wonderful book The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film. One hell of a film.
Escape From L.A. (John Carpenter)
Everyone Says I Love You (Woody Allen)
Fly Away Home (Carroll Ballard)
Stunning Ballard film with Anna Paquin, Jeff Daniels, and Dana Delany. Assiting Canadian geese in migration by having them follow Paquin in her small aircraft.
Foxfire (Annette Haywood-Carter)
Freeway (Matthew Bright)
Holy shit! Look who got beaten with the ugly stick!
From Dusk till Dawn (Robert Rodriguez)
Frozen (Wang Xiaoshuai)
Chinese film based on a true story of performance artist Qi Lei, who attempts to create a masterpiece centered on the theme of death.
Girls Town (Jim McKay)
Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
Slightly abstract (as I remember it) crime drama by Hou Hsiao-hsien.
Grace Of My Heart (Allison Anders)
1960s pop music world with Illeana Douglas.
Gray's Anatomy (Steven Soderberg)
Habit (Larry Fessenden)
Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh)
Hamsun (Jan Troell)
Norwegian author Knut Hamsun played by Max von Sydow. One of the best modern writers, especially his novel Hunger, with shit bird interest in Nazism.
Hype! (Doug Pray)
Documentary on the grunge movement.
Independence Day (Roland Emmerich)
On the other side of the independent film.
Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas)
Kansas City (Robert Altman)
Slightly lesser know Altman film with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte, Michael Murphy, Jane Adams, and Steve Buscemi.
Kingpin (Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly)
Really gross flossing scene with Randy Quaid. Solid Woody Harrelson performance.
Kissed (Lynne Stopkewich)
La Promesse (Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
First really big film from the Belgian directors the Dardenne brothers.
Last Man Standing (Walter Hill)
Looking for Mushrooms (Bruce Conner)
Revision of the original version from 1967 where Conner repeats each frame five times to make a longer version, and set to music by Terry Riley.
Love and Other Catastrophes (Emma-Kate Croghan)
Manny & Lo (Lisa Krueger)
Music by John Lurie. First starring role for Scarlett Johansson.
Mars Attacks! (Tim Burton)
Marvin’s Room (Jerry Zaks)
With Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Hume Cronyn, Gwen Verdon, Hal Scardino and Dan Hedaya.
Michael Collins (Neil Jordan)
Mission: Impossible (Brian De Palma)
First in the series, not as good as the later films.
Mother Night (Keith Gordon)
Mulholland Falls (Lee Tamahori)
The People vs. Larry Flynt (Miloš Forman)
Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.
The Pig Fell Into the Well (Hong Sang-soo)
First film by Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo and film debut of actor Song Kang-ho.
The Pillow Book (Peter Greenaway)
The Portrait of a Lady (Jane Campion)
Adaptation of the Henry James novel with Nicole Kidman, Barbara Hershey, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Donovan, Shelley Duvall, Richard E. Grant, Shelley Winters, Viggo Mortensen, Valentina Cervi, Christian Bale, and John Gielgud.
The Present (Robert Frank)
Pusher (Nicolas Winding Refn)
Ridicule (Patrice Leconte)
The Rock (Michael Bay)
Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, Michael Biehn, and William Forsythe. Huge at the time, and later put out by The Criterion Collection.
Schizopolis (Steven Soderberg)
Scream (Wes Craven)
Screamers (Christian Duguay)
Screenplay written by Dan O'Bannon (Alien) with a rewrite by Miguel Tejada-Flores, and based on Philip K. Dick's 1953 short story Second Variety.
Shine (Scott Hicks)
Geoffrey Rush plays the pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown from trauma inflicted by his abusive father. Rush was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor.
Sleepers (Barry Levinson)
Sling Blade (Billy Bob Thornton)
"I sure do like them French-fried potaters." Wonderful film! Interesting cameo with Jim Jarmusch as Deke, the Frostee Cream employee.
Spitfire Grill (Lee David Zlotoff)
Indie film with a rather memorable performance by Alison Elliott. Also stars Ellen Burstyn, Marcia Gay Harden, Will Patton, Kieran Mulroney, and Gailard Sartain. Based on the 2001 Off-Broadway musical of the same name by James Valcq and Fred Alley which one could assume is the reason for the only flaw in the film which is the unnecessarily sentimental ending. Cinematographer Robert Draper gives the film quite a unique look for the decade, heavy browns and high contrast, capturing the beauty of the landscapes and small towns of Maine.
Suburbia (Richard Linklater)
Swingers (Doug Liman)
Big when it came out, slightly hard to watch now. Strange memory of being in a closet-sized hotel room in Venice with red velvet wallpaper and a tiny tiny bed watching this on a microscopic television.
That Thing You Do! (Tom Hanks)
The rise and fall of a fictional 1960s one-hit wonder pop band. Liv Tyler is great in the film.
Thesis (Alejandro Amenábar)
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle)
This film sort of define a generation. Bloody great cast which includes Kelly Macdonald, Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, and Robert Carlyle. Not sure if it would hold up for everyone but hard to deny its place in 90s film history.
Triste (Nathaniel Dorsky)
Tuning the Sleeping Machine (David Sherman)
Twister (Jan de Bont)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock)
In 1996 the new 70mm print with DTS soundtrack played all over the country exposing young people like myself at the time to this fine classic.
Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest)
White Squall (Ridley Scott)
2 Days in the Valley (John Herzfeld)
50/96 Snapshots (For Bruce) (Kurt Kren)
:: 1997 ::
Affliction (Paul Schrader)
Perhaps the most difficult and serious of Schrader films. Not one you would want to watch over and over again but stands out in his oeuvre.
The Apostle (Robert Duvall)
As Good as It Gets (James L. Brooks)
Birth of a Nation (Jonas Mekas)
Music by Hermann Nitsch.
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson)
First time I saw a PTA film, so huge at the time it is not surpising how influential he is now. Seeing this film again recently, the most striking moment was the crazy Alfred Molina scene.
The Boxer (Jim Sheridan)
Solid for fans of Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, and Brian Cox.
Career Girls (Mike Leigh)
Slightly unusual film by Leigh starring Katrin Cartlidge and Lynda Steadman as two college fuck-ups reuniting many years later as yuppies. Not one of his best but worth watching.
Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith)
Not being a big Kevin Smith fan, it is hard to deny this film being not without interest.
Chicago (Jürgen Reble)
Stunningly beautiful film with dust-noise soundtrack by Thomas Köner.
Clockwatchers (Jill Sprecher)
Stars Parker Posey, Lisa Kudrow, and Toni Collette.
Contact (Robert Zemeckis)
Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Horror film Bong Joon-ho lists as one of the greatest films of all time.
Deconstructing Harry (Woody Allen)
The Deli (John A. Gallagher)
The Devil's Advocate (Taylor Hackford)
Not a film this viewer likes much, but the subway scene with Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves is quite memorable and something I watch from time to time on youtube.
Donnie Brasco (Mike Newell)
Great low-key ganster film with a deadbeat lower level Mafia player portrayed by Al Pacino and his more ambitious protege Johnny Depp. Also great performances by Michael Madsen, Bruno Kirby, and James Russo. Small roles for Val Avery, Tim Blake Nelson, and Paul Giamatti. Solid film I have seen many times over the years which again is a great example of that visual ambiance we see so strong in this decade.
Dream with the Fishes (Finn Taylor)
The Edge (Lee Tamahori)
With Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Elle Macpherson, and Harold Perrineau.
The End Of Violence (Wim Wenders)
Eve’s Bayou (Kasi Lemmons)
Event Horizon (Paul W. S. Anderson)
Face/Off (John Woo)
American John Woo film with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage.
Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (Errol Morris)
The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo)
Stars Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber and Hugo Speer. Popular film at the time.
Funny Games (Michael Haneke)
First of the Haneke Funny Games.
The Game (David Fincher)
Not completely satisfying film with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn.
Gattaca (Andrew Niccol)
A quite unique sci-fi film at the time with understated performances by Ethan Hawke,Uma Thurman, and Jude Law.
Green Fish (Lee Chang-dong)
Gridlock’d (Vondie Curtis-Hall)
Grind (Chris Kentis)
Grosse Pointe Blank (George Armitage)
Stars John Cusack and Minnie Driver.
Hani-Ba (Takeshi Kitano)
Aka Fireworks, the crime drama film written, directed, starring, and edited by Takeshi Kitano.
Happy Together (Wong Kar-Wai)
My personal fav of Wong Kar-Wai. Such an emotional and beautiful film.
The House (Šarūnas Bartas)
Slow moving and moody film not dissimilar to the work of Alexander Sokurov.
The House Of Yes (Mark Waters)
Black comedy with Parker Posey.
The Ice Storm (Ang Lee)
Incredible Ang Lee film about bored upper middle class Connecticut couples in or approaching middle age. Visually stunning aesthetically, shot by Frederick Elmes. Love how the railway man says Conn ect tic cut which ever since seeing the film is how I say it, as a slight hommage to the film, which always yields a blank stare.
Insomnia (Erik Skjoldbjærg)
Flawless film with Stellan Skarsgård as a cop with questionable morality. Music by Geir Jenssen aka Biosphere.
Inventing the Abbotts (Pat O’Connor)
Coming-of-age film with Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Kathy Baker, Will Patton, and Joanna Going.
Kundun (Martin Scorsese)
Can't remember if I ever saw this film, but I love the Michael Imperlioli line in The Sopranos where he says to a passing Martin Scorsese “Marty, Kundun ... I liked I it. “
LA Confidential (Curtis Hanson)
The Curtis Hanson film this viewer has rewatched endlessly, just so expertly put together and jaw-dropping performances by Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe, and in addition Kevin Spacey, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, Ron Rifkin, and a memorable David Strathairn. Perfect film.
Lawn Dogs (John Duigan)
Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni)
The Life of Jesus (Bruno Dumont)
Lost Highway (David Lynch)
Problematic Lynch film with some really damn good scenes overall that makes it worth a rewatch every so often, especially the tailgating scene with Robert Loggia.
Men with Guns (John Sayles)
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (Clint Eastwood)
Solid Eastwood film with Kevin Spacey and John Cusack.
Mimic (Guillermo del Toro)
Guillermo del Toro's second film.
Mother and Son (Aleksandr Sokurov)
Nil by Mouth (Gary Oldman)
Nowhere (Gregg Araki)
Paradise Road (Bruce Beresford)
The Rainmaker (Francis Ford Coppola)
At the time I probably wouldn't have wanted to see this film, but on watching it a couple of times over the years, it is actually a pretty solid film.
Rainy Dog (Takashi Miike)
The Relic (Peter Hyams)
A monster in Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History.
The River (Tsai Ming-liang)
Rosewood (John Singleton)
Stunning Ving Rhames performance.
She’s So Lovely (Nick Cassavetes)
Memorable scenes with James Gandolfini.
Smilla’s Sense Of Snow (Bille August)
Smilla Jaspersen played by Julia Ormond, investigates the mysterious death of a small Inuit boy who lived in her housing complex in Copenhagen.
The Spanish Prisoner (David Mamet)
Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven)
Yet another strange Verhoeven film, based on Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel.
Study of a River (Peter B. Hutton)
Hutton's portrait of of the Hudson River.
SubUrbia (Richard Linklater)
Taste Of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
Titanic (James Cameron)
Thomas Jefferson (Ken Burns)
The Van (Stephen Frears)
Waiting for Guffman (Christopher Guest)
Perhaps the best of the Guest directed film with all-star cast.
The Wings of the Dove (Iain Softley)
From the Henry James novel with Helena Bonham Carter, Linus Roache, Alison Elliott, Elizabeth McGovern, Michael Gambon, Alex Jennings, and Charlotte Rampling.
:: 1998 ::
American History X (Tony Kaye)
Edward Norton and Edward Furlong in an Los Angeles Neo-Nazi crime drama.
Babe: Pig in the City (George Miller)
From George Miller, known for his Mad Max series.
Besieged (Bernardo Bertolucci)
The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen)
Perhaps the film this decade that most people have watch over and over more than any other film. I worked with a guy that would quote the film numerous times a day and I loved it.
Black Cat, White Cat (Emir Kusturica)
Blade (Stephen Norrington)
The Boys (Rowan Woods)
The Celebration (Thomas Vinterberg)
Classic Dogme 95 film.
Central Station (Walter Salles)
Claire Dolan (Lodge Kerrigan)
Croupier (Mike Hodges)
British Neo-Noir with Clive Owen. First film I saw with him.
The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (Penelope Spheeris)
Lifestyles of gutter punks.
Down in the Delta (Maya Angelou)
Maya Angelou's only feature film as directer, with the great Alfre Woodard.
Elizabeth (Shekhar Kapur)
Enemy of the State (Tony Scott)
Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopoulos)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam)
The General (John Boorman)
Gia (Michael Cristofer)
Story of the early days of AIDS with Angelina Jolie. Perhaps not good for religious folks as there is quite a bit of nudity.
Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon)
Fictionalized last days of the life of film director James Whale, played by Ian McKellen.
He Got Game (Spike Lee)
Father Denzel Washington gets leave from prison to recruit his son into college basketball.
High Art (Lisa Cholodenko)
Hilary and Jackie (Anand Tucker)
Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths as sisters Jacqueline du Pré and Hilary du Pré.
The Hole (Tsai Ming-liang)
Another strange one by Tsai Ming-liang starring Lee Kang-sheng.
The Idiots (Lars von Trier)
Trier's classic Dogme 95 film.
The Last Days of Disco (Whit Stillman)
L.A Without a Map (Mika Kaurismäki)
From the brother of Aki Kaurismäki, starring David Tennant, Vinessa Shaw, Julie Delpy, Vincent Gallo, Joe Dallesandro, and Johnny Depp.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie)
Meeting People Is Easy (Grant Gee)
OK Computer period documentary on Radiohead.
One True Thing (Carl Franklin)
The Opposite of Sex (Don Roos)
Out of Sight (Steven Soderbergh)
Written by Scott Frank (Logan, The Queen's Gambit), adapted from Elmore Leonard's novel. Stars George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Steve Zahn, Dennis Farina, and Albert Brooks.
Pi (Darren Aronofsky)
Psycho (Gus Van Sant)
Close to shot-for-shot remake of the classic.
The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong Sang-soo)
The Quiet Family (Kim Jee-woon)
Ringu (Hideo Nakata)
Successful entry in the history of J-horror films.
Ronin (John Frankenheimer)
Solid action film with Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, and Jonathan Pryce and written by written by John David Zeik and David Mamet.
Rounders (John Dahl)
For fans of another very underrated 90s director, John Dahl. Starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton as two high-stakes poker players.
Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer)
Rush Hour (Brett Ratner)
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
Rushmore (Wes Anderson)
The Saltmen of Tibet (Ulrike Koch)
Chronicles a clan of Tibetan salt harvesters.
Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg)
I have seen this film 4 times or so over the last 20 years and enjoy the Normandy landings sequence and some other action sequences in the film, but the opening and closing sentimentality is really hard to stomach. Not without interest with great cast.
Slums of Beverly Hills (Tamara Jenkins)
Stepmom (Chris Columbus)
The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick)
In a filmography with so many seminal films, this has always been my personal favorite. Amazing to consider that there was a 20 year span of nothingness between this and Days of Heaven.
Too Tired to Die (Wonsuk Chin)
The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
Poor Jim Carrey's life taking place on a set for others amusement.
Twilight (Robert Benton)
Neo-Noir with Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Stockard Channing, Reese Witherspoon, and Giancarlo Esposito.
Vampires (John Carpenter)
Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes)
Waking Ned Devine (Kirk Jones)
Your Friends & Neighbors (Neil LaBute)
You’ve Got Mail (Nora Ephron)
Remake of Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner from 1940 dealing with the shuttering of many independent book stores with the coming of the corporate giants. Not a bad film.
Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (Joan Chen)
42 Up (Michael Apted)
:: 1999 ::
American Beauty (Sam Mendes)
Analyze This (Harold Ramis)
Not completely without interest. Mafia spoof with Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal. The lighter side of the decade.
Angela's Ashes (Alan Parker)
Arlington Road (Mark Pellington)
Audition (Takashi Miike)
Extremely creepy J-horror film that is hard to forget.
A Walk on the Moon (Tony Goldwyn)
Starring Diane Lane, Viggo Mortensen, Liev Schreiber and Anna Paquin.
Beau Travail (Claire Denis)
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze)
The last year of the decade pushes us into "the aughts" with some films that have really bothered this particular viewer over the years, films that have qualities (as stated by others) that are difficult or impossible personally to see. In addition it is perplexing how strong of a hold these films have on the average cinephile. Films like Matrix, Being John Malkovich, Eyes Wide Shut, The Virgin Suicides, and Fight Club, one is almost afraid to speak ill of them for fear of a public persecution.
The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez)
This film received much publicity at the time for its novel qualities. Wasn't a big fan at the time but perhaps with another viewing would convert me.
Blast from the Past (Hugh Wilson)
The Bone Collector (Phillip Noyce)
Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Queen Latifah, Michael Rooker, and Luis Guzman.
Boys Don’t Cry (Kimberly Pierce)
Buena Vista Social Club (Wim Wenders)
The Buena Vista Social Club hangs with Ry Cooder.
But I’m A Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit)
Bringing Out the Dead (Martin Scorsese)
Charisma (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
Dark City (Alex Proyas)
Double Jeopardy (Bruce Beresford)
Election (Alexander Payne)
Essential Payne film.
eXistenZ (David Cronenberg)
Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
Felicia’s Journey (Atom Egoyan)
Fight Club (David Fincher)
Genghis Blues (Roko Belic)
Blind American singer Paul Pena visits Tuva to learn from the Tuvan throat singing.
Girl, Interrupted (James Mangold)
Winona Ryder as a young woman diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Also starts Angelina Jolie, Clea DuVall, Brittany Murphy, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Moss, Angela Bettis, Vanessa Redgrave, and Jared Leto. Mangold manages to always deliver a solid film.
Go (Doug Liman)
Sort of a mess of a film.
The Green Mile (Frank Darabont)
Tom Hanks as a death row corrections officer during the Great Depression, based on the Stephen King 1996 novel.
Holy Smoke (Jane Campion)
The Hurricane (Norman Jewison)
The Insider (Michael Mann)
Jesus’ Son (Alison Maclean)
Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano)
L'Humanité (Bruno Dumont)
Limbo (John Sayles)
The Limey (Steven Soderbergh)
At times overly edited, but really a stunning Soderbergh film and Terence Stamp performance.
Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Matrix (Lilly & Lana Wachowski)
The Mission (Johnnie To)
Mystery, Alaska (Jay Roach)
The Ninth Gate (Roman Polanski)
Office Space (Mike Judge)
Classic working stiff comedy with Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, Stephen Root (wow!!!!), David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Diedrich Bader.
Onegin (Martha Fiennes)
On The Run (Bruno de Almeida)
Peppermint Candy (Lee Chang-dong)
Rosetta (Dardenne Brothers)
One of the best Dardenne films, about a teenage girl living in a caravan park with her alcoholic mother. Heavy.
The Road Home (Zhang Yimou)
Running Out of Time (Johnnie To)
Set Me Free/Emporte-moi (Léa Pool)
Shiri (Kang Je-gyu)
Stir of Echoes (David Koepp)
The Straight Story (David Lynch)
Sweet and Lowdown (Woody Allen)
Definitely of interest for those who love Django Reinhardt.
Three Kings (David O. Russell)
Titus (Julie Taymor)
Topsy-Turvy (Mike Leigh)
True Crime (Clint Eastwood)
The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola)
The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami)
The Wood (Rick Famuyiwa)
The 24 Hour Woman (Nancy Savoca)
From Dogfight director Nancy Savoca.