Whats your favourite 90s films?

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A Moment of Innocence
American Movie
Being John Malkovich
The Blair Witch Project
The Big Lebowski
Clean, Shaven
Goodfellas
Gummo
Hard-Boiled
Hoop Dreams
Magnolia
Perfect Blue
Pulp Fiction
Schindler's List
The Silence of the Lambs
The Sixth Sense
The Thin Red Line
Twelve Monkeys
Unforgiven
The Wind Will Carry Us



With the exception of music, which I thought it was a spectacular decade for, I agree. When this question comes up for every decade besides this one, I can usually answer right away, but for the '90s, I always struggle a bit.

Did the '90s have a phenomenon, i.e. like the '70s had Star Wars, the '80s had Indiana Jones, the '00s had Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, the '10s had the MCU? I'm not sure if it did. You could sort of argue that it was Pixar, but they came along in the latter half of the decade and you could roll those movies up with the Disney blockbusters, which had been mainstays at the top of the box office for a very long time. There's another argument to be made for Tarantino making indie movies mainstream, but I wouldn't call that a phenomenon-level breakthrough.

But anyway, enough '90s bashing.
All good points.
Honestly, I have said many, many times to people, particularly before the 80s revival that has gone on the last few years, but there is good music made in every decade, it's not like people just forget how to write songs, but of all the decades since, say the 1920s, I find the 90s the least interesting, musically and probably artistically in general, overall. Again, not to say that there wasn't good and even some great music, but when I think of the dawn of Rock and Roll in the '50s, its revolutionary offspring of the 1960s, the artistic greatness all over the place of the 1970s, the inventiveness and complete break from the past of the 80s, I don't really have anything for the 2000s without reviewing it, and now the 2010s is so much the time of great music that has always had to live underground finding its way past the record industry due to technology, the 90s just bore me to tears. The commercialization of hip-hop was particularly painful and I don't think hip-hop has ever really recovered. Rock finally died after its last gasp with Grunge. Bro-rock became a thing. Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Celine Dion, NSync, LeeAnn Rimes, Color Me Badd, Shania Twain, Brittney, et al., reclaimed and galvanized the airwaves with easily reproducible mass-market Pop for the Big Record Industry and we have never recovered from that as the top Pop artists today are direct extensions of that group, with little to no inventiveness or originality. Everything good we have today seems to be like the musical version of the French Underground fighting against Nazi occupation.
The 90s, to me, were the death of music (not without some great musicians and occasional great music) that real artists since have had to fight and claw their way through the legacy of just to be heard.



I really can't agree with that. The 90s saw Kieslowski at his prime, Wong Kar Wai exploding onto the cinematic scene (4 films in the 90s), Jean Pierre Jeunet's first feature, Korean new wave films like Christmas in August and Peppermint Candy, a resurgence in French cinema with films like La Haine, 7 films released by Takeshi Kitano, the continuation of Iranian New Wave with Mohsen Makmhalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami making some beautiful cinema (Gabbeh, Taste of Cherry, Close Up), Pedro Almodovar advancing his career with All About My Mother and The Flower of My Secret, 'Open Your Eyes', the Spanish film that spawned the terrible remake called 'Vanilla Sky', 4 David Lynch films plus

Audition
Kikujiro
The War Zone
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
The Virgin Suicides
The Thin Red Line
Show me Love
I Stand Alone
Eternity and a Day
Buffalo 66
Funny Games
Nil by Mouth
Mother and Son
Pusher
Breaking the Waves
Welcome to the Dollhouse
Kids
Before Sunrise
The Reflecting Skin
Kurosawa's Dreams
Rosetta
Porco Rosso
Princess Mononoke
The Eel


and probably many, many more that I have not yet discovered.
As I say elsewhere, every decade will have its great art, but in the 90s it is the exception to me. When we look at how these things are defined we cannot just ignore the mainstream. And keep in mind that American cinema is the mainstream and has been since the early days of the industry (conversations about how East Asian cinema is really big NOW aren't really relevant to this discussion). The mainstream ultimately tells the tale. In every decade mainstream art will generally be lesser than the underground art but how good is the mainstream art? Because that's what is mostly being offered, what most people are consuming, and what most people will remember. How much is it influenced by the great art that is being made? How often are those lines blurred as they so often were in the 1970s for example, when some of the greatest films ever made were also the most successful of their time? The 90s to me are the least in that area.
Which, again, does not mean that great art wasn't made then. Of course it was. But then we also have to look at how much great art broke through and how influential the art of a decade was going forward and it really feels like we've spent most of the last two decades trying to be better than the 90s. Which is some form of influence I guess.
Every other decade of film I watch I generally feel pretty comfortable going in but if I see a film was made in the 90s, especially in American cinema, I am much less likely to take a chance with my 2 hours (at my age hours matter).



Three Colours Blue
The Double Life of Veronique
I especially like that you singled out Blue from the Three Colors.
Most people choose Red.
I actually also really liked White, unlike most (I actually think people don't like it because they inevitably compare it to the other two but watch it on its own and its quite a good film).
But Blue is the one that just stunned me.



All good points.
Honestly, I have said many, many times to people, particularly before the 80s revival that has gone on the last few years, but there is good music made in every decade, it's not like people just forget how to write songs, but of all the decades since, say the 1920s, I find the 90s the least interesting, musically and probably artistically in general, overall. Again, not to say that there wasn't good and even some great music, but when I think of the dawn of Rock and Roll in the '50s, its revolutionary offspring of the 1960s, the artistic greatness all over the place of the 1970s, the inventiveness and complete break from the past of the 80s, I don't really have anything for the 2000s without reviewing it, and now the 2010s is so much the time of great music that has always had to live underground finding its way past the record industry due to technology, the 90s just bore me to tears. The commercialization of hip-hop was particularly painful and I don't think hip-hop has ever really recovered. Rock finally died after its last gasp with Grunge. Bro-rock became a thing. Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, Celine Dion, NSync, LeeAnn Rimes, Color Me Badd, Shania Twain, Brittney, et al., reclaimed and galvanized the airwaves with easily reproducible mass-market Pop for the Big Record Industry and we have never recovered from that as the top Pop artists today are direct extensions of that group, with little to no inventiveness or originality. Everything good we have today seems to be like the musical version of the French Underground fighting against Nazi occupation.
The 90s, to me, were the death of music (not without some great musicians and occasional great music) that real artists since have had to fight and claw their way through the legacy of just to be heard.
I guess I was more into the stuff happening in the alternative/shoegaze/indie rock, techno/electronica/ambient and trip hop genres than you were. Also, what the progressive and psychedelic rock revival bands like Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and Marillion were doing as well as mainstream industrial rock bands like KMFDM and NIN still holds up.
Oh well, I better digress before Yoda moves this thread to the Music and Television Forum.
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Professional horse shoe straightener
As I say elsewhere, every decade will have its great art, but in the 90s it is the exception to me. When we look at how these things are defined we cannot just ignore the mainstream. And keep in mind that American cinema is the mainstream and has been since the early days of the industry (conversations about how East Asian cinema is really big NOW aren't really relevant to this discussion). The mainstream ultimately tells the tale. In every decade mainstream art will generally be lesser than the underground art but how good is the mainstream art? Because that's what is mostly being offered, what most people are consuming, and what most people will remember.
American cinema has not been the mainstream since the early days of cinema. Cinema was around a couple of decades at least before America got involved. But that's a moot point.

I keep saying this but just because it's what most people are consuming, doesn't really have any bearing on how the whole industry should be judged. Just like - a Big Mac is one of the most consumed meals in the world - but has no bearing on how the Partridge escalope in parmesan crumb dish at the Ritz Carlton tastes.


How much is it influenced by the great art that is being made? How often are those lines blurred as they so often were in the 1970s for example, when some of the greatest films ever made were also the most successful of their time? The 90s to me are the least in that area.
Which, again, does not mean that great art wasn't made then. Of course it was. But then we also have to look at how much great art broke throughh and how influential the art of a decade was going forward and it really feels like we've spent most of the last two decades trying to be better than the 90s. Which is some form of influence I guess.
I have an issue with the underlined. How often do we hear 'But his work was never appreciated fully at the time, and he died penniless'

Vincent van Gogh
Claude Monet
the music of Nick Drake

all were shunned and never appreciated, in some cases because they are so ground-breaking they are rejected by their peers (as was the case with Monet's art that galleries refused to hang because it was so different). So the opposite here is true.

Every other decade of film I watch I generally feel pretty comfortable going in but if I see a film was made in the 90s, especially in American cinema, I am much less likely to take a chance with my 2 hours (at my age hours matter).
Again, that may be because the cinematic output of 1 country was of lower quality. There are 194 other countries to choose great films from!!!



Baby's Day Out
Pulp Fiction
....I dunno a few others.



Thelma & Louise (1991)
Batman Returns (1992)
True Romance (1993)
Maverick (1994)
Heat (1995)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Scream (1996)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Titanic (1997)



I guess I was more into the stuff happening in the alternative/shoegaze/indie rock, techno/electronica/ambient and trip hop genres than you were. Also, what the progressive and psychedelic rock revival bands like Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater and Marillion were doing as well as mainstream industrial rock bands like KMFDM and NIN still holds up.
Oh well, I better digress before Yoda moves this thread to the Music and Television Forum.
Ha!
Yes, I agree that there was a LOT of good stuff in the 90s including most everything you named. I'm a big Mazzy Star and Cowboys Junkies fan, myself, and I think Alice In Chains was like a thunderbolt. But when I look back now as someone pushing 50 who loves music from basically every decade since they got rid of the ****ing harpsichord (god I hate that thing), the 90s, on the whole, is kinda my least favorite and has my least favorite dominant style. It definitely does not diminish the music that actually WAS good.
And also, movies.



American cinema has not been the mainstream since the early days of cinema. Cinema was around a couple of decades at least before America got involved. But that's a moot point.

I keep saying this but just because it's what most people are consuming, doesn't really have any bearing on how the whole industry should be judged. Just like - a Big Mac is one of the most consumed meals in the world - but has no bearing on how the Partridge escalope in parmesan crumb dish at the Ritz Carlton tastes.




I have an issue with the underlined. How often do we hear 'But his work was never appreciated fully at the time, and he died penniless'

Vincent van Gogh
Claude Monet
the music of Nick Drake

all were shunned and never appreciated, in some cases because they are so ground-breaking they are rejected by their peers (as was the case with Monet's art that galleries refused to hang because it was so different). So the opposite here is true.



Again, that may be because the cinematic output of 1 country was of lower quality. There are 194 other countries to choose great films from!!!
I have to disagree with your opening statement due to the number of times I have read legendary international filmmakers talking about how Hollywood has influenced cinema as a whole by far more than any other entity. Has nothing to do with my tastes, I love cinema from all over and always have, I love it going back to the silent films and up to this year, but it is what most everything I've read, seen, or heard about the history of cinema says. Hollywood was always influenced by what they found all over the world but they ended up putting on the big show that everybody saw. They were the Big League not just in America.

But you actually point out that the greatness does eventually break through. And what I'm really talking about is how much great film can influence the mainstream in its time or how much it can transcend the mainstream.



Professional horse shoe straightener
I have to disagree with your opening statement due to the number of times I have read legendary international filmmakers talking about how Hollywood has influenced cinema as a whole by far more than any other entity.
That's a completely different argument.

Has nothing to do with my tastes, I love cinema from all over and always have, I love it going back to the silent films and up to this year, but it is what most everything I've read, seen, or heard about the history of cinema says. Hollywood was always influenced by what they found all over the world but they ended up putting on the big show that everybody saw. They were the Big League not just in America.
That notion would lead to the thought that anything Hollywood HASN'T copied isn't much good. I'd disagree with that.

But you actually point out that the greatness does eventually break through. And what I'm really talking about is how much great film can influence the mainstream in its time or how much it can transcend the mainstream.
Again....it can, and does. But when it doesn't influence the mainstream, it has no bearing on quality.