1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 2)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

1990s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 2)

#1 Post by zedz » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:53 pm

Your ballots for the 1990s list are due at the end of June 2009. PM them to me.

THE RULES

1) Each individual list is to comprise no more or less than 50 films, ranked in your order of preference. If you haven't seen 50 films from the 1990s that you think are genuinely great, don't bother voting. (If you are currently in this unfortunate position and want to rectify that before the end of June, then this is the thread for you!)
2) Any feature film, documentary, experimental film, short film, music video, TV miniseries, TV movie or TV special released in the 1990s is eligible.
3) Television series or seasons / episodes of television series are not eligible.
4) The date given on imdb is the relevant date for determining eligibility, even when it's clearly wrong.
5) Two-part films released separately (e.g. Eisenstein's Ivans) count as one film. Trilogies (e.g. Ray's Apus) count as separate films.




Now off you go with your recommendations. warnings, capsule reviews and rash promises.

My number one, for this and any decade, will be Yang's A Brighter Summer Day. If anybody's doing swapsies and can track it down, I'll try to reciprocate with your top choice.
Last edited by zedz on Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#2 Post by Cold Bishop » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:28 pm

I'm willing to volunteer to assist anyone to track down A Brighter Summer Day. Although I don't have it on hand at this moment, its easy to track down, and after not being able to find The Terrorizers, I'll make sure not to lose it this time. I have to agree that its the best of the decade and I really hope everyone takes the chance to see it. I have my top three figured out, and already sketched around 20 films that could contend for the top 10.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#3 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:31 pm

I'm pretty excited about this one, and already have a pretty long temp list. I think a lot of lower rankings will change, but, if I may offer an odd number, here is the fairly concrete top of my list:

Fucking Åmål (Moodysson)
La Ceremonie (Chabrol)
To Sleep With Anger (Burnett)
Nouvelle Vague (Godard)
Dick (Fleming)
Husbands and Wives (Allen)
Miami Blues (Armitage)

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Murdoch
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#4 Post by Murdoch » Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:58 pm

Definitely going to be on my list:

Chungking Express (Wong)
Crash (Cronenberg)
Naked Lunch (Cronenberg)
Dead Man (Jarmusch)
Joe Versus the Volcano (Shanley)
In the Company of Men (Labute)
Exotica (Egoyan)
Dark City (Proyas)

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swo17
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#5 Post by swo17 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:09 pm

Much to explore here, but some (I think) generally overlooked* favorites of mine at the start:

Miller's Crossing (Coen)
Waiting for Guffman (Guest)
Your Friends & Neighbors (LaBute)
Happiness (Solondz)
Naked Lunch (Cronenberg)
Exotica (Egoyan)
Ed Wood (Burton)
Night on Earth (Jarmusch)
Ravenous (Bird)
Bound (Wachowski)
Jacob's Ladder (Lyne)

Wow, going through my shortlist, I seem to have seen regrettably few foreign films from this decade that have left a lasting impression. (I haven't seen many of the ones that have been mentioned so far in this thread.) That will probably be my focus through most of the project.

Finally, I would suggest that people divert their Fincher love away from Fight Club and towards The Game.


*other than the fact Murdoch just mentioned some of the same ones :wink:
Last edited by swo17 on Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#6 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:19 pm

If we're doing swapsies, the film I'd like everyone to see is Dick. I intend to either make a thread or just give an in-depth appreciation here in the next few days, as I suspect calling this movie a capital G Great Film requires a strong defense beforehand. However, since the film is so bound in Americana of a certain time and a dependency on knowing American political and popular culture from the early 70s (and in particular the 70s Cinema of Paranoia), I am also offering Miami Blues as an alternate swap for non-Americans-- or for those insistent on not seeing Dick.

Neither of these films are (or will be) my number one, but they're near the top and I think both would end up overlooked otherwise

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Yojimbo
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#7 Post by Yojimbo » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:36 pm

domino harvey wrote:I'm pretty excited about this one, and already have a pretty long temp list. I think a lot of lower rankings will change, but, if I may offer an odd number, here is the fairly concrete top of my list:

Fucking Åmål (Moodysson)
La Ceremonie (Chabrol)
To Sleep With Anger (Burnett)
Nouvelle Vague (Godard)
Dick (Fleming)
Husbands and Wives (Allen)
Miami Blues (Armitage)
I luhve 'To Sleep With Anger' and 'Miami Blues': I think 'La Ceremonie' is a tad overrated: great performances by the two leads though.

something for everybody in this list of faves
Autobus
Blue Steel
Braindead
Butcher Boy, The
Calendar
Conte D'Automne
Dead Man
Death In Brunswick
Hairdresser's Husband, The
Mother And Son
Notes From The Underground
One False Move
Sátántangó
Slacker
Underneath, The

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Murdoch
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#8 Post by Murdoch » Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:55 pm

I'll definitely be watching a lot of Hou's and Kaurismaki's work, along with Satantango and A Brighter Summer Day (which I don't own, but will scour the depths of eBay to find).

Speaking of Dick, something I'd recommend that fits into the same category would be Bowfinger. Two actors I can't stand (Eddie Murphy and Heather Graham) and Steve Martin (who I've always liked as a comedian, but not as an actor) usually cause me to steer far, FAR from any movie, but I caught this a few years ago and it's become a favorite. I find it both hilarious and scary that Murphy can play two different roles in the movie with no prosthetics and still make it seem like he's two completely different people.

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Tom Hagen
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#9 Post by Tom Hagen » Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:04 pm

The top of my list will have a lot of love for Kieslowski (I may put three of his films in my top ten), Wong Kar-wai, Goodfellas, PTA's two epics, All About My Mother, and The Big Lebowski.

My swapsie this time around is Bringing out the Dead, Marty's overlooked masterpiece and the perfect encapsulation of the primary themes that have defined his and Schrader's respective careers.

And let the debate begin about JFK . . .

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luridedith
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#10 Post by luridedith » Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:07 am

My top ten of the top of my head (one per director, biased towards cult, obscure, marginalized films):

Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)
Bad Boy Bubby (Rolf de Heer, 1993)
Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996)
Gummo (Harmony Korine, 1997)
Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998)
Fucking Åmål (Lukas Moodysson, 1998)
Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)
The Baby Of Mâcon (Peter Greenaway, 1993)
Freeway (Matthew Bright, 1996)
Welcome To The Dollhouse (Todd Solondz, 1996)

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#11 Post by Cold Bishop » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:28 am

Murdoch wrote:A Brighter Summer Day (which I don't own, but will scour the depths of eBay to find).
Like I said: Give me a little time, and I'll see to it anyone interested in seeing this can.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#12 Post by domino harvey » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:32 am

luridedith wrote:Freeway (Matthew Bright, 1996)
God, I haven't seen this movie in at least ten years and I can still remember it vividly. Great call, it and other good satires from the 90s, like Galaxy Quest, Gremlins II: the New Batch, and Citizen Ruth, are all likely candidates for my list. Along the comedy tip, all of Whit Stillman and Noah Baumbach's films will be in the running, but allow me to make a special plea for Barcelona and Mr Jealousy.

The two Die Hard sequels, each better than the film before it, could also make a strong showing. Toy Story (Still the only Pixar film I've ever liked) will likely chart nicely. As much as I rag on its director, Pulp Fiction will surely earn a spot somewhere on my list. The best of the Pulp Fiction imitations, Go, could find a home as well. I've never been much for Burton outside of Beetlejuice and Ed Wood, so this seems like the time to cast a vote in his direction. Mamet's the Spanish Prisoner will deservedly fare well with many on this board, but don't forget about the under-seen the Winslow Boy, or Michael Corrente's terrific adaptation of American Buffalo. However, Mamet's filmed version of his own Oleanna astonishingly wrecks the source material and should be avoided at all costs.

Also the 90s were a great time for one of our best actresses, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Besides Miami Blues, be sure to catch her in Georgia, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and eXistenZ, among others.



Here are Cahiers du Cinema's lists from the 90s:

Code: Select all

1990
	
   1. The Little Criminal (Jacques Doillon)
   2. Freeze, Die, Come To Life (Vitali Kanevski)
   3. Nouvelle Vauge (Jean-Luc Godard)
   4. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
   5. Alexanndria Encore Et Tojours (Youssef Chahine)
   6. No, Or The Vain Glory Of Command (Manoel De Oliveira)
   7. Hidden Star (Ritwik Ghatak)
   8. Dreams (Akira Kurosawa)
   9. La Desenchantee (Benoit Jacquot)
  10. Crimes And Misdemeanors (Woody Allen)


1991
	
   1. Van Gogh (Maurice Pialat)
   2. Miller's Crossing (Ethan and Joel Coen)
   3. Barton Fink (Ethan and Joel Coen)
   4. The Godfather Part 3 (Francis Ford Coppola)
   5. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
   6. J' entends plus la guitare (Philippe Garrel)
   7. Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton)
   8. Rhapsody in August (Akira Kurosawa)
   9. Les amants du Pont-Neuf (Leos Carax)
  10. Paris s'eveille (Olivier Assayas)


1992
	
   1. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
   2. Agantuk ( Satyajit Ray)
   3. And Life Goes On... (Abbas Kiarostami)
   4. Husbands and Wives (Woody Allen)
   5. Savage Nights (Cyril Collard)
   6. Border Line (Danihle Dubroux)
   7. La sentinelle (Arnaud Desplechin)
   8. Conte d'hiver (Eric Rohmer)
   9. La chasse aux papillons (Otar Iosseliani)
  10. A Brighter Summer Day (Edward Yang)
  11. Le chene (Lucian Pintille)
  12. Le mirage (Jean-Claude Guiguet)
  13. La maison du sourire (Marco Ferreri)


1993
	
   1. A Perfect World (Clint Eastwood)
   2. Valley of Abraham (Manoel De Oliveira)
   3. The Tree, The Mayor And The Mediatheque (Eric Rohmer)
   4. Smoking/No Smoking (Alain Resnais)
   5. In The Land Of The Deaf (Nicolas Philbert)
   6. Days And Nights In The Forest (Satyajit Ray)
   7. Mad Dog And Glory (John McNaughton)
   8. Innocent Blood (John Landis)
   9. Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara)
  10. Helas Pour Moi (Jean-Luc Godard)


1994

   1. Caro Diario (Nanni Moretti)
   2. I Can't Sleep (Claire Denis)
   3. Carlito's Way (Brian DePalma)
   4. Wild Reeds (Andre Techine)
   5. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick)
   6. Travolta And Me (Patricia Mazuy)
   7. L'Enfer (Claude Chabrol)
   8. Jeanne La Pucelle (Jacques Rivette)
   9. U.S. Go Home (Claire Denis)
  10. Coming To Terms With The Dead (Pascale Ferran)
  11. M Butterfly (David Cronenberg)


1995
	
   1. La Ceremonie (Claude Chabrol)
   2. Le Garcu (Maurice Pialat)
   3. Waati (Souleymane Cisse)
   4. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood)
   5. Oublie-Moi (Noemie Lvovsky)
   6. The Flower Of My Secret (Pedro Almodovar)
   7. Sonatine (Takeshi Kitano)
   8. Ed Wood (Tim Burton)
   9. Through The Olive Trees (Abbas Kiarostami)
  10. In The Mouth Of Madness (John Carpenter)


1996
	
   1. Crash (David Cronenberg)
   2. For Ever Mozart (Jean-Luc Godard)
   3. Casino (Martin Scorsese)
   4. Comment je me suis dispute... (Arnaud Desplechin)
   5. La comedie de dieu (Joao Cesar Monteiro)
   6. Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
   7. Les voleurs (Andre Techine)
   8. Mission: Impossible (Brian DePalma)
   9. Encore (Pascal Bonitzer)
  10. Parfait amour (Catherine Breillat)
  11. N'oublie pas que tu vas mourir (Xavier Beauvois)


1997
	
   1. Hana-Bi (Takeshi Kitano)
   2. Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
   3. Lost Highway (David Lynch)
   4. The Eel (Shohei Imamura)
   5. The River (Tsai Ming-liang)
   6. The Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami)
   7. On connait la chanson (Alain Resnais)
   8. Le Septieme Ciel (Benoit Jacquot)
   9. Face/Off (John Woo)
  10. Scream (Wes Craven)
  11. Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai)


1998
	
   1. Flowers of Shanghai (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
   2. Dr. Akagi (Shohei Imamura)
   3. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (Clint Eastwood)
   4. Conte d'automne (Eric Rohmer)
   5. Inquiétude (Manoel de Oliveira)
   6. Sue (Amos Kollek)
   7. L'Ennui (Cédric Kahn)
   8. Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes)
   9. Snake Eyes (Brian De Palma)
  10. Ossos (Pedro Costa)
  11. Titanic (James Cameron)
  12. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino)
  13. L'Arrière Pays (Jacques Nolot)


1999
	
   1. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
   2. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami)
   3. Sicilia! (Jean-Marie Straub/Daniele Huillet)
   4. eXistenZ (David Cronenberg)
   5. Night Wind (Philippe Garrel)
   6. True Crime (Clint Eastwood)
   7. The Letter (Manoel de Oliveira)
   8. The Straight Story (David Lynch)
   9. Ghost Dog (Jim Jarmusch)
  10. Les Noces de Dieu (Joao César Monteiro)


Best Films of the 1990s
	
   1. Carlito's Way (Brian De Palma)
   2. Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
   3. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood)
   4. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)
   5. Twin Peaks (David Lynch)
   6. Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami)
   7. Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)
   8. Crash (David Cronenberg)
   9. Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton)
  10. The River (Tsai Ming-liang)

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RodneyOz
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#13 Post by RodneyOz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:52 am

A Brighter Summer Day can be obtained (in the full length version) from eBay Malaysia, from a store called something like oneworldDVD.

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zedz
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#14 Post by zedz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:00 am

domino harvey wrote: I am also offering Miami Blues as an alternate swap for non-Americans
I remember this being unexpectedly excellent at the time and will endeavour to track it down again. And I'll sniff around for Dick too (amended from an even more tasteless pun - I can see where this discussion will end up).

The Cahiers list is interesting, but be aware that, owing to the vagaries of French releases, not all of these are eligible 90s films. Hell, they've even got Days and Nights in the Forest on there.

Also highly recommended from the 90s, off the top of my head:
Van Gogh (Pialat)
Nenette et Boni (Denis) - J'ai pas sommeil is fantastic too, and is available in R1
And Life Goes On. . / Life and Nothing More (Kiarostami) - any Kiarostami, basically, though the readily available Taste of Cherry is probably my least favourite of the decade and the only one that definitely won't be making my top 50.
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf) - very nearly outdoes Kiarostami at his own game, an extremely elaborate and ingenious self-reflexive tribute
Sink or Swim (Friedrich) - and Rules of the Road is almost as good

More to come!

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#15 Post by tojoed » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:28 am

I offer Blier's "Mon Homme" or Altman's "Vincent and Theo" for a swap to anyone.

I was going to say I like Dick, but I'll rephrase it. It's one I have on DVD and have seen a few times. I remember the period very well, terrific film. So Domino, I'll take one of your others for a swap, it worked out well last time.

Zedz, I'll gladly send you my copy of Dick if you agree to watch Mon Homme.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#16 Post by Zazou dans le Metro » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:49 am

Barring a dramatic upset podiums in my personal stadium are occupied by (Gold )Beau Travail, (Silver) Drifting Clouds and (Bronze) Close Up. (Dream life of Angels and Savage Nights aren't far behind).

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#17 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:08 pm

zedz wrote:
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf) - very nearly outdoes Kiarostami at his own game, an extremely elaborate and ingenious self-reflexive tribute
!
I've only just recently watched my first Kiarostami, 'Close-Up', and I immediately thought how much it reminded me of that Makhmalbaf!
Of course K came first!

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zedz
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#18 Post by zedz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:36 pm

Yojimbo wrote:
zedz wrote:
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf) - very nearly outdoes Kiarostami at his own game, an extremely elaborate and ingenious self-reflexive tribute
!
I've only just recently watched my first Kiarostami, 'Close-Up', and I immediately thought how much it reminded me of that Makhmalbaf!
Of course K came first!
The fact that Makhmalbaf himself was the focus of the film he's riffing on is itself one of the most Kiarostamian things about it (!), which emphasises the Escherian reflexivity of the exercise. The more Makhmalbaf makes his film about Makhmalbaf the more he evokes the mise-en-abime Kiarostami of Life and Nothing More and Through the Olive Trees. See all these films together and you'll appreciate just how ingenious and witty both filmmakers are. And A Moment of Innocence, by giving some sense of Makhmalbaf's cultural profile, helps to explain the events recreated in Close Up.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#19 Post by Yojimbo » Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:54 pm

zedz wrote:
Yojimbo wrote:
zedz wrote:
A Moment of Innocence (Makhmalbaf) - very nearly outdoes Kiarostami at his own game, an extremely elaborate and ingenious self-reflexive tribute
!
I've only just recently watched my first Kiarostami, 'Close-Up', and I immediately thought how much it reminded me of that Makhmalbaf!
Of course K came first!
The fact that Makhmalbaf himself was the focus of the film he's riffing on is itself one of the most Kiarostamian things about it (!), which emphasises the Escherian reflexivity of the exercise. The more Makhmalbaf makes his film about Makhmalbaf the more he evokes the mise-en-abime Kiarostami of Life and Nothing More and Through the Olive Trees. See all these films together and you'll appreciate just how ingenious and witty both filmmakers are. And A Moment of Innocence, by giving some sense of Makhmalbaf's cultural profile, helps to explain the events recreated in Close Up.
Based on seeing both films, that Makhmalbaf starred in 'Close-Up', and that he's so much younger than K. one would have to conclude that he's been influenced by him

btw was it the ending which made you dislike 'Taste of Cherry'?

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#20 Post by swo17 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:31 pm

I have fond memories of both Dick and Bringing Out the Dead but I'll have to rewatch them to see if they still hold up for me.

If I had to pick one film at this point to force everyone to watch (preferably Clockwork Orange-style), it would be Your Friends & Neighbors, Neil LaBute's masterpiece of marital dysfunction and sexual obsession, and an even stronger film, I think, than the better known (but still great) In the Company of Men. Makes me proud to be a Utahn...(chokes back tears). Anyway, I would expect most people to have a strong reaction to it, one way or the other, but anyone willing to go swapsies on it, I would be glad to oblige.

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zedz
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#21 Post by zedz » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:54 pm

Yojimbo wrote:Based on seeing both films, that Makhmalbaf starred in 'Close-Up', and that he's so much younger than K. one would have to conclude that he's been influenced by him
I don't know all the ins and outs of their relationship, but Makhmalbaf is very much a post-revolutionary director, whereas Kiarostami got started in the 70s. While Kiarostami was quietly doing television work and educational or 'children's films' in the 1980s, Makhmalbaf was becoming one of the leading young Iranian directors, with a strong popular following (hence the protagonist's obsession in Close Up). So at the time of Close Up, Kiarostami was only just re-emerging into the world of 'mainstream' / adult Iranian cinema, while Makhmalbaf was its top dog. I think Makhmalbaf's openness to the influence was to his credit, given the circumstances.
btw was it the ending which made you dislike 'Taste of Cherry'?
Largely, but even without it I think the film is thinner than his other 90s features.

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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#22 Post by Perkins Cobb » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:07 pm

RodneyOz wrote:A Brighter Summer Day can be obtained (in the full length version) from eBay Malaysia, from a store called something like oneworldDVD.
Anybody know if this is a significant improvement (image quality-wise) than the VCD I've been putting off watching for years now?

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swo17
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#23 Post by swo17 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:58 pm

domino harvey wrote:Also the 90s were a great time for one of our best actresses, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Besides Miami Blues, be sure to catch her in Georgia, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and eXistenZ, among others.
Add Hudsucker Proxy to that list. She is phenomenal in that movie.

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Binker
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#24 Post by Binker » Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:53 pm

I started following the '80s thread a little too late to feel really comfortable submitting a list, but I'll definitely be referencing that thread for a while to come. =D> Good to get in on the ground floor of this one.

Movies that will definitely be making my list:

The Last Big Thing (Zukovic) ... I'll write about this film at length when I have a little more time. For now I'll just say that it will probably be charting either #1 or #2 on my list (Pialat's Van Gogh has the other spot) and is my choice for the exchange. It isn't available on VHS or DVD, but I'll upload a TV rip at some point.
Van Gogh (Pialat)
To Sleep With Anger (Burnett)
Happy Together (Wong Kar Wai)
Election (Payne)
Quiz Show (Redford)
Good Will Hunting (Van Sant)
Both Limbo and City of Hope (Sayles) will rank highly

In addition, if anyone has any info on tracking down a bootleg copy of U.S. Go Home (Claire Denis), I would be much obliged.

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Murdoch
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Re: 1990s List Discussion and Suggestions

#25 Post by Murdoch » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:10 am

swo17 wrote:
domino harvey wrote:Also the 90s were a great time for one of our best actresses, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Besides Miami Blues, be sure to catch her in Georgia, Mrs Parker and the Vicious Circle, Last Exit to Brooklyn, and eXistenZ, among others.
Add Hudsucker Proxy to that list. She is phenomenal in that movie.
Also, in Rush she did a great job; an underseen film but it might make it on my list.

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