12 March 2008
1999 - The Year That Changed Everything?
Whenever Hollywood has a good year of quality movies being released, critics always refer back to the New Wave films of the 1970s that came from directors like Martin Scorsese, Terence Malick and Robert Altman. Though the 70s may be a defintive decade in terms of artistic output and is also the closest Hollywood has come to imitating European cinema, 1999 has become a much celebrated year for the new generation of film makers which dominate the Hollywood landscape today. Directors like Wes Andersen, Spike Jonze, Richard Linklater, David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, and Alexander Payne all cite the formidable influence of Francis Coppola's 'Apocalypse Now' on their work and it is interesting to reflect upon how the critical reputation of this epic war film continues to grow with each year. For me 'Apocalypse Now' is the still best Hollywood film made outside the studio system, I say this purely because no other film maker has been brave enough to risk their wealth, reputation and health just so they could get a personal project made. Many continue to criticise Coppola for his later years in the 1980s but that one film is one of the greatest American films ever made, and like Citizen Kane, it continues to influence more film makers than any other film that came out of the 1970s. 1999 was a crucial year for Hollywood film making as it did signal a significant turning point, launching the careers of many of the most important film makers working in the mainstream of Hollywood today.
Here is my list of the ten most definitive films of 1999: (in no particular order)
1. FIGHT CLUB (Director - David Fincher)
2. THREE KINGS (Director - David O Russell)
3. THE VIRGIN SUICIDES (Director - Sofia Coppola)
4. BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (Director - Spike Jonze)
5. ELECTION (Director - Alexander Payne)
6. BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (Director - Sanchez & Myrick)
7. MAGNOLIA (Director - Paul Thomas Anderson)
8. THE SIXTH SENSE (Director - M Night Shymalan)
9. THE INSIDER (Director - Michael Mann)
10. AMERICAN BEAUTY (Director - Sam Mendes)
Labels: film canons