Sunday, January 11, 2009

Party at the Movies like It's 1999.......

Jason over at Jamais Vu has had a brilliant idea: to compose a blog retrospective of 12 of the best films from a decade ago, one short meditation on each film per month of 2009. The goal is to examine some great films with the added perspective that ten years can offer. And it's only that much more appealing since several of the years since then have been cinematic duds (I would argue that 2007 was a similarly excellent year for film; Jason makes the case for 2001 as another great year).

Either way, I'm piggy-backing on his idea (read: stealing it blatantly), and I will also compose a little ode to an interesting/important film from one of my favorite movie years. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this all turns out. Jason and I have a tendency to see media culture from similar vantage points, even if we tend to come to different conclusions about how it works. Case in point, both of us believe that 1999 is the best year in American film in our lifetimes, although (as you'll see) our list of favorites (or at least important films) is slightly different, and I suspect that we'll have slightly different approaches to the films both of us will be discussing. Honestly, I think this is the kind of project that bloggers as a community should do more often, rather than reserving the dialogue (often one-sided) for year-end best-of lists (I'm obviously not exempt from criticism here).

In any case, here is the rundown as I'm writing about them (which diverges a bit from Jason's list):

January: Election
February: The Talented Mr. Ripley
March: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
April: Fight Club
May: Office Space
June: Three Kings
July: Magnolia
August: The Limey
September: The Matrix
October: The Insider
November: Eyes Wide Shut
December: Being John Malkovich

I'm really sad not to be writing about eXisTenZ or Go or Audition (or Dead or Alive or any of the 27 other Takashi Miike films from that year), but this seems like a solid list (and I didn't discover Miike until around 2003 or so, anyway). More than solid. I actually love every film I've listed here, and it's unusual to see a list so long from a single year. In any case, I should blog about Election in the next week or so, and I welcome others to join in on the conversation.

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