Movie Question #2
What's Your Favorite Year of Film?
Each year, new films are released every single weekend for us to see at the theaters. Each year, our cinematic intake is full of hits and misses. Sometimes though, a year has a lot more hits than misses, and those years end up sticking out more in my memory. There have been several great years of cinema, several mediocre films in cinema and of course, several terrible years in cinema. With this in mind I am wondering just which year rises above all the rest. What is the most special year in movies, the year that makes every other year pail in comparison?
The honest answer, I have no clue.
I probably won't have a clue for quite awhile. I don't exactly know because I literally have not seen every single movie from every single year. Even the best critics in the world haven't seen every single movie from every single year. I feel the only real way you can measure a year is by the movies that were released this in the said year. Yes, I am a movie addict and I see boatloads of new films each year, from every genre, from every decade, new and old. But, I am not going to even pretend that I have seen every single piece of art committed to film. Nobody really has, and I am no different. So by this point, you are probably thinking that this question makes no sense, but hear me out.
I am 25 years old right now and I have seen a lot of different movies. I think if you have really been paying attention on this blog over the past year, you know how open-minded I am about everything there is to see. Over the 25 years of my life, there have been several years of grand cinema. I lived through the 1990's and the 2000's and most of the 2010's so far, and there is a great deal of cinematic history to appreciate, from any culture and from any country. I have decided to discuss the year that I feel is the best year of cinema that I have lived through. in my eyes, there is only one clear answer.
My favorite year of cinema that I ever lived through was 1999.
Overall, I personally feel like 1999 was the best year I have been apart of so far. I feel like pop culture by itself hit a stride unlike anything I had witnessed up to that point and I don't think that stride has been hit since. Music, television, MOVIES, literature...it all hit a fresh high that hadn't been felt before. It seemed that every new piece of entertainment was ambitious, hip, clever, even somewhat dangerous. The entertainment value was huge that year. On top of everything, I had some big personal things that really made the year better too, but that is a completely different story.
The movies released in 1999 were a big part of why 1999 was a year to remember overall. It seemed in 1999 that each genre of film were in sync with each other, and they came forth with some of their best material in seemingly ages. Look at the animated films of 1999, look at the dramas, look at the comedies, look at the foreign films. I mean, sheesh, my personal favorite teen-comedy came out in 1999 and that is remarkable that a teen-comedy worth mentioning came out at all. There was so much good that came out in 1999, from nearly every genre that it was overwhelming.
For each year, I have created a personal top 10 favorite films. The year 1999 is the only year of my life where I hit complete Writer's Block when it came to coming up with a personal best list for the year. Even after so many years, I simply cannot make a best of the year list for 1999. I mean, let's reflect upon what came out that year. "Fight Club," "Magnolia," "American Beauty," "The Iron Giant," "Toy Story 3," "Run Lola Run," "The Insider," "Office Space," "Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace," "Being John Malkovich," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Sixth Sense," "The Mummy," "The Matrix," "Mystery Men," "Boys Don't Cry," "Go," "The Straight Story," "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut," "The Blair With Project," "Mystery Men," "Three Kings," "Mystery, Alaska," "Detroit Rock City," "Dogma," "The Green Mile...that is quite a mouthful. But this list of 20 or so films really highlights what made 1999 so special as a year. If you notice, these films are from a vast array of different genres, each representing their genre with glory. It should also be noted that I didn't list every movie that was great, that is right great. I think all of these movies are amazing, and I own most of them and I watch them often. Even the good films of the year like "The World is Not Enough," "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me," "Tarzan," "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalow," and "Galaxy Quest" were better than usual. So you can see how hard of a time it is to put into a pack of ten. These movies shattered the norms of their genres this year, they did more than just offer up a good time at the theater.
All of these films reflect why 1999 is so important to me. But these are not just movies I cherish. These movies changed the way I look at movies. Most importantly, they changed the way I view the world. Changed my being, changed my chemistry as a person. The year was life-altering for me, even if I didn't feel those altercations many years later. The point is that I felt them, and I understand that those experiences came from one special year.
All of this is humble evidence to why I firmly believe that 1999 was the best year of film that I have lived through.
What is your favorite year of cinema? Why is it your favorite year? What was it about that year of films that changed the way you thought of film?