Skip to main content
Mark Llobrera

Top level navigation menu

Film Nostalgia: 1999

Two big bites of 1999 movie memories:

1999 was the year I graduated from college, and I have vivid memories of seeing many of these films in the theater with my friends. After graduation I worked in New York City, and I was spoiled by the ready access to indie/specialty theaters.1 This was also the period of time when DVD started gaining steam, so I rewatched a lot of these after getting them on disc.

The breadth of releases—in terms of budget and genre—really deepens my sadness about the current state of film today. Just look at the board for the Big Picture draft:

A 7x6 board detailing The Big Picture podcast’s 1999 movie draft. The columns are arranged by the various podcast hosts and guests, and the rows are different categories: drama, action/thriller/horror, comedy, blockbuster, oscar nom, and wild card.
Image copyright The Ringer

You’ve got massive romantic comedies like Notting Hill,2 big ensemble pieces like Magnolia, ground-breaking genre spectacles like The Matrix, Pulp Fiction knockoffs that were somehow also good (Go3). But also some absolutely weird stuff as well: Existenz, Being John Malkovich, Dogma. How many of these could get made today, much less garner a theatrical release?

  1. On a whim I checked the Angelika Theater’s website and they’re running 25th anniversary screenings of Run Lola Run, which I originally saw there. ↩︎

  2. Which was a regular ol’ release at the time but which now feels like a miracle on rewatch. ↩︎

  3. A film that’s absurdly hard to track down on Blu-ray. Fingers crossed for a rerelease. ↩︎