Film

Decade-Dense: The 60 Most Memorable Films of 1999

On this final day of PopMatters' 1999 overview, awards season hype gives way to pure acting prowess and definitive directorial flair. Day Five: Toy Story 2 to Titus (November - December 1999)

Edited and Produced by Bill Gibron and Sarah Zupko

The difference in a decade can be remarkable. Imagine yourself at ten years of age, traipsing around the house without a care in the world. For you, the universe centers on nothing more than cartoons, sweets, and the horrific realities of life in the fifth grade. Now bump everything up. Suddenly, you're 20, probably in college, and concerned more with drinking, dating, and the daily avoidance of any and all classes. Well, two out of three ain't bad, especially when it comes to the maturation process. If anything, time can be our friend. It adds perspective, wisdom, a view enhanced by experience, learning, and an ability to really focus on the always broad big picture. This could explain the popularity and prevalence of "Best Of" retrospectives. It takes a while for the masses of media to narrow themselves down into something cogent and collective. And when they coincide with a birthday or anniversary, it makes the symbolism within the celebration all the sweeter.

Such is the case with our look back at the amazing movies of 1999. For those unaware, this was also the year of PopMatters' birth. Founded in October 1999 by editor and publisher Sarah Zupko, this online overview of the world of popular culture and media was there as DVD became a home video format phenomenon, as the dinosaur like CD gave way to the disc-less dimensions of the MP3, and as the Big Three broadcast giants started sweating under the commanding influence of hundreds of basic and pay channel alternatives. From competing styles to former and flailing superstars, PopMatters and its well-versed staff has been there through all the changes -- most significantly in music and films. And as a means of making sense of our undying commitment to delving into and dissecting the many options out there, we figured we'd go back and uncover some of 1999's most defining moments.

Therefore, in celebration of our decade at the cutting edge of everything cool, creative, and on occasion, crap, PopMatters offers the 60 Most Memorable Films of 1999. Actually, it's 62. In fact, had we the time and the tenacity, we could have come up with 65, or 75, or 100 -- it was just that kind of year. It's as if the cinematic stars aligned to create a kind of critical karma for all things celluloid. Most eras, you'd be hard pressed to find 20 efforts to celebrate. But thanks to a combination of acumen, imagination, and individual drive, the motion picture artform of 1999 found itself with a glut of clear cut classics. Time-wise, it truly represents an embarrassment of riches. The same thing could be said for PopMatters. Day in and day out, there is so much fine writing, so much smartly penned scholarship and snark that any temporal treasure chest would be overflowing.

Sure, there are titles we left off, obvious commercial creations like The Mummy, Notting Hill, and Varsity Blues. We've also the good sense not to go back and "reconsider" garbage like Wild Wild West, The Haunting, or Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigolo. Yes, there are also glaring omissions. Galaxy Quest? MIA. Arlington Road? Close, but not included. From our group's perspective, these are the movies that mattered, the calculated combination of sight and sound that left the most lasting and endearing of impressions. Argue over them, or suggest your own, but one thing's clear -- PopMatters shares a noble lineage with a lot of great movies. What better way to begin what is sure to be an extended commemoration. So sit back and enjoy PopMatters look at the 62 Most Memorable Films of 1999. It truly was a remarkable year on all accounts.

-- Bill Gibron

Music


Books


Film


Recent
Books

How the Template for Modern Combat Journalism Developed

The superbly researched Journalism and the Russo-Japanese War tells readers how Japan pioneered modern techniques of propaganda and censorship in the Russo-Japanese War.

Film

From Horrifying Comedy to Darkly Funny Horror: Bob Clark Films

What if I told you that the director of one of the most heartwarming and beloved Christmas movies of all time is the same director as probably the most terrifying and disturbing yuletide horror films of all time?

Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2007

Journey back 13 years to a stellar year for Rihanna, M.I.A., Arcade Fire, and Kanye West. From hip-hop to indie rock and everywhere in between, PopMatters picks the best 50 songs of 2007.

Music

'Modern' Is the Pinnacle of Post-Comeback Buzzcocks' Records

Presented as part of the new Buzzcocks' box-set, Sell You Everything, Modern showed a band that wasn't interested in just repeating itself or playing to nostalgia.

Music

​Nearly 50 and Nearly Unplugged: 'ChangesNowBowie' Is a Glimpse Into a Brilliant Mind

Nine tracks, recorded by the BBC in 1996 show David Bowie in a relaxed and playful mood. ChangesNowBowie is a glimpse into a brilliant mind.

Music

Reaching for the Sky: An Interview with Singer-Songwriter Bruce Sudano

How did Bruce Sudano become a superhero? PopMatters has the answer as Sudano celebrates the release of Spirals and reflects on his career from Brooklyn Dreams to Broadway.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch Are 'Live at the Village Vanguard' to Raise Money for Musicians

Esperanza Spalding and Fred Hersch release a live recording from a 2018 show to raise money for a good cause: other jazz musicians.

Music

Lady Gaga's 'Chromatica' Hides Its True Intentions Behind Dancefloor Exuberance

Lady Gaga's Chromatica is the most lively and consistent record she's made since Born This Way, embracing everything great about her dance-pop early days and giving it a fresh twist.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

Street Art As Sprayed Solidarity: Global Corona Graffiti

COVID-19-related street art functions as a vehicle for political critique and social engagement. It offers a form of global solidarity in a time of crisis.

Music

Gretchen Peters Honors Mickey Newbury With "The Sailor" and New Album (premiere + interview)

Gretchen Peters' latest album, The Night You Wrote That Song: The Songs of Mickey Newbury, celebrates one of American songwriting's most underappreciated artists. Hear Peters' new single "The Sailor" as she talks about her latest project.

Music

Okkyung Lee Goes From Classical to Noise on the Stellar 'Yeo-Neun'

Cellist Okkyung Lee walks a fine line between classical and noise on the splendid, minimalist excursion Yeo-Neun.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.