Friday, 12 November 2010

Top 5 Films of the Nineties

The nineties has proved to be my favourite decade in film. I’m not sure why but there are enough contenders for this top 5 to make a decent top 15. It was a period that saw the arrival of a number of exciting new directors and a time when I had more say in the films I watched. Before the 90s I was mainly watching films chosen by consensus. Me and my mates would find a house to crash round after the pub, watch a crap film and have a few beers. This usually left us with a ropey comedy or a low budget horror film. Since the 2000s I’ve had children and the films have been almost exclusively animated.

1. Reservoir Dogs 1992 (Dir: Quentin Tarantino) – My favourite Tarantino film, seeing it for the first time was like witnessing the arrival of punk in music. A unique perspective, the warehouse setting, allowed the story to be gradually revealed whilst brilliant dialogue and an excellent cast kept your interest intact and provided some wonderfully comic moments. Harvey Keitel and Tim Roth provide the main focus and form an oddly loving relationship, all the more poigniant for Roth's true identity. Steve Buscemi adds some comic relief with his high energy nervous paranoia and Michael Masden combines psychotic ear slicing with a sauve sense of calm ("You're a big Lee Marvin fan, aren't you?").

2. Fargo 1996 (Dir: Joel & Ethan Coen) – The Coens get everything right with this darkly comic crime film set against the snow covered backdrop of Minnesota. Coen regular Frances McDormand is wonderful as Marge, the seven-month pregnant chief of police. But there are many impressive performances, especially William H. Macy, as the failing car salesmen trying to catch a break, and Steve Buscemi, in another fast talking east coast criminal role .

3. Pulp Fiction 1994 (Dir: Quentin Tarantino) – Probably more critically acclaimed than Dogs, Pulp Fiction is undoubtedly a brilliant piece of cinema. The three stories seamlessly intertwine though both plot development and timeline. It's packed full of memorable scenes; Vincent & Jules discussing the differences between Europe and America, Harvey Keitel's appearance as The Wolf arriving to help clear up the mess from an accidental hit and Christopher Walken telling the unintentionally humourous story of the gold watch.

4. Leon 1994 (Dir: Luc Besson) – A wonderfully subtle film that revolves around the relationship between a professional hit man, Jean Reno, and an orphaned 12 year old girl played by Natalie Portman. Besson avoids the obvious pitfalls of this relationship and creates a remarkable piece of cinema.

5. Fight Club 1999 (Dir: David Fincher) – A disorientating film that keeps its twist well hidden and leaves you with as many questions as answers come the conclusion. Reading the book helped me understand the film and watching the movie again helped me understand the book.



MusicIsOurHigh said...

I am so behind with my movie watching. I did see Fight Club but I think I'll have to check the library to catch up on some that you posted

Chopper said...

I'm rarely all that up to date. If you liked Fight Club I think you'd enjoy the others on this list.