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Thread: Favorites Of 1990

  1. #1
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    Favorites Of 1990

    This is the first of ten threads on 90s Cinema designed to list my favorite films of a decade that's recent enough to remember clearly and remote enough to merit reappraisal. Perhaps you would like to discuss or opine on a film from my list. Perhaps you would compile and post your own list. Any type of response is appreciated.

    Of course I believe the films I list are the "best" films of the year, but the word "favorites" stresses the fact that it's one guy's opinion and that my opinion reflects who I am and what I like. My taste is rather wide-ranging though, with no particular preference for or rejection of any genre.

    As it's become my practice, I split the list into two: one for films in English and one for films in a language other than English. Dates: I'm using dates of world premiere according to IMdb. This policy eliminates all kinds of complications, particularly with foreign-language films, which were likely released in the US over the course of several years. Films are listed in order of preference. Films that are not numbered are tied with the film preceding it.

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    Favorite English-Language Films Of 1990

    1. AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE (Jane Campion)
    2. LIFE IS SWEET (Mike Leigh)
    3. GOODFELLAS (Martin Scorsese)
    ---MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE (James Ivory)
    ---TO SLEEP WITH ANGER (Charles Burnett)
    6. ARCHANGEL (Guy Maddin)
    ---HIDDEN AGENDA (Ken Loach)
    ---JACOB'S LADDER (Adrian Lyne)
    ---REVERSAL OF FORTUNE (Barbet Schroeder)
    ---WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART (Clint Eastwood)
    11.TEXASVILLE (Peter Bogdanovich)

    Runners-Up
    Paris is Burning, The Godfather Part III, Longtime Companion, Henry and June, Dick Tracy, Edward Scissorhands, Trust, Twin Peaks-Pilot, Miller's Crossing, The Sheltering Sky.
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 07-22-2016 at 10:13 AM.

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    Favorite Foreign-Language Films of 1990

    1. AY CARMELA! (Carlos Saura/Spain)
    --CLOSE UP (Abbas Kiarostami/Iran)
    --JU DOU (Zhang Yimou/China)
    4. FALLEN FROM HEAVEN (Francisco Lombardi/Peru)
    5. EUROPA EUROPA (Agnieszka Holland/Poland)
    6. LARKS ON A STRING (Jiri Menzel/ Czech Republic)
    -- URANUS (Claude Berri/France)
    8. TILAI (Idrissa Ouedraogo/Burkina Faso)
    9. AMELIA LOPEZ O'NEILL (Valeria Sarmiento/Chile)
    -- CYRANO DE BERGERAC (J. Rappeneau/France)

    Runners-Up
    Letters from Alou (Spa), Everybody's Fine (Ita), Taxi Blues (Russia), Rodrigo D:No Future (Colombia), My Mother's Castle (Fra), My Father's Glory (Fra), Tie Me Up,Tie Me Down (Spa), Tatie Danielle (Fra)
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 05-26-2014 at 01:24 AM.

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    This sounds awesome; I've always wanted to better compile my thoughts on films in the 90s.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  5. #5
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    I'm glad you like the idea. I'm hoping the threads stimulate some discussion. A personal reason is to figure out which 90s films I should re-watch in the limited time I have, since keeping up with current releases gets priority. I'm very pleased that finally An Angel at My Table is getting due recognition thanks to a superb Criterion release last fall. It's my favorite Aussie film and one of the very best biographical films ever (about writer Janet Frame from New Zealand).

    Reappraising foreign-language movies is more daunting because they're not so widely available. Two from the list were never shown in the US outside of festivals. Several are available only on vhs, if you can find them: Ay Carmela!, Tilai, and Uranus. Do the members believe everything released on vhs will eventually come out on disc? If not, I better hunt down the rare remaining vhs copies of those flicks pronto.

    I'll be posting the 1991 list today.

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    So can I assume you're not a fan of Akira Kurosawa's Dreams? That's probably my pick for that year, though I need to look a few things up.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

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    I considered listing Dreams as a runner-up because of its undeniable beauty, which is reason enough to recommend it. I'm glad you brought it up. It's the content behind the visuals that's inconsistent. I found some of the dreams either shallow or preachy, even though A.K.'s pontifications about ecology, the dangers of atomic energy, etc. are sincere and morally impeccable. Perhaps the best dream casts Marty Scorsese as Vincent Van Gogh?! IMdb voters rate Akira Kurosawa's Dreams as one of the top 5 foreign-language films of 1991, along with Europa Europa, Ju Dou, My Father's Glory, and Bullet in the Head (which also just missed making my list). I found Kurosawa's swan song, Rhapsody in August (1991), to have greater dramatic impact than Dreams. Have you seen it?
    Last edited by oscar jubis; 05-13-2006 at 05:05 PM.

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    Nay, my friend, I have not, but it's Kurosawa, so I imagine it's not abhorrent.

    From what I've discussed, it seems to me like the "Crows" segment was actually the weakest in popular opinion. I found it average, I suppose. My favorites include "The Blizzard" and "Mt. Fuji in Red." "The Tunnel" freaked the crap out of me.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

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    Odd choice of words, Tree. Nothing AK directed comes close to abhorrent. Rhapsody in August is about an old woman living in the countryside near Nagasaki, whose husband perished as a result of the nuclear bomb. She's entrusted with her four grandkids when their parents go visit relatives in Hawaii. Among them, the old lady's half-Caucasian, half-Japanese nephew (Richard Gere), who didn't know of the circumstances surrounding his uncle's death. So he decides to travel to Japan and pay his respects. Rhapsody in August deals with some of the same concerns evident in Dreams regarding atomic energy and warfare. It does so in a more affecting manner.

    Go figure, "Crows" was the segment I remember liking the most. Then again, I'm a fan of Van Gogh, which has a bearing on my opinion.

  10. #10
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    I think the biggest complaint was that Scorsese was not the right choice to play the part. I'll admit, 'twas bizarre to have him there, but whatever. I'm trying to remember that vignette completely, and I'm having a hard time. I certainly need to see it again.
    "So I'm a heel, so what of it?"
    --Renaldo the Heel, from Crimewave

  11. #11
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    My favorite Kurosawa is Dreams.
    I saw it on the big screen just weeks out of the army in 1996.

    "Crows" is mesmerizing.

    Scorsese met with A.K. in the late 80's, and Akira called him up some time later and said that he had a problem.
    He couldn't stop thinking about Marty, about him as a character, as van Gogh.
    Would he consider playing the part?
    He replied immediately: "I'll do it".

    "The Blizzard" left a huge impression on me.
    Imagine it on the big screen. That snow witch/spirit was so haunting and interesting. And when you find out what all of the hard labour had wrought... magic.

    The first dream is probably my favorite: "The Peach Orchard". The "foxes", the incredible Japanese soundtrack, and the best thing about it: the hypnotic movements of the colorfully dressed spirits on the dimensioned hillside.
    Awe-inspiring.

    All of the segments are breathtaking to me. They all impressed me and when I first saw it and left the theatre I could not stop thinking about the experience. It's in my top ten forever.


    Dreams holds a very high spot on my shelf of movie memories.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  12. #12
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    Johann, you've inspired me to watch it again and refresh my memories of this movie. Dreams is so unique within the films of Kurosawa. All his other films appear to have been thought out by his left brain whereas Dreams is so "right-brain", so to speak.

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    best of 1990

    found this nice little thread for the opportunity of my first post.
    Some interesting films were already mentioned.
    Here's my list of the best I've seen from 1990.

    1. Close Up (Abbas Kiarostami / Iran)
    2. The Reflecting Skin (Philip Ridley / UK, Canada)
    3. Wild at Heart (David Lynch / USA)
    4. Edward Scissorhands (Tim Burton / USA)
    5. Dreams (Akira Kurosawa, Ishiro Honda / Japan, USA)
    6. The Death of Stalinism in Bohemia (Jan Svankmajer / UK)
    7. Dances with Wolves (Kevin Costner / USA)
    8. Europa Europe (Agnieszka Holland / Germany, France, Poland)
    9. Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg (Kjell Grede / Sweden, Hungary, Norway)
    10. Song of the Exile (Ann Hui / Hong Kong, Taiwan)
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

  14. #14
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    We definitely agree on Kiarostami.
    Wild at Heart is the only Lynch film I don't like: http://www.filmwurld.com/forums/show...lynch#post8266
    I've been trying to find a copy of Song of Exile, which was released here on vhs over a decade ago.

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    Yes, Kiarostami :-)))
    Close-up was one of the best movie experiences in my life, and though I was stood up by a woman I loved before the screening, i left the theater in a state of bliss.
    If Kiarostami had made only this film, he would still have a firm place in film history.
    I adore the scene where Kiarostami is following his protagonist, who is riding with Makhmalbaf through the city and the sound ceases to work. Sometimes life is the best director.

    Wild at Heart was also the only Lynch film I didn't like when I first saw it a couple of years ago. I was already a huge fan of Lynch back than (probably more than now), but I couldn't appreciate this film. But a couple of further viewings convinced me that it is indeed one of his best and deservedly won the Palme d'Or.

    Re:Song of Exile
    This was probably the copy I saw. More films by Ann Hui should be out on DVD. This is so far the only film by her I've seen (still remember her in Tsai's "The River" though).
    Last edited by Sano; 10-18-2006 at 08:09 PM.
    www.foreignfilms.com/boards

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