BIZ: The Top Films of 1999, According to indieWIRE
Once again the editors of indieWIRE offer a list of our favorite movies of 1999, today showcasing the top ten or so films that were released theatrically last year.
>> Eugene Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief:
I was humbled to learn a few weeks ago, that more than 175 "specialty" films were released theatrically in New York City in 1999 -- I don't think I was able to see half of them. While I strive to see a couple of films each week, some are festival movies that may never make it into theatrical release.
1999 was like recent years, I caught indie films at festivals or pre-release screenings and lined-up (usually on opening night) to see new Hollywood flicks of interest. Docs dominate my list of 1999 favorites, perhaps a reflection of my own deepening interest in non-fiction storytelling. Among them are movies that I was lucky enough to discover at film festivals and subsequently write about in indieWIRE.
Topping my list is Pedro Almodovar's beautiful new movie, "Todo Sobre Mi Madre" (All About My Mother). The Spaniard was a personal favorite over the past decade and I was lucky enough to catch a number of his recent films at the New York Film Festival, often with Almodovar in attendance discussing the film. How exciting that the decade culminated with this terrific film. I watched it at the New York Film Festival review screening, loved it, and two days later went back to see it again on Opening Night at Avery Fisher Hall. My other nine favorites for 1999 follow in alphabetical order, with a few honorable mentions at the end:
1. "Todo Sobre Mi Madre" (All About My Mother), directed by Pedro Almodovar
"American Movie," directed by Chris Smith
"The Blair Witch Project," directed by Dan Myrick and Ed Sanchez
"Buena Vista Social Club," directed by Wim Wenders
"Eyes Wide Shut," directed by Stanley Kubrick
"Genghis Blues," directed Roko Belic
"Hands on a Hardbody," directed by S.R. Bindler
"Meeting People is Easy," directed by Grant Gee
"Paulina," directed by Vicky Funari
"The Straight Story," directed by David Lynch
"The Insider," directed by Michael Mann; "Toy Story 2," directed by John Lasseter and co-directed by Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich; "Boys Don't Cry," directed by Kimberly Peirce; "Twin Falls Idaho," directed by Michael Polish; "The Sixth Sense," directed by M. Night Shyamalan; "Magnolia," directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; and "American Beauty," directed by Sam Mendes.
>> Mark Rabinowitz, Managing Editor:
Once again, it's that time of year. Time to present our lists of films that challenged and bewitched us, ticked us pink and made us weep. My Top 10 list is by no means comprehensive, and the number of films that I have not yet seen is extensive. From what I have gathered from lists compiled by other film writers, and from what I've gleaned from comments made by friends, any of the following films, plus others that I've forgotten to list, may very well have made my list: "Talented Mr. Ripley," "Run Lola Run," "The Green Mile," "The Insider," "Man on the Moon," "Girl, Interrupted," "The Hurricane," "Boys Don't Cry," "Toy Story 2," "The Buena Vista Social Club," "Liberty Heights," "The Flowers of Shanghai," "Magnolia," "I Stand Alone," "The Iron Giant," "Holy Smoke," "Dogma," "The War Zone," "The Limey." That said, here is my list, alphabetically of course!
"All About My Mother," written and directed by Pedro Almodovar
An astonishingly moving and well-acted film. Further proof that Almodovar has a remarkable insight to the human condition. To quote innumerable sources: I laughed, I cried