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The Decade That Changed Everything: 9 Innovations That Shaped Film in the ’90s

'90s Week: The T-1000, Woody and Buzz's big-screen breakthrough, and the digital revolutions of "The Matrix" all pushed the medium forward.

Toy Story, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, Terminator 2, Babe, The Celebration, and the films whose technological advances shaped the face of filmmaking in the '90s


When the ’90s began, every major theatrical release was shot on celluloid, films were edited on flatbeds rather than computer screens, animation was still a hand-drawn art, and analog sound was the norm for both mixing and exhibition. By the end of the decade all of this would change thanks to some of the biggest technological revolutions since the conversion to sound over 60 years earlier. The 1990s transformed the ways that we make, watch, and listen to movies like no decade before or since, and its innovations continue to reverberate today. Here are nine films without which film history and the cinematic landscape today would be very, very different.

This article contains contributions from Bill Desowitz, Jim Hemphill, Chris O’Falt, and Sarah Shachat.

This article was published as part of IndieWire’s ’90s Week spectacular. Visit our ’90s Week page for more.

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