90’s nostalgia is so ubiquitous that it’s become almost gauche. Endless reboots of popular 90’s phenomenon and an exhausting cycle of predictable retro fashion have inundated popular culture with an almost frightening lust for millennial childhood. No wonder so many have already moved on to glamorizing the early aughts!
It’s a shame that so much 90’s ephemera has been poisoned by revisionist sentimentality considering the actual artistic achievements of that decade were quite formidable. Sure, it’s easy to remember the romantic camp of Titanic with fondness — but there were actual astounding works of art being made at that time, too. In fact, 90’s classics like The Fifth Element and Silence of the Lambs have already made it onto our lists of best sci-fi movies and best thrillers, respectively.
The 1990’s are remembered for girl power and grunge as much as Clinton’s presidency and pan-global technological innovation: And despite or because of political triumph and social upheaval, 90’s cinema was a time of wondrous experimentation and — less fortunately — a whole lot of cinematic kitsch (like You’ve Got Mail and Forrest Gump— as if!).
The danger with nostalgia is that it glosses over some of the unfortunate realities of the past — so let’s take off those rose-tinted glasses and have a more realistic look back at some of the greatest achievements in 90’s cinema.
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