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The Weekly Discussion: The 90s in Cinema!

This time last week on The Weekly Discussion, I asked everyone who the most influential director of the 1970s was. The poll is now closed, and the winner with six votes, is Stanley Kubrick. In second place with four is Francis Ford Coppola and in 3rd place is Steven Spielberg. This week the random decade voting continues, but now I’m telling you guys why I’m doing this. In random order, I’m planning on asking readers the most influential director of each respective decade of the 20th century. Then, the ten winners will face off in a final poll which will be active for a month to find out who the most influential filmmaker of the century was! The first week we did the 60s, and the winner was Jean Luc-Godard. The second week we did the 30s, and the results presented us with a three way tie between Frank Capra, Howard Hawks and Jean Renoir.

This week the decade is the 90s, but I’ll be issuing you guys TWO polls, so please if you can, vote in both. The first is the main poll: Who was the most influential director of the 1990s decade? I’ll get you guys to vote in that one now:

Thanks for that. The second poll is trying to sort out the three way tie for the 30s. So, I ask you again, of the following three, who was the most influential director of the 1930s decade?

Also, a poll that I issued less than a week ago, What Do You Think of the Movie Crash? is now closed. The results were thin, but of the ten people who voted, four thought it was good, three thought it was bad, two thought it was okay, and one thought it was awful. Make of that what you will.

Anyway, back to the subject of the 90s. Thanks for voting in the polls, and if you have anything to say about the subject, please leave a comment. Thanks again.


1910-2010: The Best Movie of Each Decade

Each decade has produced some fantastic films, and picking the one best film from each of those ten years is a difficult choice. However, I’m going to voice my opinion, and make an attempt.

The 1910s: Intolerance (1916)

After the disaster that was Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith repented for its racist overtones with this blockbuster hit, one of the first ‘epics’ of all time, and towering overtop any other effort of the era.

1920s: Un Chien Andalou (1929)

A 16-minute masterpiece of surreal, deep, imaginative imagery, headlined with a nonsensical title and opened with a striking image of a woman’s eye cut open by a razor, Luis Bunuel’s debut motion picture is probably his best, and easily the highlight of the decade, whether you think you understand it or not.

1930s: M (1931)

Fritz Lang’s follow-up to the monstrously awesome Metropolis is the even better (in fact, fantastic) thriller about vigilante justice and the crazed mind of a serial killer, played with perfect unease by Peter Lorre. Who can forget his fantastic final monologue, and even more difficult to dismiss is the fantastic scenes that lead up to it. A masterpiece, and probably the best movie of the first 50 years of the 1900s.

1940s: Citizen Kane (1941)

Okay, this decade was easy to pick. Proclaimed by many including AFI to be the best movie ever made, that statement is not far from the truth. And when you consider that it was made by new-to-cinema Orson Welles in his twenties, it makes its presence all the more surprising and mighty. It towers over all of cinema with a formidable presence.

1950s: Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Filled with quotable lines, memorable scenes, fantastic cinematography and stunning acting, Billy Wilder’s masterpiece is one awesome movie, full of everything a decent Hollywood film should have. A “parody” of Hollywood life and existence (reflected later in Altman’s The Player, among others), it’s brilliant to watch and marvellous to behold.

1960s: Persona (1966)

Better than any Hollywood movie of the era (many of which were the dawn of exploitation), the exploitative enough Swedish film from Ingmar Bergman contains a lot of strange, deeply rich imagery (reminiscent at times of the Bunuel selection on this list), a strong plot, decent acting performances, beautiful monologues and fantastic filming techniques.

1970s: Network (1976)

Although the best film of the 1970s is probably The Godfather, I think that’s a little too obvious, so I’m going to settle for the runner up, which is equally as good (if not better?). A thought-provoking analysis of the television industry whose revelations about the truth of the newsroom are as relative today (if not moreso) than they were thirty-five years ago.

1980s: Fanny and Alexander (1982)

While the 80s were a decade that provided a difficult choice, I find myself falling back on Bergman again with this epic masterpiece that spans one year into three magnificent hours filled with glorious imagery and some of the best cinematography ever filmed (thank you, Sven Nykvist), as well as a compelling, classic tale. The perfect way to end Bergman’s career in feature films.

1990s: Goodfellas (1990)

This decade is possibly the hardest one to pick. While I admit it isn’t exactly my favourite movie of the ten years, but it’s certainly the most deserving and socially accepting. Scorsese deserves an Oscar which he was cruelly robbed of for this excellent, compelling gangster tale which is probably the best of its time, inspiring a legion of others and confirming Scorsese as a force to be reckoned with.

2000s: There Will Be Blood (2007)

I’ve already written that this is my favourite film of the recent decade, and I stand by that statement. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant, giving an amazing performance as charismatic, narcissistic oil man Daniel Plainview whose control and hatred for humanity overcomes him in a spectacular Paul Thomas Anderson hit, which is nowhere near as recognized as it should be.

Leave a comment below with what you thought of my choices, and tell me what your favourite movies of the decade/s are.

Thanks for reading.