Winona Ryder is, to many, the face of ’80s cult nostalgia — the young actress with the dark edge in… Read More
The Wire creator David Simon has teamed up with Crash director Paul Haggis for an all-star six-part HBO mini-series adaptation of Lisa Belkin’s 1988… Read More
The lovely 1994 adaptation of Little Women featured Gen-X angst icons Claire Danes and Winona Ryder, playing beloved sisters no less. With a pre-angry Christian Bale as Laurie, a smoldering Gabriel Byrne as Professor Bhaer, and Susan Sarandon as the feisty feminist Marmee, the film could not be a better period drama — for the ’90s.
… Read More
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood continues its seemingly inevitable move towards world domination, expanding to more theaters over the weekend and capturing the imaginations and hearts of even the most jaded moviegoers. Meanwhile, Naomi Foner’s evocative Very Good Girls also opened last weekend, with a welcome female take on that whole “becoming a grown-up” thing. In other words, it’s a very good time for the coming-of-age movie, where maturity is gained and lessons are learned and lifelong memories are made, so with that in mind, we’ve rounded up a few of our all-time… Read More
Only Lovers Left Alive, the ultra-cool vampire hangout flick from indie legend Jim Jarmusch, is out tomorrow in limited release, marking an even dozen feature films from the creatively coiffed auteur. It’s a fascinating filmography, encompassing multiple genres (from comedy to Western to action movie to horror) without fully turning over to any of them; all of his movies are, above all else, Jim Jarmusch Movies, which has sort of become a genre of its own. Yet the film that you pick as your favorite says a lot about you as a person — and thus we give the Jarmusch filmography our signature “stereotyping you by” treatment.
… Read More
In order to appreciate what a dirty bomb Heathers was when it was originally released 25 years ago, on March 31, 1989, you have to remember what exactly the “high school movie” was back then. The entire sub-genre was basically worked over in Heathers’ wake, with movies like Mean Girls and Jawbreaker and television shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer depicting high school as a virtual (sometimes literal) hellscape — jaded, cynical, bitter little pills. But the 1980s began with giggly sex comedies like Porky’s and Fast Times, and then John Hughes took over, imbuing high school narratives with an earnest kindness and “be yourself” messaging. And then here came Heathers, a film whose key image is that of a bomb-toting high school student hoisting his middle finger, and getting it shot… Read More
There are two groundbreaking early-’90s movies that defined Gen X’s sensibilities, but which is the generation’s seminal romantic comedy? On the one hand, there’s Cameron Crowe’s Singles: released in 1992 to moderate success, the film followed a group of single people in Seattle set against the burgeoning grunge movement (Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell both turn up in cameo roles). Then there’s Reality Bites: Ben Stiller directorial debut, which premiered 20 years ago this week, offers a love triangle between three young Houstonites featuring quintessential ’90s icon Winona Ryder at the center. (It also includes some recognizable cameos: Dave Pirner and Evan Dando play bit parts, as do Andy Dick and David Spade). In commemoration of the latter’s anniversary, I asked my friend and freelance writer Ryan Creed to join me in a very important cinematic debate: which is better, Singles or Reality Bites?
… Read More
If you think the current zeitgeist is oversaturated with millennials and listless, post-graduate 20-somethings of the Hannah Horvath ilk, just turn your nostalgia dial back two decades to February 1994, when Ben Stiller’s directorial debut, Reality Bites, premiered. Slackers and Generation X were a full-on obsession in the early ’90s, and no other movie of the decade depicts the culture so well — the characters’ meandering through professional and romantic disasters, their all-consuming nostalgia for the pop-cultural items of their childhoods, and, most importantly, the eclectic range of music they listened to, fueled by the cable music network boom (parodied in the film with In Your Face TV). It’s those elements that not only encapsulate the generation the characters represent, but make Reality Bites just as relevant 20 years later.
… Read More