Though the golden age of cinema was technically through the 30s and 40s, I believe there’s a strong case to be made for the 90s. Theatre revenues began investing in the details. Whether it was complex, realistic storytelling, or surrealist experimentation, the 90s saw an influx of incredibly inspired cinema, just before nostalgia took over and became Hollywood’s new favourite currency.
Massive directors dished out classic drama pieces left and right, while actors rose to the quality of the script, delivering masterstroke performances. Not to mention the incredible soundtracks worthy Soundcloud to mp3 downloads.
Let’s head down memory lane to recall 5 of the finest movies from the 90s that were destined for cult status.
5 – Se7en
Director David Fincher was unstoppable in the 90s. His knack for psychological thrillers was solidified with Se7en, a movie that was as dark, queasy and riveting as it gets. With one of the most insane cast lineups of all time (Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and surprise appearance Kevin Spacey), Fincher delivers a story of humanity severed, with a soul-crushing twist. You’ll never look at a box the same way again.
4 – The Big Lebowski
The cultural impact of The Big Lebowski cannot be understated. It’s been crowned the ultimate stoner flick and also started a religion (Dudeism). Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without a signature quirky script from the Coen brothers and an unforgettable performance from Jeff Bridges.
Making the protagonist of a deeply complex crime drama a hazy-slacker who’s as confused as the audience was a genius manoeuvre, giving the film a hilarious edge of self-awareness. But it’s the off-kilter plotlines like a rug that “really tied the room together” or taking a “pomeranian bowling” that really bring The Big Lebowski up to cult status.
3 – Pulp Fiction (1994)
Tarantino’s sophomore film was an ode to the joys of filmmaking. From the hilarious pop culture references to the sultry soundtrack, every pulse of Pulp Fiction beat with trashy fervour, leaving audiences in a frenzied state of disbelief. Off-kilter violence, snappy dialogue, and unconventional storytelling are three of a million reasons to watch this independent feat of iconic brilliance.
2 – Goodfellas (1990)
Aside from perhaps the Godfathers, Goodfellas is the penultimate gangster flick. Scorsesse navigates the American Dream with gangsters so believable that even gangsters love this movie. Robert Diniro, Joe Pesci, and Liotta bounce off each other with such avidity that you feel like you’re there with them, making deals, organising hits, and watching your back. The master filmcraft and little details give Goodfellas endless rewatchability, scoring it the no. 2 spot.
1 – The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
The Silence Of The Lambs is one of three films to win the big five – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screeplay. It’s also the only horror film to ever win an Oscar. If you need anymore proof that this film is a masterpiece, check out the scene where auspicious protagonist (Jodie Foster) meets infamous cannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins). The tension fizzles and fizzles, only to give way one of the most jarring lines of dialogue put to tape. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”.