Tuesday, July 26, 2016

10 Off My Head: Siri Says 1996

As I picked up my phone this morning with the intention of finding out what today's "Year of the Post" would be I whispered to myself first... well it more more like a prayer, really... "Please be in the 90s." We've done the 1930s, we've done the 50s and the 70s twice, and we've done the 80s, but I really wanted to do a year I experienced while cognizant. Well I guess that Siri heard me (side-note: I'm terrified Siri is always listening, even when you don't hold down the button; aren't you?) because I asked her to pick a number between 1 and 100 and she gave me 96.

Well ye olde adage that we should be careful what we wish for held true because good grief, I could've made a Top 20 without breaking a sweat. As I looked through the films of 1996 my notes grew longer and longer and the Post-It notes piled high. It's not even that 1996 was an especially groundbreaking year for cinema (although some really important voices, as you'll see, were being born) - it's more like I saw everything, absolutely everything, at this point. When I had to do 1930 for this series I'd seen so few 1930 films it was more of a stretch to make it to 5; this time around it was the exact opposite.

So I'm doing a Top Ten this time. Even that, as you'll see by the breadth of runners-up, was a difficulty. (That said, the first five listed below would have been my Top Five if I'd forced myself to that number, though.) But nobody ever complained about spreading too much love around, right? So let's get our love on.

My 10 Favorite Movies of 1996

(dir. The Coens)
-- released on April 5th 1996 --

(dir. Alexander Payne)
-- released on December 13th 1996 --

(dir. Baz Lurhmann)
-- released on November 1st 1996 --

(dir. Wes Craven)
-- released on December 20 1996 --

(dir. Todd Solondz)
-- released on March 22nd 1996 --

(dir. The Wachowskis)
-- released on October 4th 1996 --

(dir. Hettie Macdonald)
-- released on October 9th 1996 --

(dir. Lars von Trier)
-- released on November 13th 1996 --

(dir. Davis Cronenberg)
-- released on October 4th 1996 --

(dir. Danny Boyle)
-- released on August 9th 1996 --

RUNNERS-UP: The People vs Larry Flint (dir. Milos Forman), The Portrait of a Lady (dir. Jane Campion), Hamlet (dir. Kennth Branagh), The Frighteners (dir. Peter Jackson), Lone Star (dir. John Sayles), The English Patient (dir. Anthony Minghella), Mars Attacks (dir. Tim Burton), Hard Eight (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson), Secrets & Lies (dir. Mike Leigh)...
... From Dusk Til Dawn (dir. Robert Rodriguez, Flirting With Disaster (dir. David O. Russell), The Crucible (dir. Nicholas Hytner), Mother (dir. Albert Brooks), Schizopolis (dir. Steven Soderbergh), James and the Giant Peach (dir. Henry Selick) 
NEVER SEEN: Pusher (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn), 
Irma Vep (dir. Olivier Assayas), Paradise Lost (dir. Joe Berlinger)

What are your favorite movies of 1996?


tanpoffel said...


Uhm, how many times do I have to say it?! ;)

JA said...

I have been meaning to for SO SO LONG, tanpoffel, it's wretched that I haven't yet. I just always forget to write it down to remind myself. CONSIDER IT WRITTEN ;)

Jim said...

Primal Fear, A Time to Kill, and (I gotta agree with you on) Scream.

tanpoffel said...

Yay! It'll blow your mind (amongst other parts of your body).

par3182 said...

you've mentioned all the greats but two more worthy of attention:

beautiful girls

joel65913 said...

Interesting list though I must admit I detested Trainspotting and Breaking the Waves-Emily Watson was amazing in it but while I appreciated her performance I couldn't wait for the film to end.

My top ten:

Beautiful Thing
Primal Fear
It's My Party
Brassed Off
Different for Girls
Unhook the Stars
Big Night

Bill Carter said...

Hated "Fargo," (but love the TV series) and really hated "Beautiful Thing" because of that stupid "happy" ending. (Your brother beats you up for scuffing his white shoes. Your father beats you up for no reason at all. Wonder how they'll react when they come home and find you've been fagging it up with another boy in the courtyard, in front of all the neighbors.)

Loved "Flirting with Disaster" and "Welcome to the Dollhouse."

And of course "White Squall" is probably the greatest movie since "Citizen Kane," not counting the collected works of George Duroy.

Chris said...

Big yes to Romeo + Juliet. The soundtrack to that movie was so popular in Australia that it was impossible to go to a party or drive to the beach without hearing part of it on the radio. We could've changed the National Anthem to 'Lovefool' that year and nobody would've much minded. Great list. I think "The Pillow Book" is my favourite from that year. I loved it effortlessly - from Vivian Wu's narration to Ewan McGregor nude.

All that said, somehow I've seen "White Squall" a LOTTA times. A lotta lotta times.

Josito Montez said...

Romeo + Juliet
Kansas City

Flavio said...

-Irma Vep
-Grace of my heart
-The daytrippers
-Waiting for Guffman
-Everyone says I love you

Anonymous said...

In no particular order: The Long Kiss Goodnight, Scream, The Truth about Cats & Dogs, Fargo,
Set It Off, The Birdcage, Matilda, Frighteners, From Dusk Till Dawn, & A Time to Kill.

Anonymous said...

1. The English Patient
2. Secrets and Lies
3. Jude
4. Trainspotting
5. Looking for Richard
6. Evita
7. Hamlet
8. Land and Freedom
9. Shine
10. Everyone Says I Love You
11. People Vs Larry Flynt
12. Kolya
13. It's My Party
14. White Squall
15. Portrait of a Lady