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C'est Arrivé Pres de Chez Vous/Man Bites Dog (1992) - Rémy Belvaux André Bonzel, ... [Amazon.com]

Safe (1995) - Todd Haynes [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Twin Peaks (1990) - Lynch, Frost, et al

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Stanley Kubrick [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Bitter Moon (1992) - Roman Polanski [Amazon.com]

My Own Private Idaho (1991) - Gus Van Sant [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

1990s American film

The 1990s saw another significant development. The full acceptance of video by studios opened a vast new business to exploit. It also saw the first generation of film makers with access to video tapes emerge. Directors such as Quentin Tarantino and P.T. Anderson had been able to view thousands of films and produced films with vast numbers of references and connections to previous works. This, along with the rise of so-called "independent film" and ever-decreasing costs for filmmaking, changed the landscape of American movie-making once again, and led a renaissance of filmmaking among Hollywood's lower and middle-classes—those without access to studio megabucks. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_the_United_States [Oct 2004]

see also Todd Haynes

Quentin Tarantino [...]

Quentin Tarantino, in his film Pulp Fiction, has created the ultimate formula, example, and critique of postmodernism.

Every person, line, and scene in the film is not only self referential, but refers to a larger sense of tradition and formula, while at the same time supposedly breaks that formula and creates an originality that has brought Tarantino, deserving or not, to the forefront of current “auteur-star-directors.” The film is seen as a statement, made by Tarantino, that must be unwrapped by its audience in order to discover the whole of Tarantino’s “genius.”While he really only has about three major motion pictures in the can, his work is so incredibly self-promotional that it has become not only a part of pop culture, but of modern film discussion and critique. By promoting himself and his knowledge, his techniques have been followed many times over by other emerging directors: he has made himself and his success “hyperreal:” here is someone who once worked in a video store and now has full command of a 35mm piece of film. -- http://www.retardedjimmy.com/tarantino.html [Mar 2004]

Parody, Pastiche and the Postmodern

Parody and pastiche of crime film conventions are also, of course, much more pervasive than this. Richard Martin, in Mean Streets and Raging Bulls, argues that, from the 80s on, the mainstream market has seen a growing tendency towards generic formularization and an attendant self-awareness – a phenomenon symptomatic of a cultural shift towards a postmodern preoccupation with style, surface, self-referentiality and playfulness. Generic knowingness and liberal borrowing (ranging from ‘homage’ to parody) have characterised the work of many of the best contemporary film-makers: the Coen brothers (in Blood Simple, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Wasn’t There) have played in dazzling ways with the character types, plots and images originally associated with Hammett, Chandler and James M. Cain; Tarantino’s films (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown) have been highly distinctive reworkings of the formulas and materials of earlier crime films; amongst David Mamet’s films, we have his take on psychological suspense films in The House of Games, the Hitchcockian Spanish Prisoner, and his journey through the double- and triple-crossing streets of film noir in Heist. --http://www.crimeculture.com/Contents/Parodies.html [Dec 2004]

Topâzu/Tokyo Decadence (1992) - Ryu Murakami

Tokyo Decadence (1992) - Ryu Murakami [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Tokyo Decadence (Topâzu) is a 1991 Japanese film. The film was directed by Ryu Murakami with music by Ryuichi Sakamoto. The film stars Nikaido Miho and is known by two other titles, Topaz and Sex Dreams of Topaz. It has been banned in Australia and South Korea.

A timid Japanese college girl, Ai (, lit. "love"), tries to make ends meet as a light SM/bondage girl for hire within a world of lavishly wealthy Tokyo penthouses.

The bulk of the film is comprised of four sex sequences, the first and last involving dildos and mirrors, with the S/M relationship being inverted, the middle two asphyxiation with, again, a reversal of roles. The actual story revolves around Ai's unrequited love for a married gallery artist. At the beginning of the movie Ai visits a fortune-teller who advises her to buy a topaz, wear it around her neck, and avoid a gallery in the east. Ai later loses the stone, later finds it again, later goes to the artist's house, has the police called on her, has the police called off by one of the artist's neighbors whose affair with (but not love for) him has ended.

The general themes of the film are the sterility and coldness of life, and the inability to make a human connection in the modern world.

At least two versions of the film exist, with the shorter one edited more for pacing than for censorship. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Decadence [Dec 2004]

Three out of four sex sequences heavily feature drugs.

Four "sex sequences":

1990s Film

  1. Miami Blues (1990) - George Armitage
    There's something wild about "Miami Blues," something reminiscent of Jonathan Demme's haunted birthday party style. Though written and directed by George Armitage, it is Demme's first outing as a producer -- a yarn about a psychotic ex-con, a naive prostitute and a battered old cop that's spicy, breathless and way off kilter. It's the detective genre reinvented, Ozzie and Harriet packing heat. --Rita Kempley

  2. L.A. Story (1991)
    Steve Martin wrote this film as a meditation on both love and Los Angeles. He plays a L.A. TV weatherman who finds himself conflicted about what to do with his life and discovers a L.A. freeway sign that gives him romantic advice.

  3. Suture (1993) - Scott McGehee, David Siegel
    "Isn't it remarkable how much we look alike?" The problem is they look nothing alike: Clay is a black man who could pass for a Dallas Cowboys linebacker, while Vincent resembles Ralph Nader.

  4. Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton [Amazon.com]

    Ed Wood, directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp as the transvestite cult movie maker Edward D. Wood Jr. The film, shot in black and white, was made in 1994 (see also 1994 in film).

    The film focuses on the part in Ed's life where he made his best-known films, and also where he met Bela Lugosi (Martin Landau) who starred as Dracula in the film of the same name. Other characters of the film include:

    • Dolores Fuller - Sarah Jessica Parker
    • Bunny Breckinridge - Bill Murray
    • Kathy O'Hara - Patricia Arquette
    • Criswell - Jeffrey Jones
    • Vampira - Lisa Marie
    • Tor Johnson - George "The Animal" Steele

    This is the only Tim Burton film to date that does not have a music score by Danny Elfman, Burton's perennial composer. In this case, the music was by Howard Shore. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Wood_(movie) [Apr 2005]

  5. Denise Calls Up (1995) - Hal Salwen
    In this clever comedy for the carpal tunnel set, people fall in love, get pregnant, fall out of love, and die without ever getting off the phone.

  6. Shall we Dansu? (1996) - Masayuki Suo

    Shall We Dance? is the fully-Anglicized title of Shall We Dansu? (also known as Dansu wo Shimashou ka), a 1996 Japanese film directed by Masayuki Suo. The movie was extremely popular in Japan upon its release, and it subsequently performed well in American art-house theaters when it opened there in 1997. For a time, it was the top-grossing foreign movie in American cinema history.

    The American version of the film differs from the Japanese version in several ways. First, its running time is 118 minutes, vs. the Japanese film's 136 minutes; the director cut twenty-six scenes from the film after market research screenings found that many people in the audience felt the movie was too long or dragged in spots. Second, the voiceover narration at the beginning is different; the American version explains that ballroom dancing is considered shameful or embarrassing by some Japanese.

    The American version was a critical and commercial success, and inspired a 2004 Hollywood remake, which proved less successful among critics. As of this writing, its final commercial gross is not yet known, since it is still playing in some venues, but it has earned about $57 million as of December 21, 2004 (compared to the original's roughly $9.4 million in much narrower release).

    A successful but unhappy accountant begins to secretly take ballroom dance lessons because he feels an attraction toward the dance instructor. The instructor quickly sees through him, but Sugiyama stubbornly continues the lessons, and eventually dancing reignites the missing passion in his life and among his family. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shall_We_Dance_%281996_movie%29 [Apr 2005]

  7. Funny Games (1997) - Michael Haneke
    Funny Games is guaranteed to outrage some viewers with its manipulative schemes, but there's no denying the film's visceral impact.

  8. Fucking Åmål aka Show Me Love (1998) - Lukas Moodysson

    Fucking Åmål (variously censored and distributed in certain countries as Show Me Love, Raus Aus Åmål, Descubriendo el Amor, Amigas de Colegio etc.) is a Swedish movie from 1998. It was written and directed by Lukas Moodysson (his first full length film), and stars Alexandra Dahlström as Elin and Rebecka Liljeberg as Agnes. It won four Golden Beetles (Swedish equivalent of the Oscars) at the 1999 Swedish Film Awards. It has also won several other international awards, among them the Teddy award at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival.

    The film tells the story of Agnes and Elin, who go to high school in the insignificant town of Åmål ('fucking' is a word Elin uses to describe it). Elin is outgoing and has many friends, but finds her life unsatisfying. Agnes, by contrast, has almost no friends. Agnes has a crush on Elin, but cannot find any way to express it. Elin goes to Agnes' birthday party, mainly as an excuse to avoid going to a different party, where there will be people she wants to avoid. Elin's older sister, Jessica, who comes with her, dares her to kiss Agnes, which she does. Elin discovers she shares Agnes' feelings, and a relationship between them develops.

    The film is not actually filmed in Åmål but in Trollhättan. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fucking_%C5m%E5l [Apr 2005]

  9. Todo Sobre Mi Madre/All About my Mother (1999) - Pedro Almodovar

    All About My Mother (Todo sobre mi madre) is a 1999 film written and directed by the Spanish auteur Pedro Almodóvar, starring Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Candela Peña, Antonia San Juan and Penélope Cruz. Widely regarded as Almodóvar's finest and most mature film to date, it won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Foreign-language Film and seven Goya Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Roth.

    The film deals with complex issues such as AIDS, transvestitism, sexual identity, gender, religion, faith, and existentialism; the characters are presented in a straightforward and mostly unromanticized and non-judgemental fashion but with an edge of dark humour.

    The title is a play on the film title All About Eve, of which Esteban is a fan. Watching the film with his mother, he complains that the translation of the title into Spanish is a poor one, and should have been "Todo sobre Eva." "Todo sobre mi madre" is also the title of an essay he is writing at the time of his death.

    The film tells the story of a nurse named Manuela (Roth) who works in Madrid and lives with her teenage son Esteban, who never knew his father, and wants to be a writer.

    One night after watching a play of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire Esteban is running after the car of Huma Rojo (Paredes), the actress who played Blanche DuBois, to get an autograph when he is hit by a car and dies. Manuela sees the accident and, despondent, leaves Madrid to visit her son's father, Lola, who is a transvestite and a prostitute in Barcelona, and inform him of the existence of the son he never knew. While in Barcelona, Manuela reunites with an old friend, a warm and witty transsexual prostitute named Agrado (San Juan). She also meets and becomes deeply involved with Sister Rosa (Cruz), a young, pregnant nun who has known Manuela's ex-husband; and the actress that her son had admired.

    The film was named by Richard Schickel of Time Magazine, among other critics, as the best of the year. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todo_sobre_mi_madre [Apr 2005]

    Romance X (1999) - Catherine Breillat

      Caroline Ducey in
      Romance (1999) - Catherine Breillat [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

      Romance (Romance X) is a 1999 French movie written and directed by Catherine Breillat. It stars Caroline Ducey, pornography actor Rocco Siffredi, Sagamore Stévenin and François Berleand. It contains several sex scenes that appear to have been unsimulated.

      Marie is a schoolteacher who is deeply in love with her husband who does not have sex with her. She explores increasingly risky sexual encounters with other men, including a BDSM relationship with a member of staff who works at the same school.

      The film claims to be artistic and so may be seen as different from ordinary pornography. It was shown in mainstream cinemas in Europe. In the U.S., the original version is unrated, and an edited version received an R rating. In March 2004, the unedited film was broadcast late at night on German public TV, leading to some protests. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%281999_movie%29 [Dec 2004]

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