Thanks to the AV Club, film nerds everywhere are declaring their favorite films of the 1990s. I spent all of five minutes on mine, which is why they’re alphabetized. Three things stand out as I look over this list from the vantage of 2012. First, the movies that meant a great deal to me at the time (Pulp Fiction, Rushmore, Unforgiven, The Player, etc.) are all fantastic gateway-to-cinephilia films that mean very little to me today. Second, all those critics talking about “new waves” in Iran and Taiwan were on to something. And, third, if you exclude Kubrick (71) the average age of these directors was 41 at the time of their film’s release. The older I get, the more impressive that seems.
Terrifying trivia of the day: Bela Tarr was 39 — younger than I am now! — when he made Satantango (which just missed the cut here).
Buffalo ’66 (Vincent Gallo, 1998)
Casa de Lava (Pedro Costa, 1994)
Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)
Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
Good Men, Good Women (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1995)
I Can’t Sleep (Claire Denis, 1994)
A Moment of Innocence (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996)
La Promesse (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 1996)
Vive L’Amour (Tsai Ming-liang, 1994)
Edit: Removed Safe (Todd Haynes, 1995) after I realized I’d forgotten Buffalo ’66.