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Was 1999 The Best Year Ever For Movies?

With David Folkenflik

“Fight Club.” “American Beauty.” “The Matrix.” 1999 was a blockbuster year for movies. But was it the best ever year in film?

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Brian Raftery, freelance journalist who’s written for publications such as Wired, GQ, New York, Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly. Author of “Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen.” (@BrianRaftery)

Shawn Edwards, film critic for Fox 4 News in Kansas City. Co-founder of the African American Film Critics Association. (@sedwardskc)

From The Reading List

Excerpt from “Best. Movie. Ever.” by Brian Raftery

It began with January’s Sundance Film Festival debut of The Blair Witch Project—a jumpy, star-free vomit comet—and ended with the December deluge of Magnolia, the movie-ist movie of the year, featuring a 188-minute running time, a plague of frogs, and the sight of megaceleb  Tom Cruise crotch thrusting his way to catharsis. In between came a collision of visions, all of them thrillingly singular: The Matrix. The Sixth Sense. Election. Rushmore. Office Space. The Virgin Suicides. Boys Don’t Cry. Run Lola Run. The Insider. Three Kings. Being John Malkovich. Many of those films—along with Star Wars: Episode 1—The Phantom Menace, the most unpopular popular movie of the year, if not of all time—would break the laws of narrative, form, and even bullet-time– bending physics. In 1999, “The whole concept of ‘making a movie’ got turned on its head,” proclaimed writer Jeff Gordinier in a November cover story in Entertainment Weekly. “The year when all the old, boring rules about cinema started to crumble.”

Yet for all their

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