Features and Columns · Movies

Why Were There So Many Iconic Movies in 1999?

Tonight I’m gonna [watch movies] like it’s 1999
1999 Movies
By  · Published on July 19th, 2023

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores why films from 1999 feel so iconic.

If you’re a longtime reader of this fine website, you may remember that in 2018 we tried to figure out a very, very important question: what was the best year for movies ever?

One of our distinguished crew made a strong case for 1939, a year that welcomed the likes of certified bangers like Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Someone else went all in on 1974, a year that claims Blazing SaddlesChinatown, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. If I’d thrown my hat in the ring, but 1987 — objectively the best year — already had a champion. RoboCopMoonstruckWings of Desire, and The Princess Bride? Are you kidding me?

We made the case for a good number of incredible years. But we didn’t go to bat for 1999, which, as the video essay below proves, was gangbusters as far as American filmmaking is concerned. From the role of Miramax in the rise of independent movies to the creation of the Megaplex to the Y2K mentality, here’s a look at why 1999 was such a great year for American film.

Watch “Why Films From 1999 Are So Iconic”

Who made this?

This video essay on why 1999’s movies are so iconic is by Broey Deschanel, a self-described “snob (and a YouTuber)” whose video essays cover everything from new releases like Licorice Pizza and Euphoria to camp classics like Showgirls. You can subscribe to their YouTube account here and you can follow them on Twitter here.

More videos like this

Related Topics: , ,

Meg has been writing professionally about all things film-related since 2016. She is a Senior Contributor at Film School Rejects as well as a Curator for One Perfect Shot. She has attended international film festivals such as TIFF, Hot Docs, and the Nitrate Picture Show as a member of the press. In her day job as an archivist and records manager, she regularly works with physical media and is committed to ensuring ongoing physical media accessibility in the digital age. You can find more of Meg's work at Cinema Scope, Dead Central, and Nonfics. She has also appeared on a number of film-related podcasts, including All the President's Minutes, Zodiac: Chronicle, Cannes I Kick It?, and Junk Filter. Her work has been shared on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, Business Insider, and CherryPicks. Meg has a B.A. from the University of King's College and a Master of Information degree from the University of Toronto.