Why Were There So Many Iconic Movies in 1999?

Tonight I'm gonna [watch movies] like it's 1999
1999 Movies

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

  • For another sample of Broey Deschanel’s work, check out this video essay on Sofia Coppola‘s bad faith critics and why she’s as much an auteur as any of her male peers. Heck, friend of the column Hannah Strong even wrote a whole book about her!
  • Here’s another video essay from Broey Deschanel on what Portrait of a Lady on Fire can teach us about the ever-illusive “gaze.”
  • And finally, here’s Broey Deschanel’s video essay on what Spring Breakers can tell us about the end of indie sleaze.
Meg Shields: Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.