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Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen

Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen

Written by Brian Raftery

Narrated by George Newbern


Best. Movie. Year. Ever.: How 1999 Blew Up the Big Screen

Written by Brian Raftery

Narrated by George Newbern

ratings:
4.5/5 (36 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Released:
Apr 16, 2019
ISBN:
9781508293125
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

From a veteran culture writer and modern movie expert, a celebration and analysis of the movies of 1999—arguably the most groundbreaking year in American cinematic history.

In 1999, Hollywood as we know it exploded: Fight Club. The Matrix. Office Space. Election. The Blair Witch Project. The Sixth Sense. Being John Malkovich. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. American Beauty. The Virgin Suicides. Boys Don't Cry. The Best Man. Three Kings. Magnolia. Those are just some of the landmark titles released in a dizzying movie year, one in which a group of daring filmmakers and performers pushed cinema to new limits-and took audiences along for the ride. Freed from the restraints of budget, technology (or even taste), they produced a slew of classics that took on every topic imaginable, from sex to violence to the end of the world. The result was a highly unruly, deeply influential set of films that would not only change filmmaking, but also give us our first glimpse of the coming twenty-first century. It was a watershed moment that also produced The Sopranos; Apple's Airport; Wi-Fi; and Netflix's unlimited DVD rentals

Best. Movie. Year. Ever. is the story of not just how these movies were made, but how they re-made our own vision of the world. It features more than 130 new and exclusive interviews with such directors and actors as Reese Witherspoon, Edward Norton, Steven Soderbergh, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher, Nia Long, Matthew Broderick, Taye Diggs, M. Night Shyamalan, David O. Russell, James Van Der Beek, Kirsten Dunst, the Blair Witch kids, the Office Space dudes, the guy who played Jar-Jar Binks, and dozens more. It's the definitive account of a culture-conquering movie year none of us saw coming…and that we may never see again.

Released:
Apr 16, 2019
ISBN:
9781508293125
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Brian Raftery is a senior writer for Wired magazine, where he covers film, television, and internet culture. His work has also appeared in GQ, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and New York magazine. The author of Best. Movie. Year. Ever., he lives in Burbank, California, with his wife and daughters. 


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4.3
36 ratings / 6 Reviews
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  • (5/5)
    Great book! Lots of trivia and fun fact about the greatest movies from 1999
  • (4/5)
    Fun book. It's a little like reading 20-odd behind-the-scenes articles, connected by a loose thesis and a thread of cultural history; the book has a very superficial momentum. However, it's neat to consider Raftery's position, which I hadn't previously - that 1999 was an original and game-changing movie year - and to look back on movies I saw as a late teen (or at least, saw as trailers!). It's a good, quick library read - which is, cheerfully, exactly how I read it.
  • (5/5)
    Best. Movie. Year. Ever. from Brian Raftery makes a very compelling argument for 1999 being (one of) the best movie year ever.The book is broken into chapters that cover one or a few films, usually grouped by some common element, each. Raftery walks a fine line between being too much film business or too much just gossip. There is enough behind the scenes narrative to satisfy our curiosity, plenty of explanation of how and why each film was made (and often almost not made), and plenty of contextualization so we can place these films within the larger context of what was happening in the world. While the films mentioned are now almost universally known if not appreciated, many were not particularly successful when released. Their inclusion here helps to make this something more than just a "greatest hits" type book. It isn't simply about the box office or the profit, though that must be considered. This book really does make a case for 1999 being a great year in film. The best? That can be debated endlessly and never come to a satisfactory answer. But really, who cares? In retrospect, it really was a great year, even if it took a few years for us to fully realize it.I highly recommend this to readers who love the cinema and for those, like myself, who like remembering the past through artifacts from the time, in this case film. There is a definite nostalgia trip for those of us who remember 1999 clearly, but without degenerating into just being nostalgia. Understanding why some movies succeeded that year while others, equally good, took time to gain an audience also makes the reader think about how our own views about things have changed with time. Maybe even our feelings about some of these films.Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
  • (4/5)
    Best. Movie. Year. Ever. : How 1999 Blew up the Big Screen by Brian Raftery is a 2019 Simon & Schuster publication. I love pop culture books, but they aren’t all created equal. At my age, what stirs up feelings of nostalgia are movies, television, and music which were popular a lot longer ago than twenty years. Still, it is hard to believe the movies discussed in the book are already approaching the ‘classics’ stage. While it is certainly debatable, and even dubious, especially for someone of my generation, to suggest 1999 was the best movie year EVER, there were some pretty good movies released in that year. The author may be looking at all the movies released in the past eighteen or nineteen years and found them wanting, a lackluster reflection on the movie industry as whole, in my opinion, making a few of the movies listed here stand out more than they may have otherwise. The nostalgic part, for me, about this book isn’t what these movies meant to me, but what they meant to my kids at the time. The Sixth Sense was a favorite for my daughter, while The Matrix was a favorite for my son. None of us liked ‘The Blair Witch’. The surprise hits, the trends, the comedies, the social and political movies, all reflect the mindset of a generation. Yet, nearly anyone, who is so inclined, these days could compile a list of movies from any given year, add some Wikipedia knowledge to complement the list, such as who starred in the film, who directed it and produced it, and why it was included in the book, then organize it in some clever way, and then package it for a quick cash grab.However, this book takes things a step beyond listing standout movies from 1999. It truly captures the mood of the country, explaining why a movie made an impact, even it wasn’t expected to, and reminds readers of popular television programs, political issues and world events that shaped the country and the attitudes of the American public. To connect that mood and atmosphere via the art of the cinema is what really makes the book interesting and thought provoking. It also made me smile because to this day, an occasional quote from one of these movies comes to my mind, and I realize that while these movies may not have had an impact on me in the same way they did those younger than myself, I was affected by them more than I realized, and yes, I would, after some reflection, I have to agree that 1999 was a stellar year in films- still not saying it was the best year EVER- but it certainly is a contender!
  • (5/5)
    A fantastic history of the characters living on the hill in the first half of the 20th century. Pittsburgh is a city of immigrants from all over the world. Just visit the Cathedral of Learning and tour the nationality rooms if you don't believe me. That is the city's strength, but also its curse. This plays out in the destruction of the neighborhood called "The Hill" where blacks made their homes and businesses.Whittaker brings the people living there alive, describing local characters like the numbers runners, the talented sons and daughters like Strayhorn, Garner, Horne and the sports figures like the Homestead Grays of the Negro leagues. But the most delightful chapter is the final one that outline the life and career of August Wilson the playwright. If you are unsure about purchasing this book, do it just for the final chapter. Whittaker writes with the nuances of a talented man, describing the blues and jazz so you can hear it, the plays so you can feel it. He goes into detail on the construction of the songs and stories so you understand that he knows what he is talking about, not just lip service.I wish there had been more photos, particularly of the neighborhoods and the less than famous residents but this doesn't detract from the book.This book is a keeper.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of the African-American community in Pittsburgh during the 1920's to 1960's and the impact it had on the United States. I knew the names and a bit of what they did but I did not realize the impact Black Pittsburgh had on politics, music, journalism, and sports. This gives a look behind the scenes at what was happening and who was involved both in Pittsburgh and outside of Pittsburgh. Reading this made me proud to be a Pittsburgher.