It’s been two decades since The Big Lebowski hit the theaters, completely redefining the term “cult classic”. Many impressive movies that came out at the same time were overshadowed by its enormous success, but 1998 gave us several cinematic masterpieces worth remembering. The Truman Show pushed the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Rushmore welcomed us to the quirky world of Wes Anderson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas took us on a crazy ride with a couple of pretty eccentric characters. Ringu reminded us foreign cinema is a place where we should lose ourselves more often.
1998 was also the time when some of the most influential directors of modern cinema made their directorial debuts. Darren Aronofsky, Christopher Nolan, Guy Ritchie and Denis Villeneuve proved themselves as talents we should keep an eye on. Some of the movies made back then fell through the cracks, but earned cult status in the years to come.
1998 surprised us with one of the must-see punk movies and give us a bunch of funny lines about poseurs. Stevo and Heroin Bob believed they are the only true punks in their dead-horse town, making us wonder if they are a couple of poseurs as well. SLC Punk! is the kind of cult classic that never managed to gain an audience because it’s a subculture piece. It still a captivating portrayal of growth and friendship, worth seeing even if you’re not a punk.
Whenever you want to watch a mind-fv*cking movie, psychological thrillers are usually the safest bet. Todd Solondz’s follow-up to Welcome to the Dollhouse proves that’s not always the case. It comes to show that complexity of human nature is more disturbing than any of Shyamalan’s crazy twists. If you use movies as escape mechanism, Happiness is not for you. It will leave you with more questions than answers, but that’s exactly why it’s worth revisiting.
1998 was the year when Christina Ricci proved her role in The Addams Family left a lot to be desired. She showed off her acting chops in several memorable movies, including Vincent Gallo’s starring vehicle Buffalo ‘66. This tale of ex-con who kidnaps a girl and forces her to play his wife is not everybody’s cup of tea, but it comes in handy when someone asks you for a two-hour long explanation of Stockholm syndrome.
A year before Matrix hit the theaters and became a sci-fi hit people couldn’t stop talking about, Alex Proyas welcomed us to Dark City. His underrated cult classic was often described as one of the smartest and most influential films of its genre. It made us question what it means to be human and how our memories define us, and that’s one of the reasons why it deserves to be remembered.
Todd Haynes has a pretty unique way of approaching lives of enigmatic music legends and he first tested the waters with Velvet Goldmine. David Bowie served as inspiration for reclusive glam rock star Brian Slade. Some of its critics failed to realize Haynes’ cult classic isn’t trying to capture Bowie’s life, only his spirit, and didn’t appreciate it for what it was. It went down in history as Citizen Kane of glam rock, mostly because it was structured in the similar way. Whatever the reason may be, it still sounds like a high praise.
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