1990: The Year In Films This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   All in all, a great year. Almost every great director working today created a film this year. The new rating "NC-17" was devised so that respectable directors like Peter Greenaway didn't get lumped together with "Deep Throat." A lot of the summer slaughterfests flopped, assuring us better quality movies in summers to come. "Fantasia" was re-released, but wasn't really very good. MCA almost went bankrupt. Disney sprouted another leg, Hollywood Pictures, from which we can expect many more arty Jim Belushi movies.

As always, the Oscar show was an embarrassment to everyone, with the sprawling, politically correct mega-hit, "Dances with Wolves," taking best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay and best cinematography away from movies that were much more deserving.

My ten best list for 1990 is: 10) "Cyrano de Bergerac" The definitive Cyrano, with the best period recreation of the year. 9) "Texasville" by Peter Bog-danovitch. 8) "Total Recall" Total brainlessness and violent fun that only $70 million can buy. 7) "The Grifters" Steven Frears is a second-rate auteur, but this is a first-rate film, a "Dangerous Liaisons" (Frears' previous film) about con artists with no redeeming qualities at all. 6) "Edward Scissorhand" A deep or light movie depending on how you look at it, enjoyable either way.

5) "Twin Peaks" (ABC-TV) Only the David Lynch episodes, mind you, the rest was junk. The only good show on besides "Parker Lewis" and Letterman. 4) "Cry Baby" by the trashman, John Waters. More fluid and relaxed than "Hairspray," cheesy, wacky, the funniest movie in a long time. 3) "GoodFellas" by Scorcese. Funny, nasty and engrossing. A textbook film that heralds the perfection of his technique. 2) "Wild at Heart" (a heavy R). David Lynch's heartfelt story of a sex bunny and a con on the road to hell, which is full of passion and love, vomit and violence, and heads (one mashed, one soaring in the air). 1) "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" (Not rated, NC-17 equivalent). Definitely disgusting and scandalous, but this is the fault of the media and the narrow-minded tastes of American viewers. A film "play" of these four characters representing the various political groups of England. Funny, shocking, and beautifully designed and photographed.

Some others worth seeing: "Dick Tracy," "Dreams," "Darkman," "After Dark, My Sweet," "Where the Heart is," "King of New York," "Bonfire of the Vanities," "Godfather III," "Hardware," and "Mystery Train" (which would have been on my list except that it was in limited release in 1989).

Some other thoughts:

Best soundtrack: "Wild at Heart" (believe me, the Chris Isaak songs are not even the best on the album). Best song for a movie: "Back in Busi-ness" by Madonna for "Dick Tracy." Best costume design: J.P. Gautier, (who worked on the recent Madonna tour) for "The Cook...." Best cinematography: "Dick Tracy," absolutely beautiful. Best editing: "GoodFellas." Best screenplay: "Wild at Heart" (based on the great book by Barry Gifford). Best ensemble acting: "The Grifters." Best supporting actress: Annie Potts for "Texasville;" best supporting actor: Willem Dafoe for "Wild at Heart;" best actress: Angelica Huston for "The Grifters;" best actor: Gerard Depardieu for "Cyrano de Bergerac." Best director: This is a tough choice, but I'll have to go with Peter Greenaway for "The Cook...." n






This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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