Artwork by Sarah K
Whether it’s in film, music or even the clothes we wear we seem to be more nostalgic over the 90s than ever. WHY??? Is it simply a case of jumping on a flannel wearing, VHS buying bandwagon? Are people really missing the 90s? Well, whatever it is I’m happy to be a part of it.
Personally the first thing that pops into my head when I hear “90’s nostalgia” is Winona Ryder and the TV show Daria. Many of us suffer from 90s nostalgia. Longing that we had been old enough to experience all those cult classics at the time they came out before they were cult classics. What you may have not known is that when nostalgia was identified as a condition for the first time it was labeled as a disease. In the 17th century Swiss doctors discovered what they called a ‘pathological homesickness that turned those afflicted with it indifferent to their surroundings and aching for the past.’ Nostalgics were treated with opium, leeches and warm emulsions and it was considered a paralyzing disease. Now days it just means sitting on tumblr and netlfix watching your favorite 90s movies. Currently nostalgia isn’t viewed as dangerous, if it was we would all be fucked. Actually with every wannabe 90s grunge hipster owing a macbook pro they can pretty much relive the 90s online, weather it be watching Jurassic Park, ET on Netflix or buying some flannel and oversized grandma sweaters on Etsy. Now to the good part. Call it, “Jenna’s ode to 90s cult classics”
Let’s start with Winona Idrideher I mean Winona Ryder films. She is THE 90s it girl she had everything. (even got the guy!) In 1990 a little film called Edward Scissorhands was released. Okay it’s not a “little” film everyone has seen that fucking movie. This movie was the ultimate love story between two forbidden souls. He was the freak who had scissors for hands and she was the popular cheerleader. Their love was doomed form the start. But they did get an “i love you” and a kiss so it wasn’t all shot to hell.
The second movie that just screams 90’s is Reality Bites. Released in 1994 with not so rave reviews it follows the lives of a group of Houston college graduates. They, like everyone else in Gen X at the time are trying to figure out what the hell to do with their lives. Lelaina Pierce is a filmmaker. She’s making her first feature about her friends and their lives. Because of her sassy personality she loses her job and some of her friends. She’s deeply in love with Troy but is dating Michael who is helping her advance her film career. This causes trouble and yadda yadda yadda just watch the damn movie. The cool thing about this movie though as an almost 20 year old and someone of college age I can totally relate to this movie. I’m looking for everything Lelaina was looking for. More specifically what makes this movie so 90’s is its understanding subplots of social issues that were very prevalent in the 1990s. There is a character dealing with HIV and another one dealing with coming out to his mom. The clever thing is, each of these issues were treated respectfully without defining the character and taking over the movie.
When you hear Clueless you think of the phrase “As if” or a very sexy Paul Rudd falling in love with his sort of step sister. It’s very incestual (is that a word??) in my mind. Anyway this movie has somewhat become the poster child of the 90s. Everyone just fucking raves about this film claiming it’s “the only way they got through high school”. People have no chill. I personally don’t like this movie.
I think when it comes to learning about film, the 90s were a very important era. That’s when all those movies came out that literally made you go “what the fuck am I watching?”. For instance I watched “Cry Baby” and it was a huge WTF movie. Another is “The Stupids” Remember that movie? Yea ya do! It was TERRIBLE. Regardless of all the shitty movies produced in the 90s the exceptional ones are the ones that made the 90s so important to film.
LET’S ALL EMBRACE THE 90’s!