THE BLOG
12/04/2012 08:34 am ET Updated Feb 03, 2013

Making Movies Like Its 1999

Dear Movie-Watchers,

I am terribly sorry for my lack of writing in the past couple of months. The first semester of my senior year basically obliterated any semblance of free time -- I have definitely lost that sense of urgency with my movie watching. That being said, I have found two of my new favorite movies: "American Beauty" and "Fight Club."

1999: the end of a century and the beginning of an era. These two films mark a new fascination with the subconscious. The protagonists both struggle with their grip on reality -- however, in "American Beauty," we know he is hallucinating... in "Fight Club," not so much.

Both films take risks, experimenting with ideas of sexuality, homosexuality, violence, corruption, and most poignantly, human dissatisfaction. These two films force watchers to confront their own happiness -- the sort of introspection rarely spawned by cinema. These films can be watched for pure recreation. Still, for the more literary, they have a remarkably analytical quality, the type often reserved for great novels.

I must warn you, if you are going to watch "Fight Club," don't do so while eating. I made that mistake... Your food will not be nearly as appetizing while watching men get beaten so brutally that you can see more blood on their faces than skin. If you cannot handle violence, this probably isn't the best choice for you. Still, I think that the film's inner workings, strong dialogue and truly spectacular acting outweigh the gruesome scenes.

"American Beauty" is just plain genius. Its ability to capture teenagers with such truth and no clichéd stereotyping still stupefies me. These characters are people I know, these lines are words I've heard, and yet the situation is so foreign to me. The philosophical undertones really shine through if you're looking in the right places. This is the type of film I keep returning to, always finding something new to latch onto, a new idea I hadn't yet explored.

Do you think the late '90s bred other movies of such distinction? Which of these two is your favorite? I can't decide! Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts on these movies or any on my list! Happy Holidays to all of you.

To track my progress in real time, follow me on Twitter @RDeChiara.

Adaptation
Almost Famous
American Beauty
American Graffiti
American Psycho
An Education
As Good as It Gets
Blood Diamond
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Bringing Up Baby
Burn After Reading
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Casablanca
Cast Away
Crash
Crimes and Misdemeanor
Dazed and Confused
Deer Hunter
District 9
Driving Miss Daisy
Fargo
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Fight Club
Forrest Gump
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Frost/Nixon
Gangs of New York
Garden State
Gone with the Wind
Good Will Hunting
Goodfellas
Hotel Rwanda
Into the Wild
Kramer vs. Kramer
LA Confidential
Leaving Las Vegas
Letters from Iwo Jima
Lost in Translation
Man on Wire
Memento
Michael Clayton
Million Dollar Baby
Mystic River
No Country for Old Men
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Panic Room
Philadelphia
Pulp Fiction
Rain Man
Ransom
Ray
Rebel Without a Cause
Risky Business
Rocky
Saint Elmo's Fire
Scarface
Schindler's List
Shakespeare in Love
Sideways
Star Wars
Terms of Endearment
The Birdcage
The Departed
The Fighter
The Godfather Trilogy
The Hours
The Hurt Locker
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Outsiders
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shining
The Silence of the Lambs

The Sting
The Usual Suspects
The Wrestler
True Grit
Up in the Air
Winter's Bone
Witness
Working Girl