‘A Prodigious Decade’: the American cinema from the 1990s in 21 titles

‘The Virgin Suicides’, by Sofia Coppola

09/14/2018.- The film retrospective ‘A Prodigious Decade. American cinema from the  1990s’ will feature a selection of twenty one titles by some of the most significant directors in American independent cinema from the 90s.  

This fest section basically includes these filmmakers’ directorial debuts,  which brought them under the spotlight particularly at the Sundance Festival and signalled the start of outstanding yet quite different film careers. The majority of these directors came from outside the Hollywood studies, even though many of them ended up by succeeding in the mainstream circuits; others have worked in important TV series and have sometimes managed to preserve their independent spirit until they reached international recognition.

The retrospective line-up of  filmmakers  includes a large number of Oscar winners and nominees like  Richard Linklater, the subject of a retrospective in the festival’s 61st edition, who received Oscar nominations for his films  Boyhood (2014),  Before Sunset (2005) and Before Midnight (2013) —the latter two installments in his acclaimed trilogy featuring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy in the main roles.

Alexander Payne is the winner of two Academy Awards respectively for The Descendants (2011) and Sideaways (2004), together with five nominations for titles like Nebraska (2013) and Election (1999), which earned him the Award to the Best New Director at Seminci. Quentin Tarantino is also in possession of two Oscars for his films Django Unchained (2012) and Pulp Fiction (1994) as well as receiving two nominations for Inglourious Bastards (2009). Bryan Singer  bagged two Academy Awards for The Usual Suspects (1995) in the Best Actor and Best Script categories.

Steven Soderberg won the Best Director Academy Award for Traffic (2000) as well as receiving two nominations for Erin Brockovich (2000) and Sex, Lies and Videotapes (1989), which also harvested the Palm D’Or at Cannes. Spike Jonze won an Oscar for Her (2013) and two nominations for his film Being John Malkovich (1999), while Sofia Coppola achieved two nominations and an Oscar for the original script of Lost in Translation (2003), a movie that also bagged Valladolid’s ‘Pilar Miró’ Award to the Best New Director in the festival’s 48th edition.

In the course if his career in film, Paul Thomas Anderson has received nominations for eight Academy Awards for titles like Boggie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), There Will Be Blood (2007), Inherent Vice (2014) and Phantom Thread (2017).

Wes Anderson’s record includes four nominations for The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001). David Fincher was an Academy Award nominee on two occasions, respectively for  The Social Network (2010) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).

Noah Baumbach was nominated for The Squid and the Whale (2005), just like  Darren Aronofsky –the winner of the 45th SEMINCI’s Golden Spike for his  Requiem For a Dream and an Academy Award nominee for Black Swan (2010); the same accolade went to Whit Stillman for Metropolitan (1990), and Todd Haynes for Far From Heaven (2002).

In short, the retrospective will be showcasing the work of a heterogenous yet brilliant generation of filmmakers who managed to breathe new life into American cinema. It will moreover include the publication by SEMINCI of the book La década prodigiosa. Cine americano, años 90 in partnership with the film magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine under the supervision of film expert Carlos F. Heredero.


The Valladolid retrospective will include the screening of these films:

Todd Solondz – Happiness, 1998

Richard Linklater – Slacker, 1991

Noah Baumbach – Kicking & Screaming, 1995

Todd Haynes – Poison, 1991

Alexander Payne – Citizen Ruth, 1996

David Fincher – Seven, 1995

Quentin Tarantino – Reservoir Dogs, 1992

Steven Soderbergh – Sex, Lies and Videotape, 1989

Spike Jonze – Being John Malkovich, 1999

Wes Anderson – Rushmore, 1998

Darren Aronofsky – Pi, 1998

Paul Thomas Anderson – Hard Eight / Sydney, 1996

Kelly Reichardt – River of Grass, 1994

Bryan Singer – The Usual Suspects, 1995

Hal Hartley – Trust, 1990

Ira Sachs – The Delta, 1996

Kevin Smith – Clerks, 1994

Robert Rodriguez – El mariachi, 1992

Whit Stillman – Barcelona, 1994

Sofia Coppola – The Virgin Suicides, 1999

James Gray – Little Odessa, 1994

Posted in 63rd Seminci.