Editor: Christine Holmlund
Editor info: Professor of Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies and French
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Synopsis: With the U.S. economy booming under President Clinton and the cold war finally over, many Americans experienced peace and prosperity in the nineties. Digital technologies gained popularity, with nearly one billion people online by the end of the decade. The film industry wondered what the effect on cinema would be. The essays in American Cinema of the 1990s examine the big budget blockbusters and critically acclaimed independent films that defined the decade. The 1990s most popular genre, action, channeled anxieties about global threats such as AIDS and foreign terrorist attacks into escapist entertainment movies. Horror films and thrillers were on the rise, but family-friendly pictures and feel-good romances netted big audiences too. Meanwhile, independent films captured hearts, engaged minds, and invaded Hollywood: by decade’s end every studio boasted its own “art film” affiliate. Among the films discussed are Terminator 2, The Matrix, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Boys Don’t Cry, Toy Story, and Clueless.