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1994 film

Related: 1994 - 1990s film

Films: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Non-fiction: Immoral Tales: Sex And Horror Cinema In Europe 1956-1984 (1994)

More films

  • Exotica (1994) - Atom Egoyan [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    In spite of its atrociously misleading packaging, Exotica is a beguiling mystery by enigmatic Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, in which people and their relationships are not what they seem. What at first appear to be disparate stories of a tormented tax auditor, a lonely pet-shop owner, and a sensitive stripper and her coworkers gradually merge to reveal a larger, interconnected portrait. The sequences involving Mia Kirshner's schoolgirl stripper are particularly engrossing because of her character's intelligence and the scenes' deeper subtext. Indeed, Exotica is less about stripping than about fragile human relationships, and it is not until the truly revelatory final scene that we are able to fully absorb the film's deeper meaning. --Bryan Reesman for amazon.com [...]

  • The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) - Stephan Elliott [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    A surprise hit in America, this 1994 Australian comedy is anchored by Terence Stamp as a transsexual who, in the company of two drag queens, travels to a remote desert location to put on a lip- synch performance--to the amazement of the locals. Getting there on a pink bus named Priscilla, the trio stop and play for people all over the Outback, getting the same homophobic, bewildered responses. The weak link in the film is dialogue that seems to have been pulled from "Queer Movie Banter for Dummies," all bitchy and cliché-ridden but fortunately salvaged by strong acting. The most fun comes whenever the three are performing; fans of Abba will be particularly pleased. The DVD release has optional full-screen and widescreen presentations, cast and crew bios, optional French and Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh for amazon.com

  • Parfum d'Yvonne, Le (1994) - Patrice Leconte
    Patrice Leconte is one of France's most elegant contemporary directors - and that is considerable praise. Le Parfum d'Yvonne (1994) is an exquisite, erotic movie experience.

  • Riget aka The Kingdom (1994) - Morten Arnfred, Lars von Trier [Amazon US]
    The Kingdom defies categorization. This cult Danish miniseries plays like a nightmarish cross between Twin Peaks and Chicago Hope as directed by David Cronenberg, and even that hardly captures the giddy absurdity of Lars von Trier's soap-opera-cum-horror-tale. The setting is a modern hospital built on a medieval graveyard, but the most terrifying ghosts belong not to ancient history but rather to the hospital's own dark past. An egotistical, self-righteous visiting Swedish doctor, who abhors the Danes and screams his outrage in nightly rants from the hospital roof, presides over this ensemble of eccentrics; but he's hardly the strangest this hospital has to offer. ER has nothing on this delirious madhouse, where haunted ambulances, a Masonic cult, a devil cabal, demons, ghosts, and a most mysterious pregnancy lurk in the fringes of more earthly (though equally bizarre) melodramas. Shooting in video with a bobbing handheld camera, von Trier creates an otherworldly atmosphere with the dimly lit corridors and bland, drained color schemes, set to an eerily sparse soundtrack of echoing hospital sounds and electronic wailings. The mix of deadpan hysteria and spooky ghost story concludes with the most outrageous cliffhanger put on film (to be continued in The Kingdom II). (The home video also includes closing comments by a smiling von Trier himself, unseen in the theatrical version.) Simply put, you've never seen anything quite like this. --Sean Axmaker, amazon.com

    There is no shortage of odd and intriguing subplots as well. Pathologist Bondo (Baard Owe) goes to incredible lengths to obtain a specimen of a rare liver tumor, with unsettling results. Med student Peter "Mogge" Moesgaard (Peter Mygirnd) finds himself immersed in vivid nightmares of ghouls and cannibalism (The nightmare-cannibalism scenes would make George Romero proud) while participating in a sleep study. The severed head of an anatomy-class corpse keeps turning up at the worst possible moments (though is there ever a good moment for a severed head to make an unexpected appearance?) A ghost ambulance makes eerie midnight runs, a bloody hand clawing at its window. Neurosurgeon Judith Petersen (Birgette Raaberg) experiences a pregnancy that makes Rosemary's Baby seem like a blessed event. [...] --Charles Avinger dvdmaniacs.net

  • Heavenly Creatures (1994) - Peter Jackson [Amazon US]
    A starkly original film-going experience based on a true life story, this film from New Zealand director Peter Jackson (Dead Alive, The Frighteners) is a stirring drama that offers up the unexpected. The story concerns two girls, outcasts who become best friends, whose bizarre fantasy life becomes more intense as their bond becomes increasingly more obsessive. When the mother of one of the girls tries to intervene and split the girls apart, they kill her and stand trial for murder in what is to this day still a celebrated and controversial case. Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Melanie Lynskey create two sympathetic and yet uncomfortably eerie characters in riveting portrayals. Featuring some startling and unique moments of visual brilliance as well as a disturbing love story between the two girls, Heavenly Creatures is at once both unsettling and beautiful to behold. --Robert Lane

  • Clean, Shaven (1994) - Lodge H. Kerrigan [Amazon US]
    I caught attention of this hardly known gem at a local video store, noticing bold statements as "Dare to watch it" and "Boldest, most unforgettable film of the year." This is one film where you can believe the hype. Not since "Henry: Portrait of a serial killer" has a movie really shown an in-depth cinematic representation of the mind of a serial killer. But "Clean, Shaven" is a step above films like "Henry" and "Man Bites Dog". Winner of many awards, it tells a simple story of Peter Winter, a very dangerous schizophrenic just released from an institution, and his search for his daughter, while at the same time police are trying to catch up with him. Peter Greene is absolutely convincing as the deranged schizophrenic...he shows no emotion as he shaves his head and cuts his scalp in the process, nor is oblivous to pain during a very notable scene involving his fingernail and a very sharp object. And Kerrigan's excellent direction is what moves this film to near brillance...Instead of just telling the story with characters speaking to one another, he forces us into the mind of the schizophrenic. The movie is told mainly by images and sounds, as if what Winter was really experiencing...scenes are made unsettling by disturbing sampling and music, with long scenes of almost surreal images, intesifying the tension of the movie. After watching "Clean, Shaven", you'll have the feeling of meeting a real-life schizophrenic. Not many movies can boast this fact, nor make it realistic, but "Clean, Shaven" does that, and more. One of the most unforgettable films, indie or not, in the past few years. --Marcus for amazon.com

  • Crumb (1994) - Terry Zwigoff [Amazon US]
    Robert Crumb is known for his disturbing, yet compelling, underground cartoons: his most famous works made countercultural icons out of Mr. Natural ("Keep on Truckin'...") and Fritz the Cat. Terry Zwigoff delves into the odd world of the cartoonist in his documentary film Crumb, and the picture that emerges is not always pretty--at moments, it's almost repellent--but it's a fascinating glimpse into a very strange mind. Interviewing immediate family--Crumb has one suicidal brother, one semi-psychopathic brother, two sisters who declined to be interviewed, and a tyrannical mother--Crumb begins to look a bit saner. Given his surroundings, it's remarkable that he has survived so well. His hostilities toward women may turn some viewers off, but his wife, Aline, seems to be a grounding point, and she provides a solid counterbalance to the man. No one shies away from discussing incredibly intimate things (namely, sex!), which explains much of R. Crumb's cartoons. This documentary can definitely be considered a masterpiece for the cult crowd, and as for the rest of us, it's sure to make us feel a little better about our own lives! --Jenny Brown for amazon.com

  • Exit to Eden (1994) - Garry Marshall [Amazon US]
    I was very much disappointed by what this movie has managed to do, turning a serious study of a dark and complex aspect of human sexuality, and one of the most misunderstood, SM relationships, and turning it into a farce! [...] It needs lots of courage and and an adventurous director and producer to remake Jaeckin's Stoy of O or Shroeder's Maitresse these days, and the closest film that came close to seriously study SM relationships on screen recently is the Korean art house (ie little seen) film Lies,(not forgetting the 'painfully' unwatchable British comedy Preaching to the Perverted (with a delightfully 'kinky' Guinevere Turner as the 'Mistress')[...]
    --mob2000 for amazon.com

  • Once Were Warriors (1994) - Lee Tamahori [Amazon US]
    New Zealand filmmaker Lee Tamahori (The Edge) directed this brutal but powerful story drawn from the culture of poverty and alienation enveloping contemporary Maori life. Rena Owen plays the beleaguered mother of two boys--one of whom is already in prison while the other contemplates membership in a gang--and a daughter whose potential is being smothered at home. Temuera Morrison gives an outstanding and sometimes shocking performance as the violent head of the household, more adept at keeping up his social stature within his community of friends than holding down a job. The film pulls no punches, literally and figuratively, but despite the rough going, Tamahori gives us a rare and important insight into a disenfranchised people digging down deep to find their pride. --Tom Keogh

  • Prêt-à-Porter aka Ready to Wear (1994) - Robert Altman[1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Robert Altman's much-anticipated broadside at the world of fashion is a disappointment. The film's crazy-quilt Nashville-like narrative structure and ensemble casting (Julia Roberts, Tim Robbins, Lauren Bacall, Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren) are a thing to behold, but the story's many interlocking pieces lack overall depth and resonating emotion. There is a grand, satiric statement about fashion and society at the end of the film, and there are hints of an aging, nostalgic filmmaker's skepticism about our postmodern world of short-lived attachments and meanings. But watching this film is a long, long uphill climb, with a lot of thin air to endure before arriving at a destination. --Tom Keogh [...]

  • Pulp Fiction (1994) - Quentin Tarantino [Amazon US]
    With the knockout one-two punch of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and 1994's Pulp Fiction writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender. But Pulp Fiction was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that reestablished John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultrahip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin, and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction was a sensation. No, it was not the Second Coming (I actually think Reservoir Dogs is a more substantial film; and P.T. Anderson outdid Tarantino in 1997 by making his directorial debut with two even more mature and accomplished pictures, Hard Eight and Boogie Nights). But Pulp Fiction packs so much energy and invention into telling its nonchronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption, and redemption amongst modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.) --Jim Emerson for amazon.com [...]

  • Nattevagten aka Nightwatch (1994) - Ole Bornedal [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Ole Bornedal's original 1994 Nightwatch has his 1998 American remake beat, hands down. The original is so much more restrained and controlled, the tautness of it practically hits you in the face. Unlike Nick Nolte's unabashedly hammy performance, the actor who plays the investigating cop here keeps a lid on his emotions and so his character is infinitely more credible. The pacing is tighter, the acting is just sparse enough--and therefore supremely effective--and the suspense, based on this minimalistic perspective, is that much more palpable. lgwriter49 for amazon.com [...]

  • The Sexual Life of the Belgians aka La Vie Sexuelle Des Belges (1994) - Jan Bucquoy [1 VHS, Amazon US]
    One can never learn enough about sex seems to pretend the director of this movie. He grows up in a little town in Belgium and his dream is to become a writer. He is trapped at an evening party with the daughter of the butcher and this leaves him with the feeling of a bad start. He sees his aunt and discovers for the first time the shape of a female body which captivates him and the encouragements of his schooltheacher makes him dream of a splendid future. He leaves the factory where he should spend the rest of his life and goes to Brussels. He makes a child to his beloved one, so he has to marry but meanwhile he falls in love with his marxist teacher and soon there is a divorce. But with the invention of the pill the sexual revolution starts and he now wants to revenge his solitary childhood. He does not succeed as a writer and becomes frustrated when he cannot at the end discover his "real one". More and more he thinks back at his happy youth when there was nothing complicated in the arms of his mother wich was the starting image of the movie. He is present when his mother dies and he finds consolation with the angel of love who forgives in the name of his mother his unfruitful life. -- A viewer from Belgium for amazon.com [...]

  • Reality Bites (1994) - Ben Stiller [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Ben Stiller's directorial debut was this sporadically successful twentysomething comedy that tries too hard to codify the generational experience of its young adult characters. Winona Ryder plays a still-unformed woman struggling with career and relationship issues, Janeane Garofalo portrays her best friend, and Ethan Hawke and Stiller play the two lovers pursuing her. The story is as also about generation-X confusion over how to get by in a hand-me-down world with not much to get excited about, a world filled with a pop culture currency of bad music and poetry slams. The film's chief strength is its appealing cast, which is bolstered by appearances from David Spade, Renee Zellweger, Kevin Pollak, Jeanne Triplehorn, and Stiller's mother, Anne Meara. The DVD release presents the film in its original widescreen ratio. --Tom Keogh

  • Ed Wood (1994) - Tim Burton [Amazon US]
    Edward D. Wood Jr. was an actor writer-director-producer, occasionally in drag, who combined meager bursts of talent with an undying optimism to create some of the most bizarrely memorable "B" movies to ever come out of Tinseltown. Though Wood died in obscurity as an alcoholic in 1978, his films have been considered cult classics for years. He is consistently voted the worst director who ever lived. You would think this an odd subject, but director Tim Burton harnesses the undying hopefulness that made Wood such a character. Shot in black and white, just like Wood's creations, this stylized, witty production captures the poetic absurdity of Wood's films and his unconventional life. Burton's recreation of Wood's wonderfully awful Plan 9 from Outer Space looks much better than the original low-budget quickie. Burton tackled an extremely strange subject matter for a biopic, but Wood is presented as naive almost to the point of delusion, so the story works. The pace sags in the middle, as the weirdness starts to wear thin, but Depp proves himself an adroit actor, even while wearing angora and a blonde wig. Wood's unconventional repertoire company is faithfully reproduced, including an Academy Award-winning Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Landau is pathetic, droll, and charismatic as the elderly junkie who made his last screen appearances in Wood's films. --Rochelle O'Gorman for amazon.com

  • The Last Seduction (1994) - John Dahl [Amazon US]
    Whew. Linda Fiorentino is like a home-grown apocalyptic nightmare as the sizzling, sexy dame who thinks "sharing" is a dirty word. Fiorentino, a master of the double-cross, hooks up with naive Peter Berg, a nice guy desperate for a little adventure. There are endless twists to this cleverly vicious story, but the real draw is Fiorentino, whose performance is brilliant. She is the Everywoman you never want to meet: cool as ice, passionate, tough, self-satisfied, smart, and amoral. Bill Pullman is a surprise as a Machiavellian doctor who is almost her match. Definitely not a date flick, as this represents one vicious battle in the sexual wars. [Neo noir movie --jahsonic] --Rochelle O'Gorman

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