Some years are better than others: “Carlito’s Way,” “Short Cuts,” “True Romance,” and more from 1993

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Looking at Entertainment Weekly’s recent fall movie preview got me thinking.

By the time autumn 1993 came around, I was a full-fledged movie fanatic. But most of what I knew came from a few books, like Roger Ebert’s latest “movie companion,” the occasional newspaper or magazine articles I would come upon, and whatever I could find on TV that related to cinema.

Around that time, I started subscribing to Premiere and Movieline, as well as Entertainment Weekly, and to this day, I still recall the joy I felt when paging through EW’s fall 1993 movie preview.

That was 20 years ago now (!), but I still consider that one of the best cinematic seasons ever. Okay, so that was also the year of “The Good Son,” “Striking Distance,” “Warlock: The Armageddon,” and “Mr. Nanny.” They can’t all be gems.

Take a look at some of what was released that fall:

 

September 3:

“Kalifornia”

 

September 10:

“True Romance”

 

September 15:

“Household Saints”

 

September 24:

“Dazed and Confused”

 

October 1:

“The Age of Innocence”

“A Bronx Tale”

“M. Butterfly”

 

October 3:

“Short Cuts”

 

October 8:

“Gettysburg”

“Ruby in Paradise”

 

October 15:

“Fearless”

“The Nightmare Before Christmas”

“Farewell My Concubine”

 

November 5:

“The Remains of the Day”

 

November 12:

“Carlito’s Way”

“The Piano”

 

November 24:

“A Perfect World”

 

December 15:

“Schindler’s List”

 

December 17:

“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”

 

December 25

“Tombstone”

“Heaven and Earth”

“Philadelphia”

 

Also opening around that time was “Three Colors: Blue,” “The Scent of Green Papaya,” “In the Name of the Father,” “Naked,” and “Cronos.” And earlier that year came “Groundhog Day,” “Jurassic Park,” “In the Line of Fire,” “The Fugitive,” “The Firm,” “Much Ado About Nothing,” “King of the Hill,” “Searching for Bobby Fisher,” “The Sandlot,” “Menace II Society,” and “The Wedding Banquet.” And I’m probably missing some greats here.

Just think, in a matter of months came new films from Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, Brian De Palma, Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood, Jane Campion, Peter Weir, Robert Altman, Oliver Stone, Jonathan Demme, Mike Leigh, Ang Lee, Steven Soderbergh, and Tim Burton. Wow.

So … what does this all mean? Nothing, really. Just that — to paraphrase the Smiths — some seasons, and some years, are better than others. I happen to think 2013 has not been bad, thanks to some memorable small releases.

Perhaps, if TIFF13 has some biggies, 2013 will carry on 1993’s legacy. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Photo from “Carlito’s Way”

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