1999 was a year of transition in my life. I was going to High School. I was realizing I was growing up...slightly. It was also the year I discovered that I loved film. I saw the trailer for Rushmore and as a kid who grew up loving the movies of Bill Murray (some of which may show up here on this list) I immediately wanted to see it. I had moderately strict parents so seeing an R movie was a big deal. Although the film was actually released in 98, 99 saw it's national release. I talked my dad into taking me and after the credits rolled, my freshman in high school mind wasn't completely prepared for it. I knew as I was watching Rushmore that something changed inside my mind. It wasn't until maybe a year later or so that it started running constantly on Comedy Central that I was lucky enough to see one of the best movies of my life and ultimately one of the most important ones as well.
The thing about Rushmore that really hit me was it's style. And yeah, that's an obvious thing to point out about any Wes Anderson flick. Stylistically they are all very unique. Something about Rushmore over the rest of his films after it just seems a little more realistic in certain terms. Although the characters are deadpan and dry, there is still an emotional attachment gained from their tragic flaws that is ultimately beautiful and hilarious. The film was more than just a good story with laughs, which before seeing Rushmore was something that went over my head or I just didn't have time for. The way music was important to the exposition, especially in this scene, was totally new and exciting to me.
Yeah, sure I had seen my fair share of montage's, but never to such hilarious yet heartbreaking an extent. The introduction of Jason Schwartzman, who is my oldest sisters age and at that time was just 17. For someone who was around the same age as me to have such an amazing role was really awesome to see. His performance as Max Fisher is still easily one of my all time favorite performances. His foil, Bill Murray's sedated performance as Herman Blume, also was a shining moment in Murray's career and a drastic change from what Murray could do to my young mind who only knew him in his over-the-top comedic performances.
A film like this that really changes your perspective on film rarely comes by. Only a few of these on this list will have had a drastic effect on my life, whereas most will have these attached memories and moments stuck in time. Rushmore really is something else. It's a comedy, it's a drama and it's a stylized work of art all in one. It has a soundtrack to die for and has some amazing camera work. It's aesthetics are just as good as it's comedics. It sits near the top of my list of favorite movies and is definitely one of the most quotable ones as well. The writing between Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson was at the top of it's game with it's sharp wit and dry sense of humor. Rushmore is something that really changed my perspective on art and film and it definitely is one of the movies that made me want to study film. It's one of the reasons film is important to me and it's definitely something different.
1. Cinema Paradiso (1988) dr. Giuseppe Tornatore
2. Rushmore (1998) dr. Wes Anderson
Next Up: Jurassic Park (1993) dr. Steven Speilberg