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The Wonder Year

Your article was right on the money (”1999: The Year That Changed Movies”). We haven’t seen filmmaking of this caliber since the 1970s. The brilliant work produced this year could not have happened without the pioneering films of that decade and some films earlier in the ’90s. American Beauty could not have happened without Fargo, and Go would never have seen life without Pulp Fiction. As for Being John Malkovich, I have no idea where that came from!

Duncan Kellett
Eagle River, Alaska

Excellent article, but I noticed that Daniel Fierman left out a few edgy actors in his sidebar. There’s Philip Seymour Hoffman—after his performance in Happiness, last year’s freak-fest, I’d call him ”orgasmically edgy.” And what about the phenomenal Lili Taylor? She was edgy when edgy wasn’t even cool. She’s the ”goddess of edgy.” A few others come to mind—Nicolas Cage: used to be edgy; Johnny Depp: way too cool to ever be edgy; Keanu Reeves: like, what’s edgy again?

Julie Phillips Jordan
Athens, Ga.

After reading your cover story on new filmmakers, I was disappointed by your cavalier attitude toward the previous generation of directors. Many of the young filmmakers touted in the article were clearly inspired by the works of Scorsese, Kubrick, and others. Many of the revolutionary techniques described (fractured narratives, improvised special effects) were pioneered by ”old hat” filmmakers from Godard to Fellini to Bunuel. For example, one of the upcoming movies you mentioned, the Coen brothers’ O Brother, Where Art Thou?, has a decidedly old-school pedigree: The Coens were inspired by some fellow named Homer.

David Platt