If there was a philosophy to be applied to 1999, it was this: Move forward, but keep looking back. In a century-ending year that often found us celebrating the past, the touchstones of pop culture — film, music, television, books, video, and the Internet — put those memories in hyperdrive and sent them spinning into the future. In the following pages, our pundits capture all the highs, including Jim Carrey’s uncanny take on comedian Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon; Robbie Williams’ modern gloss on classic pop; James Miller’s literary dissection of rock & roll’s golden age; the Reagan-era-set Freaks and Geeks; The Blair Witch Project’s high-tech sales pitch for old-fashioned chills; and the age-defying Wizard of Oz in a crystal-pure DVD edition that even the Wiz couldn’t dream up. Of course, we don’t neglect the lows—like Chris Gaines, one act we doubt will ever evoke nostalgia.
Posted December 24 1999 — 12:00 AM EST
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