The '90s: A Media Renaissance

July 14, 2018 | By Caroline Lowder

For most of us attending college, we are the last generation of what has been deemed the “90s Baby.” The plethora of memes on our Instagram pages allow us to reminisce about ancient looking toys and poor quality movie scenes that give us one final lifeline to the generation we were born into 20 years ago. Many of us, though, did not get to experience to the fullest extent the true impact the 1990’s had on our world, and definitely need more than just a simple meme to understand. One possible solution to this problem is located just down the street from our home at Northeastern at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA).


Each month this year, the MFA hosts an event titled, “On the Fringe: Indie Film in the 90s,” in which audiences are given the chance to examine the lesser known indie film scene of the 1990’s on the big screen. 


Thinking back on the ‘90s, many remember “Forrest Gump”, “Clueless,” and “Titanic” as defining the decade. While these films did change modern television with their technology and storylines, most people don’t recognize is how progressive the entire movie industry in the 1990’s truly was for cinema. 


“The invention of the VCR meant that Americans were watching movies at home every night of the week, and Hollywood couldn’t keep up with the demand for new content,” states the MFA’s website. “To fill the void, independent filmmakers turned out a bounty of groundbreaking new films made on a relatively small budget and free from the confines of the Hollywood system.”


These indie films changed television and cinema as we know it today, making the ‘90s a modern renaissance for on-screen media. Since many of the films the MFA is putting on through this series have not been seen on the big screen in almost a decade, audiences are provided a unique opportunity to be transported back in time. The MFA screens one to two movies each month, including films like “The Hudsucker Proxy,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Welcome to the Dollhouse”. Over the next couple of months, viewers will have the chance to see “Slums of Beverly Hills” on September 7, “Buffalo 66” on October 5, “Being John Malkovich” on November 2, and “Batman Returns” on December 21.


So, if you are a “90s Baby” looking to delve a little deeper into learning about your generation and the mini-renaissance we were all apart of, the MFA’s “On the Fringe” series is here to help