Nineties Rentals

Exploring the films and filmmakers that broke the rules of cinema in the 1990s.

Our collection focusing on the titles that created a new cinematic language and challenged aesthetic and formal conventions. The influence of these films can still be felt today; some of them challenged what was expected of a director, of moving image, of a national cinema. We celebrate the rule breakers and rebels who defined a decade.

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Before SunriseBefore Sunrise

Drama1995101 minsDirector: Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater's lovely Rohmer-esque romance, in which an American student (Ethan Hawke) convinces a Parisian student (Julie Delpy) to spend the next 14 hours in his company.

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Eyes Wide ShutEyes Wide Shut

Drama1999159 minsDirector: Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick’s final film, released posthumously, is a precise portrayal of a fragile relationship, played out by then-couple Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.

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The Blair Witch ProjectThe Blair Witch Project

Horror199981 minsDirector: Eduardo Sanchez

Three student filmmakers attempt to make a documentary about a local urban legend, in this terrifying and groundbreaking pioneer of the ‘found-footage’ genre.

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Science Fiction199784 minsDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky’s magisterial monochrome mystery concerns a mathematician whose discovery of a powerful number leads to the dark side.

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Drama1999189 minsDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling, intense and multi-layered study of a collection of characters going through varying levels of crisis.

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Boogie NightsBoogie Nights

1997155 minsDirector: Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson's deliriously entertaining account of the mid-70s porn industry, with an unforgettable Mark Wahlberg as 'Dirk Diggler' and Burt Reynolds as his producer.

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My Own Private IdahoMy Own Private Idaho

Drama1991104 minsDirector: Gus Van Sant

A narcoleptic hustler (River Phoenix) and his friend (Keanu Reeves) hit the road in this landmark of New Queer Cinema from Gus Van Sant.

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Crime1995127 minsDirector: David Fincher

David Fincher's breakthrough film is a disturbing and visceral thriller starring Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt as detectives hunting down a meticulous serial killer.

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The MatrixThe Matrix

Science Fiction1999136 minsDirector: Larry Wachowski

Hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves) is drawn into a burgeoning underground rebellion against the machines that enslave humanity, in the hugely influential action sci-fi.

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Menace II SocietyMenace II Society

Drama199397 minsDirector: Albert Hughes

The Hughes brothers' lean, powerful and unflinching look at the mean streets of the urban ghetto.

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Malcolm XMalcolm X

Biopic1992202 minsDirector: Spike Lee

Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.

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Do the Right ThingDo the Right Thing

Comedy1989120 minsDirector: Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s awesome cinematic sucker-punch remains one of the great films about race relations.

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Drama199590 minsDirector: Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle's exhilarating, narcotic trip follows a group of heroin-addicted friends as they navigate their way through Glasgow's seedy 1990s drug culture.

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Bhaji on the BeachBhaji on the Beach

Comedy1993101 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha

Gurinder Chadha's charming and critically acclaimed comedy about a group of British Asian women from Birmingham who bond during a day-trip to Blackpool.

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Musical199877 minsDirector: Julian Henriques

Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.

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Gangster1990145 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese

Scorsese’s dazzling depiction of organised crime from the 50s to late 70s contains some of his most memorably stylish set-pieces.

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Reservoir DogsReservoir Dogs

Film noir199199 minsDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino explodes onto the screen with his debut feature following a jewellery heist gone horribly, violently wrong.

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Pulp FictionPulp Fiction

Crime1994154 minsDirector: Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino’s crackling crime classic still retains its swagger as one of the great American films of recent decades.

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The Crying GameThe Crying Game

Drama1992112 minsDirector: Neil Jordan

Neil Jordan's acclaimed 1992 drama-mystery tells the story of Fergus (Stephen Rea), who looks after the lover (Jaye Davidson) of a British soldier he once knew. But what is Dil hiding?

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Fantasy199293 minsDirector: Sally Potter

Tilda Swinton stars in Sally Potter's dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf's novel.

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Beautiful ThingBeautiful Thing

Comedy199691 minsDirector: Hettie Macdonald

Hettie MacDonald’s 1996 comedy tells the story of two classmates and neighbours (Glen Berry, Scott Neal) who fall in love in over one summer in South East London.

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Comedy199492 minsDirector: Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith ushered in a new wave of no-budget indie filmmaking, and introduced the world to his enduring one-man brand, with this classic convenience-store comedy.

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Trees LoungeTrees Lounge

Comedy199691 minsDirector: Steve Buscemi

Venerable character actor Steve Buscemi steps behind the camera in this profound character study on a lonely, alcoholic, and unemployed mechanic.

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Citizen RuthCitizen Ruth

Drama1996106 minsDirector: Alexander Payne

Laura Dern is hilarious an addict unwittingly caught in the midst of America's culture wars, in Alexander Payne's superb first feature - previously unreleased in the UK.

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Blue Black PermanentBlue Black Permanent

Drama199286 minsDirector: Margaret Tait

Engaging, poetic story of three generations of Scottish women made by artist Margaret Tait.

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Brothers in TroubleBrothers in Trouble

Drama1995103 minsDirector: Udayan Prasad

Udayan Prasad's perceptive 1995 drama follows Amir (Pavan Malhotra), a Pakistani immigrant living in England and adjusting to his new life - including meeting an Irish girl who moves into his boarding house.

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East Is EastEast Is East

Comedy199997 minsDirector: Damien O'Donnell

Damien O'Donnell's charming comedy-drama about Zaheed Khan (Om Puri), the patriarch of a Pakistani-British family whose children begin to reject their heritage and embrace UK life.

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Open Your EyesOpen Your Eyes

Thriller1997119 minsDirector: Alejandro Amenábar

Alejandro Amenabar’s signature science-fiction drama follows a young man who falls for his dream woman, before he is disfigured in an accident.

Currently unavailable

Live FleshLive Flesh

Drama199797 minsDirector: Pedro Almodóvar

Pedro Almodóvar’s sexy and suspenseful thriller follows the intertwining destinies of a cop (Javier Bardem) and the criminal who paralyses him.

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Children of HeavenChildren of Heaven

Comedy199788 minsDirector: Majid Majidi

Iranian siblings Ali and Zahra lose the latter’s pair of shoes – but devise a plan to survive and obtain new ones in this family drama.

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Sixth HappinessSixth Happiness

Biopic199794 minsDirector: Waris Hussein

Funny, acerbic and moving story of a young man's sexual awakening as family life crumbles around him.

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Comedy199798 minsDirector: Peter Mullan

Peter Mullan steps behind the camera for this pitch-black comedy surrounding a family who reunite for their mother’s funeral.

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Trying to Kiss the MoonTrying to Kiss the Moon

Animation & Artists Moving Image199496 minsDirector: Stephen Dwoskin

Autobiographical film by the veteran disabled experimental filmmaker, Steve Dwoskin.

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Institute Benjamenta Institute Benjamenta

Drama1995105 minsDirector: Brothers Quay

Mark Rylance stars in the debut feature film from the Brothers Quay. A student at a peculiar school for servants gradually uncovers its secrets and, by extension, those of life itself.

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The GardenThe Garden

Animation & Artists Moving Image199192 minsDirector: Derek Jarman

Inside his modest, sparsely-furnished home on the barren, windswept Dungeness coastline, Derek Jarman dreams.

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Remembrance of Things FastRemembrance of Things Fast

Animation & Artists Moving Image199362 minsDirector: John Maybury

John Maybury’s dark, queer state of the nation film starring Tilda Swinton and Rupert Everett

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Daughters of the DustDaughters of the Dust

Drama1991112 minsDirector: Julie Dash

Julie Dash’s groundbreaking Daughters of the Dust remains urgent and poetic and continues to resonate, most recently inspiring Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

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Eve's BayouEve's Bayou

Drama1997115 minsDirector: Kasi Lemmons

Samuel L. Jackson stars in this seething slice of Southern Gothic, about the travails of a Louisiana family bedevilled by infidelity, incest and witchcraft.

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