Pink on Wednesdays, a massacre among classmates, the Black Mamba, the fateful Steve Buscemi, and a romantic walk through Paris – remember those epic moments from the main films of the zero? We propose to revise the iconic paintings of the great bygone era.
For some, the era of the zero is a party about the failed end of the world, which everyone was waiting for in 2000. For millennials, zero is adolescence, a time of self-knowledge, an attempt to clue to some subculture; it’s a reality show, deliberately sexualizing everything and everyone in pop culture, pink, Paris, Lindsey and Britney, school intrigue and constant stress, first love, and broken hearts and, of course, loyal friends with whom all these problems were nothing. The cinema of the zero is so diverse and variegated that there is a heel of films for everyone, thanks to which you can be in the zero for only a few initial scenes (or even already on the opening credits).
Esquire chose movies that will remind you of a carefree time when the dollar was 30 rubles, the sky was higher, and life seemed full of possibilities.
Mean Girls (2004)
Lindsay Lohan, who had already become a star by 2004, plays a quiet girl, Kady, who moved from Africa to the United States with her parents. From one jungle, she gets to another – high school, full of intrigue and subject to the principles of natural selection, dictates her own rules to a young girl. Kady is warned that the school is clearly divided into certain groups. At the top of this pyramid are the three most popular girls led by Regina George (played by Rachel McAdams for some reason in a wig), “pure evil in the flesh.” Of course, Kady is accepted into this company, and now she also wears pink on Wednesdays, and after school goes with her friend’s shopping. The girl uses her position to take revenge on Regina for the offense, win the guy, and, of course, regret everything.
The film’s script was written by comedian, screenwriter, and producer Tina Fey (in the film, she plays a teacher accused of drug trafficking), known for her collaboration with Saturday Night Live and the series 33 Rock. In the year of its release, the film was shot precisely because, in the typical high school setting, Fairy placed bright characters and a relevant (even today) agenda – self-acceptance, respect for others, and the fragility of reputation. Today, “Mean Girls” is also a portal to the zero, where all the attributes inherent in this era have been preserved: pink, pop-rock, the intrigues of high school with its laws of wildlife, and the victory of friendship no matter what.
The film was inspired by a self-help guide for teenage parents Rosalind Weisman, Queen Bees, and Wannabes.
Battle Royale (2000)
Speaking of intrigues at school and hatred of classmates – in the Japanese thriller-dystopia, which became a cult, this topic has reached a critical point. Long before The Hunger Games and other secondary films, where teenagers are forced to kill each other due to the economic crisis, this idea appeared in Kosiun Takami’s novel Battle Royale. The book became a bestseller in Japan a film of the same name was made on it.
In the story, due to the crisis, 15% of the population of Japan, more precisely, part of the totalitarian state of Great east Asia, lost their jobs. Due to mass boycotts of schools, the government launched the Battle Royale project, in which teenagers are forced to participate under threat of death. Participants – only forty-two of them – are kidnapped and sent to a desert island, then they wear special electronic collars. Within three days, schoolchildren must kill each other – only the last survivor gets freedom. These collars explode if the participant is in the forbidden zone, tries to remove it, or is not one participant in the final, but more.
Interesting fact: Battle Royale is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films. And the actress Chiaki Kuriyama, who played one of the schoolgirls, will shoot in “Kill Bill” in the role of gog Yubari’s bodyguard.
Kill Bill (2003), Kill Bill 2 (2004)
Zero for cinema is a turning point in history. In the zero postmodernism in cinema, it established its position: the level of citation of films, TV series, and works of art of the past reached unprecedented volumes. It is fair to say that after zero, we have entered the era of post-postmodernity. As the brightest representative of the direction, Tarantino created not just a masterpiece dilogy in the genre of martial arts but also put a fat point in quoting anything. It seems that no one before or since has been able to put as many movie quotes as he did in Kill Bill. Uma Thurman’s yellow costume as an homage to Bruce Lee, a whole scene drawn in the style of anime, the character of Gogo Yubari, referring to the “Battle Royale,” visual references of classic westerns and Japanese and Chinese fighters, Tarantino even quotes himself. “Kill Bill” is essentially the era of zero in two films, where all the best of past eras are collected, mixed, and turned into new cultural codes.
According to the plot (Tarantino himself wrote the script), the former hired girl Beatrice Kiddo, nicknamed Black Mamba, takes revenge on her former colleagues and former lover Bill for the atrocity that was committed her. The whole gang broke into the rehearsal of her wedding and staged a massacre. Pregnant Beatrice was also not spared. Waking up after a four-year coma — without a child and full of anger — Beatrice goes to brutally kill everyone on her list with a katana.
Interesting fact: there are American (international) and Japanese versions of the film. In the American version, at the beginning of the film, the saying is used as an epigraph: “Revenge is a dish that is better served cold,” and in the Japanese version – a dedication to the Japanese master of cinema Kinji Fukasaku, the director of the film “Battle Royale.”
Ghost World (2001)
Zero as puberty time for millennials is a difficult period. Self-determination, the proximity of growing up dictate teenagers to choose: who to become, where to go to study, how to earn a living, how to spend money correctly, how to be responsible? These contradictions and heartfelt lamentations are filled with “Ghost World,” based on a comic book of the same name.
Best friends Enid (Tora Burch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) graduated from school – ahead of the summer without plans for the future and special hopes. They are both cynical, antisocial. Among peers, they are not too popular. The girls see an ad in the newspaper saying that a middle-aged single man named Seymour (played by Steve Buscemi) is asking a woman he recently met to contact him. Enid plays him on the phone and impersonates this woman — and invites him to meet. Seymour arrives at the meeting, and Enid, Rebecca, and their friend ridicule the poor man. However, then Enid becomes sorry for the man, and gradually she falls in love with him.
“Ghost World” has become an idealistic continuation of such series as “Daria” on MTV, “Generation Doom” by Gregg Araki, and “Welcome to the Dollhouse” by Todd Solondz, which are united by the general asociality of the outsider heroes, their anger at the world around them and unwillingness to change. And these heroes are the most sincere. They express all the problems of the teenage world fiercely, openly, maliciously, and honestly.
Interesting fact: according to one of the fan theories, the film’s final scene is a metaphor for suicide.
Before Sunset (2004)
The second part of the romantic trilogy of Richard Linklater is about the relationship of the writer Jesse (Etan Hawke) and the girl Celine (Julie Delpy). But don’t worry if you didn’t watch the first part of “Before Dawn” (1995). The author of this article, in general, once began to watch this trilogy with the final part – the film “Before Midnight” (2013).
So, after the events of the first part of the trilogy – where Jesse and Celine wandered around Vienna all night, fell in love with each other, and then each went his own way – we meet the heroes again, after nine years. Jesse arrives on tour with his best-selling book in Paris. Celine comes to one of the meetings with the readers, and they go for a walk around the city before Jesse’s departure. Anyone who has fallen deeply in love with the zeros will be familiar with these walks – when you can’t talk to a person when the most important topics are raised in the conversation that you have not discussed with anyone so hotly so far when you do not want to finish this walk, and you find any excuses to stay. Jesse also constantly postpones the moment of her and Celine’s breakup – and agrees with the driver to give the girl a ride home on the way to the airport to continue the conversation in the car. In the apartment, Celine dances to the music of Nina Simone. Jesse looks at her with loving eyes and realizes that he, of course, will miss his plane.
Fun fact: Richard Linklater wrote the script with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who used scenes from his personal life. Hawke described a broken marriage to Uma Thurman, and Delpy used her life memories in New York.