Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Coming Soon: The Essential Performances of the 90s Showdown

I’m happy to announce the launch of: The Essential ‘90s Performances Showdown.

For more than 2 months I’ve been ruminating on a competition where I could pick your brains on what you thought was the best performance of the nineties. I realised a series of match-ups making for a 64 competitor bracket would be the best way. So, after eliminations and re-eliminations a bracket was finally settled on.


But what is this showdown? And how does it work?

Below all your questions are answered.

What is it? Why the 90s?
Being the last decade of the previous century the nineties are recent enough that almost all cinephiles over 20 can remember significant performances from the decade, but it’s not too recent (like the aughts) where some performances haven’t been able to percolate in our memories long enough to move from good to greatness. I could hardly trust my own judgement to come up with 64 performances of the decades that were worthy of being dubbed essential. I enlisted three of my powerful henchmen (Jose of Movies Kick Ass, Nick of Cinema Romantico and Paolo of Okinawa Assault) to help my parse through the performances of the decade and come up with 64 – 32 men, 32 women – that were so great imagining the 90s without them would be impossible.

How did we pick the bracket?
With the help of eight other bloggers (Alex of Film Forager, Amir from Amiresque, Andy from The Film Emporium, Courtney of Big Thoughts from a Small Mind, Craig of Dark Eye Socket, Jessica of The Velvet Café, Ruth of FlixChatter and Ryan of The Matinee) submitting lists of 7-10 essential performances and Jose, Nick, Paolo and I tossing in near every “important” performance we could think of we ended up with a list of nearly 200. The performances with the most citations among all twelve made it through, then the #1 ranked performances and then one wildcard choice from the four of us and after whittling and then whittling some more we finally ended up with 32 male performances and 32 female performances.

Were there any eligibility rules?
There are some performers who ruled the nineties – Anthony Hopkins, Susan Sarandon, Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Annette Bening, Kevin Spacey and a slew of other had one, maybe two, maybe three memorable performances but this game would be no fun if it just was 8 Hopkins performance against 6 Thompsons and so on. So, it was decided that two performances could be cited for a single performer and a maximum of five performers could have double mentions. (Same for movies, two performance maximum from a film and six movies could have double mentions.)

How did you seed the performances?
I’ll admit the seeding was a bit random. Each group of 32 men and women were divided into groups of four and then grouped making four groups of 16 (half men, half women). The performances cited by the most bloggers were the higher and sometimes I’d just go  by my gut, meaning seeding not so much on which performances I preferred more but instead on which performances I expected to triumph.

So, how does it work?
Beginning August 11 I’ll be posting 2 games every 12 hours for you to vote on. The games will be accompanied by short blurb by various bloggers defending the inclusion of these performances.

(A few original participants had to bow out and the kind Andreas of Pussy Goes Grr, Michael of Serious film and Yojimbo of Let's Not Talk About Movies joined to help me discuss the performances.)

Can we play along?
Well, I’m looking forward to getting as much votes as possible. This tournament is all about YOU choosing which performances of the nineties are REALLY essential. But, you’ll get more to do after the first round than objecting to the bracket inclusions and complaining when your favourite doesn’t go through. When round 2 begins on Sunday 19th, though, I’ll be looking for further participation from you. Depending on which round 1 performances make it through I’ll be inviting you to depend which of those performances you want to see make it through to round 3. But, that’s almost two weeks away, I’ll let you know more.

UPDATE: I'm calling for all your entries on the advancing performances. Rules are HERE, which performances do you want to make a case for?

So, consider this a PSA and a directive to get your clicking finger ready. Polls will go up at 6:00 am and 6:00 pm every day from Saturday with 2 games every twelve hours. Polls will stay open for three days each.

So, spread the word and I’ll see you on Saturday where we’ll see if Jodie, Dustin, Anthony or Reese gets your vote.
UPDATE: The polls have begun, and all open games are HERE. Go VOTE!!!


Squasher88 said...

Sounds like fun. I only wish you could have found room for Kathy Bates (Misery) and Angela Bassett (What's Love Got To Do With It). Especially Bates, an iconic 90's performance for sure.

Jess said...

I am looking forward to this! I'll definitely be voting and I already have a few favorites in mind. This seems like it took tons of planning and effort so kudos to everyone involved.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

AHHHH!!! Absolutely am I excited! Anything that broadens my Netflix queue and makes for some fine discussions is an A-PLUS!

Runs Like A Gay said...

This is going to be tough. Love it, can't wait to see the results.