In a year that promised to be dominated by the hotly anticipated Star Wars prequel, a couple of siblings named Larry and Andy Wachowski slipped in and stole George Lucas’s thunder. Their subsequent career has been, um, less than impressive, but for one shining moment, we believed we were witnessing an amazing new chapter in science fiction filmmaking. The original Matrix opened today in 1999.
On a lighter note, the legendary Monty Python premiered what turned out to be their swan song as a complete troupe today in 1983. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life eschewed the slightly more organized plots of The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian in favor of the absurdist sketch format that made them famous. The focus is the Seven Ages of Man, and though a bit uneven at times (frankly all their films are), it remains a shining example of why these six guys remain so beloved.
The other notation today is far smaller, but serves as a rallying cry for high school misfits everywhere and has aged not a day since their original release. Michael Lehmann’s Heathers first hit screens in 1989, giving the world a tonic to more uplifting high school drama and reminding us all that those years were a hell of a lot more brutal than some people choose to remember. “I love my dead gay son…”