Post-Millennial Malaise: An Introduction

In Which the Sequel Arrives

So we’ve made it to 2021. We’re officially living in the future baby. We’ve got a sea lab and Johnny Mnemonic is out their retrieving faxes through the internet, and the world’s still a mess. And it feels like a it’s been a mess for a while, indeed modern society is celebrating an important anniversary this year. Yes it has been a full two decades since 9/11 when the whole world abruptly changed. It’s hard to overstate how much shifted between the the 90’s and the 2000’s (which will now be referred to as the aughts or 00’s), a seismic realignment of such epic proportion that the mind boggles just thinking about it.

This massive shift is why the period before 9/11 was so interesting, and now so culturally distant. Even though it was within living memory, it seems like another world, another place foreign and obscure, existing in memory and through the art produced at the time. Thus I thought it would be fun to explore this time period and wrote Millennial Malaise, an incomplete compendium of movies made between the end of the Cold War and 9/11. It was good fun, interesting, and a terrific nostalgia trip.

But the dream of the 90’s is over, and we need to move into the future. Time to get the 00’s nostalgia engine running as we plumb the horrifying depths of the Bush era to explore the movies made in a new time period. A span of paranoia, jingoism, misunderstanding, and lies. The world of the 2000’s is now our Post-Millennial Malaise, and this new series will take a deep dive on the films that defined, or represented, the time between 9/11 and the financial crisis in 2008 (just so we can put hard limits here). So frost your tips, bust out your best emo bands from Limewire, and jump into the forums of disaster as we scalvage the cultural wastes from a decade now twenty years in the past, and perfect for retrospection. 

Post-Millennial Malaise articles will post every Thursday at 11 A.M. Eastern time, just like the old articles did. Each piece will generally cover one movie, but I’m open to other media forms as long as they don’t take a long time to go through, so I’m not going to watch all of The Wire or Lost. Lastly let me know what movies you would like to see covered. I’ve already got the first handful of picks sorted out, but sound off in the comments if you want something in particular to be covered, and I’ll add it to the pile.

So without further ado here’s the schedule. Next week will be a bit of a prologue. A survey of blockbuster filmmaking before 9/11, and since I’m a trash person, I decided the representative will Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. A perfect distillation of post Matrix action filmmaking that tried to surf the trends of the internet and rising interest in a thing called video games. After that, two blockbusters from 2002 that immediately shifted the paradigm with Spider-Man and the Bourne Identity, a duo of big Hollywood films that defined the aesthetics of action for the next decade. All this and more coming down the pike in Post-Millennial Malaise.


January 14: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

January 21: Spider-Man

January 28: The Bourne Identity