For moviegoers of a certain age—basically all Gen-Xers and Millennials—there are few movie stars that have shined brighter in our cultural memory than Winona Ryder in the late ‘80s and 1990s. The star of such generation-defining fare as Beetlejuice, Heathers, Edward Scissorhands, Reality Bites, and more, Ms. Ryder didn’t just have a moment for millions of fans coming of age back then; she was the moment.
Hence why several Alamo Drafthouses around the country, including our dear favorite at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn, is presenting a perfectly Winona-esque mystery program next month entitled “Winona Forever: A Winona Ryder Marathon.”
Set to begin at 12pm on different Saturdays at different Alamos throughout August, “Winona Forever” will screen just four (and alas only four) of Winona’s legendary filmography back-to-back-to-back-to-back. Better yet, it will embrace the strange and unusual in the Winona Ryder tradition by not revealing what any of the four films are until they begin projecting onto the big screen. That’s right, you have to go there to find out which of Ryder’s films will be playing while the Alamo Drafthouse provides event-themed drinks. (We assume the Bloody Marys will be called Bloody Minas, no?)
The official logline is as follows: Few have made such an indelible impression on a generation as Winona Ryder. Sometimes goth, other times grunge, but always the oddball, she portrayed a kind of vulnerable cool that was imitated by many misfits slouching their way through high school. Her characters lusted after boys, struggled with mental illness, and though she seemed unquestionably modern, her roles in period pieces were just as iconic.
While we would never guess which four movies are the most iconic during Ryder’s height of popularity, there is much to choose from, including her collaborations with Tim Burton that wound up with posters on every Goth kid’s wall, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands, as we all as her work with Baby Boomer masters like Martin Scorsese (The Age of Innocence), Francis Ford Coppola (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and even playwright Arthur Miller (The Crucible).
For our own money, one of the most perfect and sometimes overlooked films on her resume because of how less ethereal the character is, is her charismatic turn in Gillian Armstrong’s Little Women. A Louisa May Alcott adaptation that would be, ahem, very difficult to top in a remake.
There are of course also movies like Girl, Interrupted, Mermaids, and even Alien: Resurrection (although hopefully not that last one). With so many classics to speculate on, perhaps the only way to satisfy your curiosity is to start looking to sign up for tickets, like right here in the case of fellow Brooklynites.
“Winona Forever” will also begin screening at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission in San Francisco, California on Aug. 5, in Austin, Texas’s Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar on Aug. 19, and at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn on Aug. 25. Lick it up baby. Lick. It. Up.