Happy birthday, Singles! Cameron Crowe's 1992 classic romantic comedy turned 20 yesterday. Set in Seattle during the emergence of the grunge scene, Singles unintentionally captured a moment in history that's still a central part of the city's identity. With cameos from Tad Doyle and Chris Cornell (not to mention performances by Soundgarden and Alice in Chains) and scenes at many local landmarks, the movie is quintessentially Seattle and grunge. Heck, 3/4 of Pearl Jam-- when they were still known as Mookie Blaylock-- make up Matt Dillon's character's band.
While Singles deals with grunge indirectly, check out these other films for a more in-depth take on the genre most of the world still associates with Seattle.
10. 7 Year Bitch in Mad Love
Seattle's 7 Year Bitch performed "The Itch" in a club scene from the 1995 Drew Barrymore/Chris O'Donnell romantic drama "Mad Love."
9. Nirvana on MTV Unplugged
It's not a story, but a great, thoughtful performance from a band that didn't want to just play the hits. The 14-song set includes six covers, including songs by the Meat Puppets and the Vaselines, and led to the release of MTV Unplugged in New York.
8. The Gits
Kerri O'Kane directed this documentary, which tells the story of Seattle underground favorites The Gits and the tragic murder of their singer Mia Zapata, a beloved figure in the Seattle music scene.
7. Hit So Hard
This new documentary chronicles the life and times of Hole drummer Patty Schemel. It's available for streaming on Netflix.
6. Last Days
The grunge scene was obviously not without its problems, including drug use and depression. Gus Van Sant's Last Days imagines the final days of Kurt Cobain, a project Van Sant says he'd imagined working on for a decade.
5. Pearl Jam Twenty
Like Singles, another entity celebrated its twentieth anniversary recently-- the mighty Pearl Jam. Cameron Crowe returns to Seattle and music for this documentary, which is available for streaming on Netflix.
4. Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears
Like the band itself, this documentary, which tells of the rise and fall of Tad, is a favorite among grunge fans. Busted Circuits contains loads of archival footage and interviews with the likes of Krist Novoselic, Kim Thayil, and Mark Arm.
Set in Seattle during the emergence of the grunge scene, Singles unintentionally captured a moment in history that's still a central part of the city's identity. With cameos from Tad Doyle and Chris Cornell (not to mention performances by Soundgarden and Alice in Chains) and scenes at many local landmarks, the movie is quintessentially Seattle and grunge.
2. 1991: The Year Punk Broke
This 1992 documentary directed by Dave Markey is ostensibly about Sonic Youth's 1991 European tour, but on the way, the film pays attention to Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr., Mudhoney, and Hole.
"Seattle... is currently to the rock 'n' roll world what Bethlehem was to Christianity," says a quote from SPIN that opens Doug Pray's 1996 documentary Hype! Examining the scene from an insider's perspective, Hype! takes a skeptic's eye to the media buzz around grunge in the early '90s. Watch the whole thing on YouTube.