1997 – “Good Will Hunting” premieres

“Good Will Hunting” was the first film written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Directed by Gus Van Sant, and starring Affleck, Damon, Robin Williams, Minnie Driver and Stellan Skarsgård, the film was an immediate success both commercially and critically. It would go on to win two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actor (Williams) and the other for Best Screenplay…

…which may account for why Damon is yet to write any other screenplays, and Affleck did not write another movie for a decade (and when he did, it was an adaptation): when you win the most coveted award in your profession the first time out, how do you top that the second time?

Referenced in:

Run This Town — Jay-Z

1997 – Jeff Buckley dies

Jeff Buckley’s career was really only just starting at the point where he died. He’d released one album, which had done well for him, especially his cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (although ironically, it was not released as a single until long after his death, it’s probably still Buckley’s best known work).

Despite the inevitable rumours in such cases, an autopsy showed that Buckley was not drunk or on drugs at the time of his death, and he had not seemed to be suffering any unusual stress or depression. He simply drowned by accident while swimming in a quiet bay of the Mississippi near Memphis, Tennessee. His body was not recovered until June 4, however, which left plenty of time to speculate before the truth could be discovered.

Referenced in:

Memphis — PJ Harvey
A Body Goes Down — Duncan Sheik
Memphis Skyline — Rufus Wainwright