1999
Steven Spielberg is awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany
.

The Award is presented to Spielberg by Germany’s President Roman Herzog in recognition of his film Schindler’s List and his Shoa-Foundation.

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1999
Medal of Honor, a first-person shooter video game that builds upon the success of Saving Private Ryan (1998), is developed by DreamWorks Interactive and published by Electronic Arts. It is the first installment in the highly successful Medal of Honor video game series. The story is created by Steven Spielberg.

Released for Sony’s PlayStation, the game receives critical acclaim – with critics praising its gameplay, graphics, enemy AI, level design and soundtrack composed by Michael Giacchino.

The idea for Medal of Honor originates from the experience Spielberg’s son Max has from playing the game GoldenEye and Spielberg’s deep interest of World War II.

1999
Lewinsky scandal:
In his second term as US President, Bill Clinton stumbles over his sex affair with intern Monica Lewinsky and is impeached by the House of Representatives based on documentation from Kenneth Starr (Starr Report).

Because Republican Kenneth Starr leaks lurid details from his report to the press, he is criticized for using the scandal as a political maneuver.

Although her husband’s affair strains their relationship, Hillary Clinton decides to stay married and supports him against the allegations.

Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg – who are friends of the Clintons – are among the more than 17,000 donors supporting the president’s legal defense fund.

Bill Clinton is acquitted of all charges by the U.S. Senate and serves his complete term of office.

Clinton leaves office in 2001, with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II.

1998
In his best-selling book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind, former executive editor of Premiere magazine, blames Spielberg and Lucas for the decline of “New Hollywood”. He cites film critic Pauline Kael, who initially belonged to Spielberg’s admirers and now claims that Lucas and Spielberg are “infantilizing the audience, reconstituting the spectator as child, then overwhelming him and her with sound and spectacle, obliterating irony, aesthetic self-consciousness, and critical reflection.” – a phrase that Spielberg’s detractors will repeatedly use.

Directors Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, and Francis Ford Coppola who are also quoted in the book publicly criticize the author’s dubious methods.

Altman considers the book as "hate mail. We were all lured into talking to this guy because
people thought he was a straight guy but he was filling a commission
from the publisher for a hatchet job. He’s the worst kind of human being
I know.”

Spielberg who is not interviewed for Biskind’s book states that “every single word in that book about me is either erroneous or a lie.”

1998
Run Lola Run
(original German title: Lola rennt) is a delirious staccato mix of animation, still photographs, and live action written and directed by Tom Tykwer, starring Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu

Shot in the streets of Berlin, the film tells the story of Lola, a punkish young woman with bright red hair, who must find a way to get 100,000 Marks to her boyfriend, Manni, in 20 minutes to save him from being killed by gangsters. Inspired by Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Blind Chance (completed in 1981), Tom Tykwer’ film is divided in three “runs“, all starting from the same situation but developing differently, so the outcome changes accordingly. Each run contains several flash-forward sequences of still images, depicting how the lives of people that Lola bumps into develop after their encounter. 

Much like Spielberg’s Duel (1971) is essentially one long, highly stylized car chase, Tykwer’s Run Lola Run is a wonderfully choreographed study of time and space, and the determination of physis in motion – touching on themes such as free will vs. determinism and chaos theory’s butterfly effect

The blood-stirring techno soundtrack, composed by Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil, underpins the film’s motives.

The film contains allusions to Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo (1958), e.g. recurring images of spirals and spiral staircases, as well as a painting of a woman’s head seen from behind. 

A vital contribution to contemporary German cinema, Run Lola Run has a significant influence on pop culture and other films. Sebastian Schipper’s energetic film Victoria (2015) also features a strong heroine who is ready to take on anything trying to help her boyfriend to get out of serious trouble. Victoria is also shot (in one take) in the streets of Berlin. Incidentally, Schipper played the part of Mike in Run Lola Run.

Run Lola Run is well-received by critics and audiences alike. The film is nominated for 41 awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language, of which it wins 26. Against a budget of only $1.75 million, Run Lola Run is also a box office success, earning $22.9 million worldwide.

An outspoken admirer of Run Lola Run, Steven Spielberg later helps Tykwer in the final editing process of The Perfume (2006) which he originally was interested in producing. Spielberg casts Moritz Bleibtreu as German terrorist Andreas Bader in Munich (2005). Minority Report (2002) contains references to Run Lola Run

Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) are among Tom Tykwer’s favorite films.