Nostalgia is Ruining Film

Nostalgia: the pesky emotion that makes us long for the past.  It’s also the thing that is ruining film.    

Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, we’re bombarded with old shows and movies that we love.  We curl up on the couch to watch movies and shows from our past. We still laugh our asses off each time Ross yells “PIVOT” while streaming Friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a little blast from the past during my viewing pleasure.  

But nostalgia for old movies has given companies and studios the green light to leverage that nostalgia for a conveyor-belt like pace of spinoffs and reboots.  

Clearly, the biggest perpetrator of this trend is Disney.  Disney took our love of classic animated movies, such as The Lion King, and decided that we needed remakes and live-action versions of those films in our lives.  

But here’s the problem.  None of these re-make are actually good.  In some cases they’re tough to watch. 2019’s Aladdin was borderline insufferable.  And we are left with a burning heap of movies that are based on a lack of creativity.       

Nostalgia has become a scapegoat for a lack of creativity, and an ultimate desire to make money at the cost of something memorable.  Making movies and shows based solely on audience nostalgia is lazy, unimaginative, and offensive to the viewers.  

The opportunity cost of nostalgia is, ironically, creating more nostalgia.

George Lucas built an empire, a multi-generational fan base, and changed how cinema is made.  He did so not based on nostalgia for something that had already been made, but because he wanted to make something new.

Afterall, George Lucas convinced us to fall in love with a franchise who’s first move was technically it’s fourth.

Then Disney bought out George Lucas’ creativity at the tune of $4 billion.  

Don’t get me wrong, Disney has done an admirable job with the Star Wars franchise. The acting, special effects, and a somewhat compelling storyline of the most recent Star Wars Trilogy are not half-bad.  But I just can’t shake the sense that Episodes VII-IX were only made not to complete or expand on a story, but simply to satisfy fan nostalgia.  And, most importantly, to make Disney money.

But, if we continually make movies that are not completely independent from their parents, we risk not creating the next great empire.  

The next great thing that we can all love.

Kamala Harris’ Heartbreaking Presidential Camapaign

Kamala Harris should be a front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president. Instead, the 55-year-old California senator has ended her presidential campaign. Now, we are left with the remains of a once-promising turned heartbreaking presidential campaign.

On paper it all made sense. Harris is a popular senator from the country’s biggest state with a large, energized, and dedicated support base. Of all the Democrats running for president, Harris was as much the opposite to Donald Trump that existed in the primary race.

After all, Kamala Harris is representative of the group that Donald Trump has reserved his most grotesque and appalling attacks for: minority women.

She could have legitimately staked claim to being the most electable candidate. Her background as a prosecutor left her uniquely suited to lay out a case for a one-term Trump presidency.  

The potential historic nature of her candidacy as a minority woman leading the Democrats into a general election battle could have unified all factions of the party. She could have also assembled a multi-racial coalition of voters not seen since Barack Obama’s candidacy. 

Her entrance into the race elicited comparisons, and nostalgia, to Barack Obama’s candidacy. But nostalgia can only carry one so far.  

The Harris campaign was done-in by the one thing that is hard to fix: the candidate.  

Issues with Harris’ Campaign Helped Derail her Candidacy

Multiple stories of persistent campaign tensions were published throughout her campaign. Reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times we’re damning assessments into how Harris was running her campaign.  

The tragedy of Kamala Harris’ campaign for president is that her promise as a nominee couldn’t outduel her self-inflicted wounds. 

Kamala Harris did not run a good campaign for President. While she energized and inspired many Democrats, her own mistakes as well as persistent campaign issues were too much to overcome. 

Harris stumbled trying to explain a variety of her positions. On healthcare, for example, she co-sponsored Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare-for-All” bill, but backed away from the plan during her campaign. She rose to second place in polls after her attack on Joe Biden’s record on busing, only to falter while explaining her past busing position.

Additionally, her record as a prosecutor and California Attorney General came under intense, and at times unfair, scrutiny from the progressive left. 

Harris had to introduce herself to voters who didn’t already know who she was. Introducing herself to voters was made difficult by failure to articulate her political identity and an inconsistent reasoning for running for president.

Kamala isn’t going anywhere. She is going to remain a significant player in the Democratic Party, and American politics, for a long time. She should be at the top of everyone’s list for vice presidential running mate for the eventual nominee.  

In the meantime, with Kamala out of the race, the Democratic Party must reckon with the fact that despite efforts to embrace diversity as a means to strengthen the party, the remaining front-runners for the nomination are all white.

Header Image: Quinn Dombrowski from Berkeley, USA [CC BY-SA 2.0].