thinking big: feminism, media, and pop culture

Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

Wes Anderson’s Nostalgia

In Film on July 18, 2012 at 6:08 am

Sarah T.

Nostalgia seems like one of the more self-indulgent emotions. That’s not to say I never feel it. Sometimes I miss north Michigan’s woods so much I could eat a pine tree-shaped air freshener. But in the face of the myriad other problems a person could possibly have, getting sentimental about the past feels kind of ridiculous. The drill sergeant from Forrest Gump who occupies my brain tells me that nostalgia is an ache you invent for yourself when there aren’t any other bruises looming. Then he tells me to give him twenty.

Based on Wes Anderson’s wistful body of work, I do not think he has met the drill sergeant. Anderson’s films are populated by dreamers disappointed by the present: Max Fischer and Herman Blume, all the Tenenbaums and associates, the three sons of The Darjeeling Limited. His characters are misfits among their peers and lonely in the midst of family. They imagine they were happier in the past, primarily because at least back then wasn’t now. Therefore his movies possess extremely precise visual articulations of nostalgia. All three adult siblings in The Royal Tenenbaums dress to evoke the promise of their youths. Richie wears the tennis outfit that calls back to his glory days on the courts, Chas picks the track suit that’s an emblem of his businessman’s vigor, and Margot stays faithful to an ensemble that reflects a twelve-year-old girl’s fantasy of literary sophistication: long fur coat, heavy eyeliner, blond hair in a simple bob held in place by a plastic barrette.

Nowhere is Anderson’s penchant for nostalgia more apparent than in his new film Moonrise Kingdom, which takes place on a New England island in 1965. Whether or not audiences were alive to witness the artifacts of mid-century Americana firsthand, they can recognize the movie’s graphic-patterned shift dresses, saddle shoes, and portable record player as shorthand for a dreamy, supposedly simpler innocence—and they can feel a sense of loss looking at a world long gone. Read the rest of this entry »

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Puppy Love: Remembering Celebrity Crushes

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Well friends, it’s that time of the year again: the one-and-only Anna Howard Shaw Day, when we break out the champagne and Marvin Gaye tunes to honor one of the top women’s suffrage leaders ever to be born on Feburary 14.

And of course, it’s not too late to dig into some waffles in honor of Galentine’s Day, the February 13 holiday in which we appreciate our dearest friends over delicious breakfast foods.  (Guy friends can totally celebrate Galentine’s Day too.)

But what of our first loves? When do we set aside the time to celebrate everything they’ve given us and tell them how we really feel? I refer, of course, to the celebrities and film and television characters who first made us go all moon-eyed. Just because we’re busy sharing our love with suffragists and chums (and maybe with our special gentleman- and lady-friends too) doesn’t mean it’s all right to neglect the stars who taught our pulses how to race. Read the rest of this entry »