Noah Millman writes about how little reality there is in film and TV these days.
But go back and watch Spielberg films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.—the reality of those worlds is very richly textured and fully realized. The uncanny in those movies intrudes on a reality that still feels fully real. That’s not just a matter of getting individual details right, though. The popular series Stranger Things is meticulous about getting details right, but it’s a Frankenstein world, built of spare parts from earlier movies; there is nothing genuinely real or living about it. Indeed, the entire premise of the series (a premise that has paid off handsomely) is that audiences would love to participate in a festival of pure nostalgia that isn’t at all about life, but entirely about how life was represented. The fantasy being sold is less of living in the 1980s than of watching 1980s-era movies.
I strongly agree with his assessment of Stranger Things, but I’m uncertain if that’s a bad thing. Occasionally, I want to look at the decade in which I grew up through rose-colored glasses. If I wanted a straight retelling, I would check out a historical drama or a documentary. There are definitely occasions when I crave an idealized view of the past, especially when it comes to my childhood. In those instances, the meta construction of watching a contemporary project built to seem like a 80s era movie suits just fine.
→ Mankind Cannot Bear Too Little Reality
(🔗 via Ayjay)