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February 19, 2009: "Nostalgia Burn" 
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Post February 19, 2009: "Nostalgia Burn"
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Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:55 pm
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Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Excellent topic. I too associate certain smells and event to certain movies.

Some of them:

The smell of marijuana (other people smelling like it; not me) reminds me of the group of teenage boys in front of me during The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

Back to the Future Part II reminds me of seeing it at the local 2nd run theater with my family.

Back to the Future reminds me of my brother and I renting the movie on VHS over and over again way back in the early 90's.

Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) reminds me of going to my grandparent's house since the movie was the first one I ever saw and that is where I saw it.

Whenever my group of friends and I make plans to go to a movie together, I'm always reminded of Pearl Harbor and how I wanted to leave the theater in the middle of it, but didn't since my friends were watching it. I guess I could have waited in the lobby.

Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:22 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Nothing says romance like a naked Mel Gibson and some violence. Man, I love Lethal Weapon.

Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:24 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Similarly, video games (one of my life long passions) is going through a retro trend. There are a lot of YouTube and Blip and Revver videos dedicate to the best and worst classic Nintendo and Sega games.

Now I grew up with many of those games, but I honestly can't bother with playing them again. I hate to admit it, but I've been spoiled by modern gaming conventions to the point that I need great graphics and familiar gameplay to have a good time. There are exceptions to the rule, though.

Movies, however, don't seem to fall into this trap. I can enjoy films from pretty much any era (silent films are a little more difficult). Perhaps it's because that technology has had a stronger effect on games than films. An old movie can still get by with artistic design, strong story, and camera work, even if it doesn't have color, cheesy effects, what we would consider good acting, or the pacing we see in modern films. An 8-bit game like Super Mario Bros. doesn't have that to rely on, just the purity of its gameplay and the nostalgia factor.

I may never be able to play Mario as much as I could back then, but I can still watch Raiders of the Lost Ark (the first film I remember seeing in theaters) as many times I can. They're both classics in their respective forms, but film just seems to hold up stronger.

Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:34 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"

Great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Like many, it brought back memories for me too.

I always laughed at my parents and grand parents when they started commenting "how things have changed" and they spent their time looking backwards. Of course it's related to age and the recognition of our mortality. (I think I need a deep movie!)

A psychology professor at college drew three equal circles on the board - within each circle was a word - past, present and future. He asked each of us to draw three circles on a page and represent importance with size and also graphically represent inter relationships. Of course, at 18/19 we were all about the present and the future and mocked the past. He then showed results of tests across age spectrums and it was interesting to see the correlation between age and past.

Movies just became an abiding passion at a very early age and I've seen far too many. We even named one of my sons after a director of a favorite film and I have a tattoo of an image from the poster on my back.

I've had my headaches as well :-)

Awesome post!

Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:51 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"

x= 5000/33

You've been consistent and busy :-)

Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:52 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
A well written set of thoughts, caused a lot of self reflection and fondness for the times. I still recall sitting in a large screen, 4th row (my usual spot on large screens) with 1200 other people (did I say it was a large screen) on the opening weekend in St. Louis. This was actually the second or third week it was open because back then as you know, they opened movies in stages most of the time, starting in just a few cities and adding batches over a 2-3 week period.

I still have my mint, not torn ticket stub from that event, as a keepsake. Was quite the live changing experience in a way. Thanks for the great Reel thought, I am thinking fondly back on my first kiss, and love, (and yes it was at band camp.....)


Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:22 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
This was an excellent article and definitely one I could relate to, as I'm actually going through a nostalgia phase right now (heck, I even have my own YouTube series when I discuss favourite things from the past). I'm going back and looking at shows I used to watch in my past. Some hold up incredibly well (Animaniacs and Batman), some...not so much (He-Man). There's definitely a sense of longing for the past that I'm feeling, especially since today's family programming is awful and definitely not up to snuff of what I used to watch in my younger years.

And in terms of films, I have a very fond memory of seeing Toy Story back when it first came out. I was incredibly wowed by the visuals at the time as there was definitely nothing like it, but now I can watch it and appreciate it for the story as well as the animation.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 7:00 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
I always find it interesting how we react differently when re-visiting things that never change: books, music, movies etc. While they have remained constant through the years our opinions about them often change because of our experiences.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:28 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
I can never get my dad to watch any of the Star Wars movies. His reason? He had gotten a vasectomy in 1983 and my mom made him take my brothers to The Empire Strikes Back later that afternoon. He hasn't been able to think of one without the other ever since.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 11:15 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Ah, Joe Carter's home run to end the World Series... good memories, for me. The Jays haven't been the same since. As for Dazed and Confused? I saw it on video and thought it was meh. No desire to revisit it.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:14 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
"One irony of life is that girls and boys rush through their teenage years
as quickly as possible to achieve adulthood, then spend the rest of their
lives trying to re-live those years."

Reminds me of Roger Ebert's observation that in the old days teenagers
went to the movies to see adults make love whereas these days adults go
to the movies to see teenagers make love.

My signature line in another forum is "Alla dessa dagar som kom och
gick, inte visste jag att det var livet." which is attributed to Stig
Johansson. It translates as "All these days which came and went, I
didn't know that that was life."

Often, when watching, say, a documentary which took place long ago, I sometimes
have the feeling that I would like to somehow communicate to the people AT THAT
TIME IN THE PAST that they should enjoy the moment because nothing like it will
ever happen again. One time I had this feeling was when watching an ABBA documentary
and Björn and Benny were talking about how they would write songs in their summer house
on an island in the Stockholm archipelago (Benny and Friday had one house and Björn and
Agnetha had another one on the same small island, within walking distance). Then I realised
that, in this case, it was obvious that even then they really appreciated the magic of the

Of course, the ultimate nostalgia film (in the sense of a film about nostalgia) is Bergman's
Wild Strawberries.

Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:55 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
James Berardinelli wrote:

I'm almost exactly 10 years younger than you, so for me the nostalgia is felt for the mid to late 80s. I think often of those years, especially some of the movies I saw, which made up not an insignificant amount of my free time. Of course, I spent almost as much time scheming to sneak into the theater as was spent watching the movie.

The dollar cinema my brother and I most frequently attended in west Phoenix is gone. When I visited the area a few years ago (I now live near Ft Bragg, NC), which was over an hour out of the way for where I was staying, the feelings of loss for those years borderlined on pain.

Perhaps burn does best describe the feeling.

Patrick EDIT: Fixed your italics tags

Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:00 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
I got dumped a couple days after seeing Juno. I remember thinking my girlfriend was acting weird though, that night I took her. I can't watch that movie now, because it just frustrates me.

On the other hand when I watch Copycat, I remember the first time I watched on a Saturday afternoon with my dad. Always a good memory.

Very good topic. :D

Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:13 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Great article.

Last November the theater where I saw my first movie closed down. The building was starting to show its age and it wasn't equipped with modern technologies such as IMAX or 3D capabilities, but growing up I saw more than 500 movies there and some of the best memories of my younger days resulted. To this day, I can look at a ticket stub from a film I saw 12 or 15 years ago and remember who I saw it with and other less important details about the particular day.

On the theater's last day of operation an open house was held complete with a presentation and $1 concessions. It was a nice touch as it allowed one final walk down memory lane before closing. I went with two friends to see Quantum of Solace. While it wasn't the best Bond film I'd ever seen, it will always hold a special place for me as the final movie I saw there.

Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:55 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Because I am older by a few years than most of you, my recollections of my early days of attending the movies is quite different. Living in the San Fernando Valley during the 1950's and for the next 40+ years, I attended our local move houses once a week. The Sherman Theater in Sherman Oaks, privately owned, had a policy of showing only Foreign films. I recall seeing all the early Alec Guiness films and wonderful productions from Ealing Films and J. Arthur Rank. As a contrast I sat through all 12 episodes of "The Crimson Ghost" a hilarious serial from Republic Studios, which I took seriously as a youngster. I just bought the DVD and realized how my tastes have changed!

I had the good fortune to obtain tickets to the cast & crew showing of "Star Wars" which was shown at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles. Like everyone, I was stunned by the imagination and special effects of George Lucas et. al. I contend that "Star Wars" opened up Pandora's Box for the future of Special Effects and a new era in Science Fiction. Anyone disagree??

Today, I am sad to say, my movie attendance has fallen from once a week to barely once a month or longer. I look forward to the serious movies that are Oscar contenders which are sandwiched into a few weeks before the end of the year. The era of serious, dramatic films is slowly fading away, never to be seen again.

Sat Feb 21, 2009 7:43 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
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Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Jinjur wrote:
Today, I am sad to say, my movie attendance has fallen from once a week to barely once a month or longer. I look forward to the serious movies that are Oscar contenders which are sandwiched into a few weeks before the end of the year. The era of serious, dramatic films is slowly fading away, never to be seen again.

The difference, I think, can be summed up succinctly: They used to make movies for adults. Now, they make them for teenagers. Hollywood no longer cares what anyone over 20 thinks. If they happen to like it, it's gravy. And the continuing box office escalation is a good indication that this isn't going to change anymore.

Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:31 pm
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Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"

Thank you for the article. It put a smile on my face and a bit of a tear in my eye.

-- Bob

Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:35 pm
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
Great article James.

Stand By Me is a movie that brings back many strong memories for me. I watched it in high school as a teenager with some of my best friends. I remember feeling really nostalgic back then when I watched it as it took me way back to my childhood when I used to play outside virtually all day with my friends.

Now, when I think of Stand By Me, it gives me a sort of echo/double nostalgia feeling of both my teen years and my childhood.

Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:07 am
Post Re: February 19, 2008: "Nostalgia Burn"
If your first kiss took place after watching Lethal Weapon then you would have been 19 years old. That's got suck. No wonder your a pessimist. Just joking.

Sun Feb 22, 2009 6:03 am
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