🤔 Returning to the past to battle nostalgia (and other demons)

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The terms of nostalgia are always defined by the present day; they reflect ideals that may seem out of reach except by going backward, but which still uphold convention. Nostalgia in 2024 for 1990s television or goth/emo music, for example, fetishizes the ways in which those pop-cultural realms fetishized weirdness and rebellion; yet it doesn’t suggest ways in which weirdness or rebellion might actually transform the world. The Hellmouth in Buffy remains at least partially closed; the black mascara of the goth is removable. I Saw the TV Glow presents these manufactured signs of difference as hints of something deeper that will require much more than a horror-movie storyline or a wailed pop chorus to fully enact. While looking fondly to these signifiers, it asks for more. That’s why, for all of its fun strangeness, this film is ultimately more serious — more political — than it might seem at first.

Source: Returning to the past to battle nostalgia (and other demons) by Ann Powers

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