Thursday, 1 October 2015

Memorabilia and Nostalgia

From The Guardian

The final instalment in blockbuster sci-fi saga The Hunger Games has moved ahead of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in the consciousness of cinemagoers, according to new research published by Variety.

US firm Piedmont Media Research found that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, which debuts in North America on 20 November, scored the highest level of anticipation ever recorded, a rating of 514 out of 1000. The Force Awakens, which is among the most-hyped films of all time, got 495 - though that figure is still the third-highest rating the company has ever recorded.

My first reaction to this was "really?". Star Wars is like this huge cultural thing, isn't it? A massive money-spinner, much loved by fans, while The Hunger Games is this smaller film thing, right?

But I'm starting to think that maybe George Lucas got the much better deal out selling Star Wars to Disney. I've come to terms with my love for Star Wars and how to a boy in 1977 it was a the dog's bollocks. I'd seen films before, but just nothing that was so visually amazing. That's not to say that they aren't good films. The reason they have lasted so long is that they aren't just special effects. There's good enough characters and story behind the effects to still make them watchable. But there's no denying the nostalgia. And the kids who saw films after it with much greater effects just aren't that bothered. My kids have a greater love for Pacific Rim than Star Wars (and Pacific Rim is a good fun action movie).

This also links into a story I heard on the radio about how Beatles memorabilia is falling in value, and what occurs to me is that well, Beatles fans, the people who will buy this stuff because of an emotional connection, are getting pretty old, into retirement, maybe running on pensions rather than good incomes, and being a bit more careful with money. That doesn't mean other people don't enjoy The Beatles, but that they don't have that depth of connection to them.

And The Hunger Games has been a great movie series so far. It hasn't disappointed audiences one bit. Mostly, by making faithful films that keep almost everything in, and not deviating to make it more palatable, more glamorous or whatever else. They even managed the thing of splitting the last book in 2 without cheating the audience with a duff first film to make more money (there is a tonal shift half way in the last book).


Anonymous said...

I've always found 'most sci-fi a tad annoying and Star Wars quite excruciating. I speak as someone who adored Lost in Space and Dr Who as a kid and marveled over Space 1999 and UFO as a teenager. These days, the less fictional they seem the more I like them unless they are tongue in cheek in which case they can be a bit outlandish, no probs.
So 'The Thing' was quite impressive in my eyes. A bit of shape shifting in the antarctic isn't too much to swallow. Then there was Dark Star, completely implausible, [surfing in space and a pet alien that resembled one of those inflatable hoppers that were all the rage back then?!] but the dark humour and the complete breakdown in human relations between the crew due to the long periods of isolation in the space craft together, was very plausible and watchable indeed.
Alien [the first one] hit the spot, more because of what you didn't see than what you did. Less is more kind of thing.
District 9 [satire on S.African apartheid]with giant [smart]locusts from outer space taking the role of the black township people was sublime and quite funny.
Never Let Me Go is a great British understated sci-fi. Set in a dystopian future that resembles the present in every way except for one chilling difference/twist, the young orphans shown growing up together in a kind of public school, find out they are to be used as organ donors in adulthood. Incredible performances all round made this a compelling if somewhat troubling film to watch, definitely not one for the kiddies.

Back to Star Wars though. I do like this spoof video. Ray Winstone does Darth Vader. Would have been perfect casting. :)

The Stigler said...


Star Wars isn't really sci-fi. It's space adventure.

Space 1999? UFO? Have you tried watching those any time recently? They're awful, and that's from someone who had the SHADO tank. I saw a UFO episode and I was amused that they imagined we'd have moon bases, and that people would be allowed to smoke in them.

The Thing is on my list of films I should get around to watching.

District 9 is really good. Well worth a watch.

Was that a spoiler for Never Let Me Go?

Anonymous said...

oops. Sorry about the spoiler. It shouldn't matter too much tbf. One of the best films I've seen in any genre.
No I haven't seen either Space 1999 or UFO for decades. I couldn't bare to spoil those fond memories.

Mark Wadsworth said...

The only bit of memorabilia I've got is the "Iron Fist" single on blue vinyl. Yes, I know it was only released on red vinyl, and I've got one of those too.

I had a vague hope that it might be worth a few bob one day, but it struck me at the time, that if I wait too long and people have forgotten Motörhead, it will be worth nothing.

Pablo said...

Star Wars is a cartoon: 2001 a Space Oddysey - now there's a film!

The Stigler said...


Star Wars is a better film. 2001 is visually interesting, but Kubrick failed on the narrative.

JohnM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Stigler said...


Broken link there. For me, it was more that I was confused. I didn't get what the monolith was all about.