The Death of Blockbuster or the Death of Nostalgia?


News came out today that the UK arm of movie rental firm Blockbuster is going into administration for the second time in a year! In January it became another casualty of the holiday season with more and more people choosing to buy gifts and stream movie content – even rent movies – online rather than physically go into a store to buy or rent a movie.

At the time we discussed whether there was still a strong enough demand for physical discs to support a company the size of Blockbuster or HMV and there was a quite varied opinion on the subject. With Blockbuster entering administration for the second time this year though and this time before the holiday season has even begun we’re left asking the question once again, can a business like blockbuster survive in our online world? If it can, has it already missed the boat by being a market follower rather than a market leader? Well as we discussed this not too long ago I thought this was a good opportunity to instead talk about something that has been on my mind for a while now.

The Death of Nostalgia?

Maybe I’m just being short sighted because I’m still relatively young but I can’t help but feel that in our modern world where trends and fashions change from week to week, maybe nostalgia as a whole has just had its day. After all, how can you become nostalgic about a certain film, movie or style if it’s just here one day and gone the next. Modern entertainment companies churn out film after film, hit after hit and they all pretty much sound or seem the same and before we’ve even had a chance to build mental or emotional feelings towards them another film is out. A cracking example of this can be found with films such as ‘Olympus has Fallen’. Cheesy as it may have been I actually quite liked the film as it seemed quite original when you think of how the world has changed over the past decade. Within a few months of its release however we have an almost Identical Blockbuster being released called ‘White House Down’, I haven’t seen White House Down yet but friends have told me that it’s pretty much exactly the same as Olympus has Fallen.

Now I know films like Olympus has Fallen in no way compare to nostalgic classics like Breakfast at Tiffany’s but you can see what I’m getting at. When I think back on films like Independence Day, Men in Black, Saving Private Ryan, The Fugitive – These films are all coming to me off the top of my head – all of these films stick in our mind because they were the must see film of the month, perhaps even the year. These days we’re lucky if a film is the must see film of the week. How can you become nostalgic about a film that has only been the focus of your attention for a week at best?

I just find it an interesting question. In 10 years time will we look back on today’s movies or songs with any feeling of nostalgia like we have towards films like Big, Home Alone, Grease, Splash, ET? Or does today’s here one minute gone the next marketing machine leave us with too little time to develop emotional attachments to films or songs in the way we used to? Or am I just getting older, becoming incapable of developing these strong nostalgic emotional attachments to films because I have way too many other things on my mind. I guess you can probably tell that this is a late night post for me but it is something that has been on my mind for a while.

Is nostalgia a thing of the past or will we look back in 10 years time and feel that the films and music of today mean more to us than we think they currently do? What do you think?

2 Responses to The Death of Blockbuster or the Death of Nostalgia?

  1. FI Pilgrim says:

    I have this conversation with my wife sometimes, mostly about music. I think there’s a period of time in everyone’s life where the music/movies of the day are more impactful than at any other time in life. All of us think that the media that was released when we were in our teens and twenties was “the best”. While I agree with what you’re saying (Forrest Gump is my all time favorite movie) I think that every generation is more attached to their own era than others. Great post, very thought provoking!

    • Adam Buller says:

      Thanks and I do agree with you. I think there’s something about our teens and twenties that makes music and movies so much more memorable, maybe it’s the excitement of mapping out your way in life? It’s funny you should mention those years because I’m hitting 30 soon and I can feel my mindset changing on a lot of things. I do think we had the best era though 😉

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