Nostalgeek for cool

Text by Thomas Olivri, Creator of and author of Geek-Art, une Anthologie
Illustrations by Mainger (Akira) and Patrick Conan


The pop culture boom over recent years has given many a geek the chance to see their dreams come true: superhero movie adaptations, TV series featuring dragons and wizards, science fiction around every corner…

We’re in a period of sheer bliss for fans of sci-fi fantasy fiction and imaginary worlds! This global phenomenon and interest in what up until now had essentially been an underground culture reserved for aficionados can be explained in one word: nostalgia. Indeed yesterday’s young geeks have become today’s financially well-off grown-ups. Let’s take a look at a unique cultural phenomenon that among other things has allowed us to go “back to the future” of cult film posters…

The Stranger Things Generation

Stranger Things: this title probably rings a bell. Indeed, it is last summer’s global blockbuster series broadcast on Netflix. A phenomenal success bound to be a hit, notably thanks to the VOD provider’s formidable distribution system. Their battle plan to create original content is unbeatable: based on current trends, Netflix proposes made-to-measure series that tick all the boxes of a hit in the making. Case in point, the latest fashion is unquestionably a strong comeback of pop culture, along with the nostalgia it arouses in an entire generation. Stranger Things is a mix of E.T., The Goonies and the X-Files. In 1980s middle-class America, a group of kids who love role playing, comic books and science fiction sees one of their gang kidnapped by an evil creature coming from another dimension. Such a premise instantly struck the right chord in an entire generation of young adults who grew up with 1980s and 1990s cult cinema by tapping into the nostalgic powers of these idyllic times when one could play Super Mario Bros for hours before watching an episode of Muscle Man or go to the movies to see the latest Back to the Future sequel… A period many geeks fantasize about, for they see these cult films as sweet memories of an era for which they already feel nostalgic. This phenomenon, which I would describe as ‘Nostalgeek’, has allowed the film industry to prosper for years, notably by proposing more or less successful remakes of cult films and licenses. Who would have thought that in the 2010s, we would once again be able to purchase movie tickets to go see Transformers, Ninja Turtles, Robocop or Total Recall? This trend, along with the boom in video games, has also given other alternative businesses a chance to prosper, as is the case for film posters.



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