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What matters now. A publication from Medium about politics, power, and culture.

Nostalgia

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And why Mank, a movie about the making of Citizen Kane, got more Oscar nominations than any other movie this year

Mank is a two-hour black-and-white movie about the real-life screenwriter (Herman Mankiewicz) of a two-hour black-and-white movie (Citizen Kane) about a real-life mogul (William Randolph Hearst) who produced movies, many of them starring his movie-star mistress. Scenes in Mank are introduced on-screen as they are in screenplays, with Courier typeface…

The unexpected joy of difficult, problematic movies

Don’t judge me, but I collect VHS. I swear I’m not a hipster. I’m a first-year millennial, and VHS tapes truly are the sacred texts of my people. The holy, acrid smell of seemingly ageless plastic as the cassette slides from its box. The ritual before inserting it into the…

The Clinton years aren’t what we really miss — it’s the power of being older and knowing better

Soleil Moon Frye’s documentary Kid 90, which premiered on Hulu this month, is an exercise in resurrected childhood. Frye was a child star in the early ’90s, the eponymous character in the show Punky Brewster, and she knew most of the other child and teen actors in the business. She…

Nostalgia drew me in. But the escapism, absurdity, and innocent stupidity of the late 2000s kept me watching.

It’s the second Friday in March, and nobody seems to be going outside anymore. I’m glued to my couch watching season 1, episode 11 of Gossip Girl, in which Blair Waldorf is coming to terms with her dad. He’s recently come out as gay and is moving to Paris to…

Nostalgia, it turns out, has a dark side

Six years ago, my mom and I met for lunch in my hometown of Edison, New Jersey. I had some time before my train back to New York City, so I suggested we drive by our old house, a 1961 suburban ranch my parents bought for $45,000 in 1971 when…

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