Geek-friendly, blockbuster…and critically acclaimed

Geek-friendly, blockbuster…and critically acclaimed

“You know, Tommy…you’re really a freak. I don’t mean that unkindly. I like freaks. That’s why I like you.”
–Mary-Lou (played by Candy Clark) to Thomas Jerome Newton (played by David Bowie)
The Man Who Fell to Earth
screenplay by Paul Mayersberg
based on the novel by Walter Tevis
collected in
The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) by Bufo Calvin

Now that the geeks have inherited the Earth, what do we want to do with it? 😉

I remember back in the olden days 😉 when consuming geek-friendly media was something that only a few of us did…and pretty much everybody else looked down on us for doing it. Robert Heinlein was in the kids’ section. You could make just about anything into a “sci-fi” movie for the summer drive-ins, because the market was small enough that we literally could see every single geeky movie released in the USA…and some of us did.

While there had always been some geeky hits, the seventies saw the real start of the change: The Exorcist (horror) (1973); Jaws (monster movies) (1975); and Star Wars (science fiction, although loosely defined) (1977) were giant blockbusters, dominating the box office.

If you look at the top-grossing movies of all time in the USA (not adjusted for inflation), and remove the anomaly of Titanic (even though it’s full of special effects and directed by a geek-friendly director), the top thirty are all geek-friendly, and they dominate on down the line for the top 100.

When we look at critical acclaim, though, that’s been a tougher path.

Not this year.

Again, if we look backwards (and I’m talking about movies here), there have been geek-friendly critically-acclaimed performances and movies. Fredric March won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying the title roles in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Julie Andrews won for the title role in Mary Poppins.

However, there is an important distinction in all the buzz around The Shape of Water and Get Out (which may each get multiple Oscar noms, announced on January 23, including Big Six awards…Best Picture/Director/acting awards).

They are originals, written for the screen. They are also both written by their directors, and are unambiguously geek-friendly.

Being based on a book gives geek-friendly movies a certain cachet. Even though the books themselves may have been considered “lowbrow” or for kids, that still counts, even in a sort of retroactive respect.

This year, critics are recognizing geek-friendly works that are born and raised in the geek-friendly world.

The Shape of Water, according to IMDb, has already won 67 awards and had 190 nominations.

Get Out has 84 wins and 142 nominations.

Note that that doesn’t mean they lost in those other cases…some of them have not been decided yet, like this weekend’s SAG awards.

When we look at the Oscar odds at

Gold Derby

nominations seem very likely, and wins are possible.

I don’t think we geeks need to worry that we are going to be like everybody else (that’s a negative, right?).  😉 There will always be eddies which keep us out of the mainstream. Still, I think the time has arrived that we can say, “All your base are belong to us”… 😉

You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


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