Timetravel in writing. No, not SCI-FI. I feel transported in my manuscript One Dress, One Day, which takes place in 1990. Brands of candy, kiddy cartoons and music videos take on a new, almost nostalgic aura!
In the Montreal Gazette’s MOVIES section, “Coming to Grips”, (Friday, October 26, 2018) Director Jonah Hill describes the shoot of his new film Mid90s.
“For the shoot, he and his crew painstakingly recreated the mid-1990s Los Angeles he remembers, from the music to the clothes, the talk and even the trash. A Doritos bag has a wildly different shape and esthetic now than it did in 1995. Hill says.
Traditional brands from another time and country (Spain) stand out in this extract from One Dress, One Day. The shopkeeper sells an iconic brand synonymous with that type of candy in the way Kleenex and Xerox became common nouns in many languages.
“Pepe put these bestsellers next to the silk-threaded flamenco dancer postcards and plush miniature toy donkeys that jiggled, thanks to AA-batteries (never included). For the artistic, there were garish bullfight posters that could be personalized: “Put your bullfighter name here”. For the folklore collectors, there were Pepe’s signature miniature matador capes. For impulse buyers, there were Chupa Chup lollypops.”
Have you ever suddenly seen a long lost brand from your childhood somewhere unexpected?
It might happen on vacation or during a holiday when a special dish or beverage appears.
My example is the old NIVEA blue tin. Men and women alike tell me that they recall their mother or grandmother using this cream. When companies stop manufacturing a product or change the packaging, customers react! There are even websites that help people find the ‘old’ version or discontinued item. Of course, the fine 2003 German film, Goodbye Lenin, directed by Wolfgang Becker. showed us just how difficult it is to keep up the time travel through brands and posters to fool someone!