Indie Game: The Movie


Indie Game: The Movie
Directed by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
Opens May 18, IFC Center

Following the pallid, sleep-deprived programmers who create entertainment on Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform, Indie Game: The Movie is an insightful new geek documentary, well directed by first-timers Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. However, it fails in one crucial respect. There is a bright line, likely determined by age, between those who game and those who don't, and the film makes no concessions to the latter camp. The doc gains remarkable access to three groups of designers, one of which hopes to re-create "that experience of playing games before the Internet existed." Childhood nostalgia runs deep among the four main subjects, all white dudes in their late twenties/early thirties who crave "connection" with more young white dudes essentially just like them. They're obsessed, incredibly overstressed as they try to meet deadlines imposed by cruel Microsoft, and more than a little sad. The luckiest has an understanding wife. The unluckiest is stuck in his fourth year of development hell; bright and articulate, he worries that the zeitgeist might have passed since the first promising demo version of his game. Perfectionism can mean missing your precious slot in the market. As in Hollywood, which shares the same first-weekend-sales mentality, one can be washed up (or burned out) at a young age in the gaming racket. The indie model here means a bit of start-up funding, then marathon hours for small teams of developers—and forget about health insurance or vacation days. Although Indie Game doesn't pretend that all of its subjects will prosper, it tells us nothing about the success-failure ratio of indie entrepreneurs, the broader vid-game market (worth more than $40 billion last year), or a youth culture that has been profoundly changed by gaming. It's like writing about McDonald's without mentioning the obesity epidemic.

My Voice Nation Help

Wow, came from the Rotten Tomatoes review portal and after reading insightful, yet short (figures) reviews from Los Angeles Times, NYT, Toronto Star, etc which were more than happy, that the movie skipped the most obviously cliches and so could they, this review went straight to the point. The documentary about videogames failed you for not connecting with people of "your" age? Have you checked the content of the site lately? Was it that you couldn't relate to subject, even though (classic story) about people dedicating their lifes to create something, or was it really about the good old videogamemonster, that still seems to be threatning, not only the youths, but the authority of art/entertainement reviewers? My guess is, this was the first time you saw a unfamiliar subject as a bad thing in documentary, as it usually is the reason they are made. And McDonalds and obiesity reference? You could just said straight that they corrupt the youth, who instead of watching the all the great films they produce nowdays, some even in 3D, they make or play such a atrocities that even the moviecritics shake their heads! I know it's a subject, that in some of us it still forces out the "Who's the Jock now" attitude, but you don't really need the quotation marks when saying connection. Well, the empowering feeling of young people taking the old people highstand is something that we all probably have to get through, so we can become the old young people again. At least you can say it in Villages voice. :)


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