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I make games, talk about them, draw comics and post sketches.

torsdag den 13. september 2012

Oh God Not This Again

I bought Citizen Kane a few months (a year?) ago because, you know, "greatest movie ever" and such. Well I have a slight flue right now, so I'm staying home, drinking tea and watching Adventure Time. So I guess this is as good a moment as any to expand my knowledge of cinema and the arts.

I probably postponed watching it because of a lot of little things (and as Hank Scorpio says, it's the little things that matter) but one apprehension remained just before I pressed play in the DVD menu: How do I relate to a film already known as the best ever?

Two hours later I was impressed. This is certainly a very, very good film. A little slow at times, but still, thoughtful, sometimes well-acted (especially Welles) and overall an interesting experience. Sweeping statements are always an issue, but it was my impression that American films from this period were overly dramatic with simple camera work. Citizen Kane was rather clever. A trip to Wikipedia later and I understand there was something about my hunch. Citizen Kane came up with a lot of good ideas. So it's original, both narratively (at least in cinema) and technically. It's well acted, it's entertaining and gives a lot to think about, even today. I suppose I can understand why a lot of people wish for this film still to be praised.

Most importantly for me, it makes me consider the notion of worth and quality.

Acting and narrative. These areas still hold up today in the film. Technically, it's outdated, but ahead of its time. And if you're the first to do something, I guess you always will be. It's a quality you can't really take away. (unless for obvious reasons...)

Videogames are important to me. They've kept me entertained and passionate. I think about my good experiences a lot and contemplate how to discuss them in a thoughtful manner removed from how 1-10 scaled reviews discuss them. I think about how Ocarina of Time is still the best reviewed game ever. For a good chunk of years, I probably wouldn't deny it. And probably for the same reasons Citizen Kane ends up on the number one spot all the time: It's entertaining (still today, don't worry, I've been back), it's technically outdated but a vanguard for it's time and it's expertly designed if one considers the spots you should hit for a good game: Interesting choices (not neccesarily outcomes), challenging (but not too much), good pacing, visually both appealing and characteristic (and technically, again, at the forefront) and a joy audiably.

Now, there are some points about Citizen Kane, which make it an interesting work, but not a greater piece of cinema. The whole relation to whom it is dealing with in reality, is quite fascinating. Ocarina of Time on the other hand, is made as a brilliantly executed toy. Many things can be debated about it (is it Japanese design? What is the Miyamotoian quality? Is there an auteur in Ocarina of Time or is it design by committee?), but it hardly raises a question like "what makes a man?". (neither does Bioshock by the way)

These are just random thoughts. I'm trying to wrap my head around the whole idea of "best something ever". Rambling.

Technology and innovation goes on in videogames. Sometimes among those with money, sometimes in indie communities. A lot of games will continue to be first at something. I suppose I'm waiting for the game that keeps me feeling respected for my time while making me think (though the interaction itself), makes me entertained and is technically unique for at the forefront. Until I've found that game, I guess Ocarina of Time can stay among the best in the Sight and Sound of videogames.

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