It has become something of a truism in recent years to observe that video games are turning into movies about as fast as movies are turning into video games. (Can a movie based on a video game based on a movie based on a video game be far behind?) Some might use this phenomena as evidence for the final death of literate pop culture or the impoverished imaginations of both filmmakers and video game designers, but the organizers of NTI* [*non-trivial interaction], a two-day series of events at the National Film Theater this Saturday and Sunday, offer a fairly convincing case to the contrary.
In their words, this "groundbreaking exploration of the boundaries between video games and film" is meant to "examine the complex and growing relationship between the two genres and the groundbreaking possibilities it creates." To which we say: that's a lot of groundbreaking.
Among the presenters are important artists, animators, game designers, filmmakers, and academics; the events include screenings of new videos and short films, a workshop for young people interested in careers in video games, and previews of as-yet-unreleased games and movies. For our money, the hot ticket is Jonathan Smith, who will explain the genesis of that work of genius that is Lego Star Wars: The Video Game.
Simultaneously, there will be a full-fledged video arcade set up inside the NFT, featuring both "retro" and new games, including games on a giant back-projection screen and "an authentic sit-in Star Wars cockpit cab". To repeat: an authentic(!) sit-in(!) Star Wars(!) cockpit cab!(!!!) We're already practicing in the mirror saying, "It’ll be just like shooting womprats in Beggar's Canyon back home!"