Saturday, June 20, 2009

Der Antichrist

While at first the prospect of a videogame inspired by a Lars von Trier film may seem exorbitant, the current state of creative numbness that is becoming characteristic of this current generation of hardware has convinced me to think differently; Trier's last film, The Antichrist, debuted in Cannes earlier this year and has spawned a raging controversy in every little cinema-related corner around the world as a result of the violent and scatological nature of the picture. Movie critic Roger Ebert, while clearly endorsing the director's impetuous attitude, has agreed to compare the film's shocking imagery to a fork in the eye; others labeled it as pseudo-artistic, big fat art film, condemning the director's lack of sensibility and readiness to impress the audience with explicit content – something that, to those who are familiar with his filmography, should not come as a surprise.

In spite of all the controversy surrounding The Antichrist, surely a direct result from the graphic violence of the scenes rather than their symbolism, Zentropa Eden Games announced a PC game adaptation yesterday, describing it as a gloomy version of the Cyan's classic adventure title MYST. The project, according to the same source of information, is being led by Morten Iversen - writer of the HITMAN games and one of the founders of the recent Zeitguys studio. This announcement provided scarce information concerning the actual relation between von Trier and the creative team, apart from the prospect that EDEN might be given the Danish director's blessing. One illustration attached to this statement depicts the actor Willem Dafoe (who played the character He) thus suggesting a closer connection to the motion-picture than anticipated.

Bearing the distinct possibility that this project may easily turn into vaporware, following the lead of so many a radical designs ostracized by the vapid state of videogame affairs, I underline the relevance - if not the dire need - of a single title with the potential to precipitate an equally great controversy. Furthermore, I accentuate the vast – albeit repeatedly snubbed - demand for alternative themes customarily regarded as taboos in an industry currently unable to satisfy educated audiences or even gratify aging players.

While the dilution of carnal and visceral imagery was implicit from its inception, a game such as (this) EDEN, if properly developed, would undoubtedly consist of a much needed addition to the anti-commercial stream of videogames that keeps battling, obstinately, the coercion of mass-produced entertainment dogmas; and, with titles such as THE PATH opening the way earlier this year, it is so quixotic to expect for an intricate, sophisticated and mature title from this provenance in the near future?

1 comment:

niL said...

Interesting! I have to see this movie.