Scott Pilgrim vs The World: the birth of an interactive cinema?

Posted: 15/08/2010 in ARIN6903 Exploring Digital Cultures, Uncategorized

Edgar Wright’s new movie, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, is a visual feast for the hipster generation, a retro cool universe where your gf’s ex-boyfriends (and girlfriend) come back to haunt you in the form of videogame characters, where life is but a series of levels that have to be completed. The film’s plot is thin as a paper towel, but the visual flash (reminiscent of Michel Gondry) is worth looking at, as is the narrative mechanisms that allow for multiple actions to take place in the same screen (sort of what Peter Greenaway tried to do, in a much more serious tone, with films like The Pillow Book).

In concordance with the aesthetics of the comic written by Bryan Lee, the film showcases all the nuances of retro videogames: points, bonuses, pixelated imagery. Sometimes the screen is so barroque, so full of little pieces of information, that it does look like a collection of Easter eggs (in the interactive sense of the word). I wonder how the Blu-ray version is gonna look like. If it indeed includes dozens of Easter eggs as it could (imagine, for example, that all the coins are bonus scenes), it could very well take the interactive movie to a whole different level, as aesthetically it is already designed to be experienced in an immersive manner. Let’s imagine the following scenario: you walk into a movie theater, 3D lenses and remote control in hand, and experience the relaunch of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World in “Interactivision” (I love the cheesy names Hollywood gives the latest technologies). Every time an specific icon appears, a cherry, for instance, you press a button and watch an additional scene or are able to play a videogame for some minutes. This might seem like a far-fetched idea, but the aesthetics of this movie triggers the imagination and makes you think of the paths Hollywood could take to connect with the iPod generation.Comic and videogame audiovisual grammar has already been remediated by Hollywood, interactive cinema would be the next step.

But would it be cinema at all?

For ARIN6903, Exploring Digital Cultures, The University of Sydney (Master in Digital Communication and Culture).

  1. I have got to express you put together a number of really good points and will be able to write-up a variety of tips to add on as soon as a day or two.

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