Indie Game: The Movie
My horrible resolution monitor(1024×1200) burns bright. There are almost a dozen empty cans of what I thought were diet caffeine free Pepsi’s littered across my desk. The machine in my pocket pumps ridiculous amounts of insulin into me as an unfortunate result, because my pancreas is too damn lazy to help out. And I silently reflect on what just happened to my worldview.
I thought I was ready for this film. I bought it on Steam weeks in advance. I downloaded it Tuesday, though I was unable to watch it as a result of my brother’s wedding. I’ve religiously followed Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes for the last year and a half, playing Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac until lactic acid took over my fingers. I know more about Team Meat and its members than I ever really wanted to know(What Edmund masturbates to, things Tommy did in high school) and they have both become almost personal heroes of mine. Edmund because of his tendency to be alone and do and enjoy strange things, and Tommy because of his diabetes and his attitude towards the less fortunate. Even through all this, I was ill prepared.
Indie Game: The Movie, in case you live in the past, is a documentary produced by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot. It follows Phil Fish and partner Renaud as they work on FEZ, a recently released XBLA game that turned wonderful reviews, Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes(a.k.a. Team Meat) as they make Super Meat Boy, and Jonathan Blow as he talks about the creation and publication of Braid, a game that in a way launched the Indie Game scene. It focuses less on the game and more on the people, showcasing the things these people have to do to themselves in order to release their games.
I loved it.
There was not a single moment throughout that film in which I thought, “Gee, what else could I be doing right now?”. (For perspective on this, I watched Wild Hogs earlier today. That was all I thought.) I feel almost as if I shouldn’t be writing this because from a professional standpoint there is simply nothing bad to say about this movie. The interviewers were wonderful. They were present when they should’ve been present and they were absent when they needed to be absent. They never appeared obtrusive or pokey. They were casual and sympathetic.
The cinematography blew me away. It was simply fantastic. The attention to detail and even the shots they used for filler between interviews were amazing. I found myself contemplating the relationship between the people making Fez and Super Meat Boy and a guy who’s looking around with a metal detector on the beach of Santa Cruz. It portrayed the subjects of the movie casually during interviews and realistically otherwise. It flowed smoothly and the movie never felt like I saw too much of one person.
Indie Game: The Movie is more than just a film. It is a document, a piece of art, something that should go down in history. It is a moving, powerful, and emotional journey through the lives of four people working to create something for the masses, something that is a part of them and that they release for our enjoyment and for our enjoyment alone.
For the love of god, man. Don’t skip out.