#62Machinima Screening Night

Fri, April 12, 6-7:30pm

Machinima Screening Night
Friday,12 April, 6-9pm

We have worked on a pop-up screening night, dedicated to showcasing a selection of innovative and captivating machinima that follows this year’s theme: Liminality. Playing between worlds. 

Machinima is a cutting edge method of film-making in which the film is made entirely from in-game footage.

Machinima are productions based on the use of virtual environments for the creation of linear cinematic videos. It's a practice of real-time computer animation that combines elements of cinema and performance where video games are used as a medium for storytelling. The origin of machinima dates back to the emergence of the hacker scene, the crack intros of the demoscene, and the arrival of commercial video game engines. In fact, its initial name was "quake movies" for having the Quake engine as the main production platform. Eventually, the term machinima was coined by Anthony Bailey and Hugh Hancock as a combination of "cinema" and "machina".

Nowadays the Machinima genre is entering a new stage with international dedicated reknown events such as Milan Machinima Art Festival, it is also being integrated little by little in diverse contemporary art scenes.

For this anniversary edition of Now Play This we have worked on a selection of Machinimas that approaches the notion of Liminality through different lenses.

The line up:

Heroic Makers vs Heroic Land
by Isabelle Arvers

In 2016 the French government's plans to dismantle the Calais "jungle"  raised concerns about the fate of the volunteer-run Chemin des Dunes school, opened on February 6. Amidst this uncertainty Isabelle Arvers created a machinima documentary to capture the lives of the refugees. Utilizing a game engine, photographs from the Calais jungle, and interviews conducted between February 6-20, 2016, the documentary aims to highlight the resilience and humanity within the camp, despite the French government's neglect and the looming threat of eviction. This initiative showcases the refugees' efforts to build a self-sustaining community with places of worship, shops, and educational spaces, challenging the mayor of Calais' insensitive plan to construct a 275 million euro amusement park, Heroic Land, on the site.

Operation Jane Walk
by Total Refusal (Leonhard Müllner and Robin Klengel)

A city tour through the architecture of an online-shooter Operation Jane Walk is based on the dystopian multiplayer shooter Tom Clancy's: The Division.

Within the rules of the game’s software, the militaristic environment is used for a pacifistic city tour. The urban flâneurs avoid combat whenever possible and become peaceful tourists of a digital world, a replica of Midtown Manhattan. While walking through the city, issues such as architecture, history and urbanism are discussed.

The pseudo-marxist media guerilla Total Refusal is a collective of artists, researchers, and filmmakers who upcycle the resources of mainstream video games to create political narratives in the form of videos, interventions, performances, and lectures.

A Woman on the Internet (or, The Eternal Scream)
by Jamie Janković

An experimental documentary exploring the jarring juxtapositions of friction, toxicity, joy and liberation that trans people, queers and femmes experience when playing as their own custom character creations in video game spaces.

Considering those who find solace in video game spaces, A Woman on the Internet (or, The Eternal Scream), combines filmic moments and poetic subtleties in an experimental documentary format. The film explores the jarring juxtapositions of friction, toxicity, joy and liberation that trans people, queers and femmes experience when playing as their own custom character creations in video game spaces.

Rock, Star, North
by Calum Rodger

Inspired by the writings of Wordsworth, Basho and Nan Shepherd, Rock, Star, North.  comprises a poetic travelogue in the Romantic mode, set in the game-world of Grand Theft Auto V. First performed in 2017, in 2021 the poem achieved its ‘final form’: a machinima film shot entirely in-game by the poet.