The Escapist Film Festival 2010: Nintendobo

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Damn that was wonderful. From top to bottom amazing. However... I do have to agree with the above poster: I don't think it would do well here.

Sadly.

I don't know what to think, really. I mean, I could tell right from the start that it was going to be something tragic. But as it got started I really couldn't stop watching.

Objective standpoint: Well written, great concept. The directing was fantastic. The music and whole atmosphere really conveyed the themes effectively.

Subjective standpoint: It wasn't really for me. I wouldn't watch it again, and I wouldn't watch a whole series on it.

Dexiro:

FlitterFilms:

Vignette:
They will say it's stupid and terrible.

Do not listen.

What you have demonstrated in this video is well realized humour, drama, and violence. Dancing very close with David Lynch created views of surrealism. You have a clear narrative that takes work to find, and that is something special. I can't imagine you could sway the masses with this video. This short shows something better then a web series.

I agree whole heartedly. This film is great but this isn't really the place for it, hence the very mixed reviews. A lot of people on here are just looking to be entertained not intellectually and emotionally challenged.

The above statement makes me sound like a complete arthouse dickhead but I don't care, I thought this film was solid gold.

I think it deserves a place on this site. A little emotion isn't a bad thing, and in the end of the day it's still comedy.

It might feel out of place at first but I think it'd settle in well.

I didn't like it. I thought it was depressing, and not particularly enriching.

I guess that also means I don't understand art.

Now I'm really depressed.

Oh well. Back to work, I guess...

Please win. If you don't win, give us another episode anyway!

I have never seen such emotional entertainment on this site before. I would love it if you stayed. We need more dark humor.

The song at the end was priceless. Best remake I've heard in a long time.

To those who don't know about this film, he participated last year. I found strange that last year's was done by Decovo Studios, now it's Lumalin Productions.

An good explanation would do.

I liked this OK, I thought it was brave, but if this was a series, where on Earth would it GO?

NotSoNimble:
Please win. If you don't win, give us another episode anyway!

I have never seen such emotional entertainment on this site before. I would love it if you stayed. We need more dark humor.

The song at the end was priceless. Best remake I've heard in a long time.

No worries, young Dobo is bound to return someday, somewhere, somehow. And I'll pass along the remake compliment to Yosh.

And while I'm here at the keyboard, I just gotta say -- some of the kind words getting typed about this vid, I'm appreciative up to my eyebrows, very cool of you folks to let me know ya dug it. There's one thing I could add as a possible bonus-decoding for its strange flavor. Nearly all live action vids are made by groups of friends, and they give off this happy air of having been fun to make. But I always shoot the Nintendobo vids when no one else is around, and the production part isn't really a fun time (never mind the carpet burns). Even when I play the scotch-soaked dad, I'm still doing the Dobo part via split-screen -- it's all getting shot in complete solitude, with none of the happy-rebounding of ideas and feedback that you get with group projects. I suppose the most cogent way to put it is that the humor isn't social humor, it's solitude humor. I'm not sure what that adds to the discussion, but it was fun to type. :D

Tharticus:
To those who don't know about this film, he participated last year. I found strange that last year's was done by Decovo Studios, now it's Lumalin Productions.

An good explanation would do.

Decovo broke up when the co-founder went to work for MTV (true story). I started Lumalin with two other guys from school. Still good friends with MTV guy, but he's off in New York now, living the high life (relatively speaking).

Mr.Mattress:
I'm weirded out by it. It's so weird... And so unappealing. I don't think this is gonna win, but if you made an indie film like this, you'd definitely win something.

Alas.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha2fHGEdCdk

Finished it in June, and so far all the festivals have rejected it. Not even any "nice try" letters. But I suppose "dark side of puppetry" is probably a self-defeating category to pursue at the festival level; puppets create an expectation of muppety antics, and it didn't help that the feature was even more odd and death-obsessed than the shorts.

But in O.I.P.L.F., it was clear that Dobo was coming from the grown man's imagination (except in the prologue, which takes place in the late 80's). In the Escapist short, I'm actually undecided if Dobo is "real", or if he's just the man's desperate projected wish to be a kid again -- and so the dad would actually be just a childless adult man, living alone, drifting into bits of age-schizophrenia from being so damn disappointed with life (plus the liquid assistance). So everyone can decide for themselves if Nintendobo is really there or being imagined, it works either way. There was a great movie called "Sunday" which had the same anti-conclusion about the main character --

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120244/

-- sort of making him a Schrodinger's Cat of two equally-possible-but-opposite identities, and never giving the audience the full answer -- which was far more intriguing than trying to make it a one-answer twist at the end. You'd have to see it to really get the "is he or isn't he?" impact, I'm not even close to doing it justice.

I found this show to be Kind of tasteless really. If you're going to make a joke about something as serious as suicidal, child abusing parents, it better be funny. I couldn't decide if it was trying to be harrowing or amusing because it did a bad job of both. The relationship to video gaming only seemed incidental, and hardly the central focus of the video.

Sorry, but I wouldn't watch this.

Fucking hell.

That shit was messed up.

The voice was extremely annoying and simply so bad it would've ruined the video no matter what visual imagery it did or would've included.

This is bound to divide people. It's well put together, but it's really depressing...

Sonic Doctor:
Too bizarre, I didn't find it funny.

filiptom:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DudeNotFunny

This guy has it right. Mental illness is not funny, at least that is what I get from the voice. As well as suicide isn't funny.

I agree with these guys. I actually felt physicly sick watching that

Vignette:
They will say it's stupid and terrible.

Do not listen.

What you have demonstrated in this video is well realized humour, drama, and violence. Dancing very close with David Lynch created views of surrealism. You have a clear narrative that takes work to find, and that is something special. I can't imagine you could sway the masses with this video. This short shows something better then a web series.

Worded much better than I could've, but I almost didn't feel the need.

This guy comes in every year. He makes videos that are passionately loved, passionately hated, and confuse the hell out of people all at the same time. I think he expects the people to say 'OMG this sux'. I almost think he wants them to.

"The concept of absurdity is something I'm attracted to."
- David Lynch

Without question this guy will be a famous film maker one day. Watch the video people - watch it and pay attention. If you don't see incredible depth and potential in the person who make it fine, but you'll be watching (and paying) to see his movies one day. There is far too much "web series" trash on the internet. At least this one pushes the boundaries and clearly stands out and i'd love to see more. It has my vote.

Woah, another Newcomb in the contest. That's crazy.

That was genuinely impressive, but I honestly can't see it functioning as a web series, which is a shame as taken by itself it's probably the best entry in the whole film festival. Also, it seemed kind of odd you censored some of the f-words and not the others. Just curious, but was there a specific reason you did that?

I enjoyed it but my problem is this, where is this going.

This is a competition for a video SERIES contract right? Hows this going to work after Episode 1? Whats the actual premise, is it a narrative series or a review series or a sketch series?

I would vote for it, but im not going to because I ultimately have no idea what im voting for.

FargoDog:
That was genuinely impressive, but I honestly can't see it functioning as a web series, which is a shame as taken by itself it's probably the best entry in the whole film festival. Also, it seemed kind of odd you censored some of the f-words and not the others. Just curious, but was there a specific reason you did that?

Thanks mate. And the beeped F-bomb sound can't really function as censorship anymore, since we all know what word is being beeped. When I put the beep in, it's for expletive punctuation, an extra ! to the f-bomb -- so it isn't meant to hide the word, it's meant to make it less casual and a little more abrasive.

Whoa this stands on it's own. Not sure i'd agree that it *shouldn't* be a series. Why not is it too hard for people to understand? Could be but that's not a good reason not to vote for it. I could attack any of the other handful I've seen for being boring, at least this one engaged me the whole time which I can't say for a bunch of the others.

Props to the producer: amazing cinematography and depth of field work, lots and lots of very subtle things going on which I haven't seen in any of the other film festival entrants.

Very abstract, very dark, very entertaining.

This is in my top 3 favorite videos in this film festival. "Unique" doesn't even begin to describe it, and I enjoy it. It reminds me a lot of Salad Fingers.

You have my vote.

Also, I looked into the other stuff you've done. The thing you pulled at UCSD was nothing short of brilliant. (Although, I do hope the audience realized what the whole thing was at the end. It didn't seem like all of them understood that it was all staged, and I would've been pretty freaked out if I walked away from that thinking it was real.)

Powerful... but i'm really not sure i want to see more of it

Weird and not funny. Sorry.

This is a happy film.

Timbydude:
Very abstract, very dark, very entertaining.

This is in my top 3 favorite videos in this film festival. "Unique" doesn't even begin to describe it, and I enjoy it. It reminds me a lot of Salad Fingers.

You have my vote.

Also, I looked into the other stuff you've done. The thing you pulled at UCSD was nothing short of brilliant. (Although, I do hope the audience realized what the whole thing was at the end. It didn't seem like all of them understood that it was all staged, and I would've been pretty freaked out if I walked away from that thinking it was real.)

Thanks mate, much appreciated. Funny you should mention that -- it actually was a bit of a problem: the students that flee the classroom eventually find out it was all a hoax several days later, but in the meantime they'd sometimes see me around campus, and give me that look like maybe they need to be calling security. I ended up tweaking the last couple of performances so people felt sorry for me instead & didn't make for the exits.

For anyone wondering what we're talking about (it's a bit of cruel hoaxing called GRRF):
untweaked + students in terror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jctL9wiqvo
tweaked + students just morbidly bewildered: http://www.vimeo.com/6119911

Honestly, I think this is my favorite video in the entire festival, but I'm not a fan of the other Nintendobo videos I've seen. Dr. Mario says eat mommy's pills was just... Not cohesive? Like I felt like it wasn't doing anything. The jokes weren't funny and it didn't seem to have an overall point (although I did like the bit at the end about Jesus on his crucifix and racing him to heaven, and Steve Irwin and Lynyrd Skynard being "the Jesuses we've killed). The first one to me seemed even more pointless. I feel like the series has come into its own with this video, though. It's created a more cohesive world, it has him interacting with other characters, the narrative seems to build towards a single point the whole time. The parallel between his father feeling trapped by real life obligations and Nintendobo feeling trapped by virtual ones in Donkey Kong 64 was, well, poignant, and it felt like that's what the entire episode was building towards, using a stressful game as a way to understand the stresses real life throws at others, something Nintendobo's detachment from the world makes it hard to understand. It was a great epiphany moment for the character when he said "Because if going to find another digital banana is this tedious, just imagine how it must hurt to go find paychecks."

In short, I like this one a lot, and if you can keep up the sort of focused narrative that this one had, if you can make each episode have a point, and make it explore Nintendobo's world and his views about it this deeply then I'd love to see more of this series. But I definitely wouldn't be as excited if the uploads I saw were more like the earlier Nintendobo videos.

This movie truly deserves to win, and I really hope that it does.

I think I've watched it eight or nine times over the past couple of days, it really has a profundity that none of the other films in the festival have, not just that, but a profundity that few films in the whole world have. The use of these images of childhood as metaphors for the exploration of darker issues like the toll that even a normal life can take on us (and the poor choices we make in attempting to deal with the things life does to us, in this instance alcohol abuse, child neglect, and potentially suicide) is emotionally potent.

After I'd watched this movie about four or five times, I ended up researching some of Newcomb's other work, it's all incredible. I have already watched the copy of Only Interstellar Pinball Lives Forever that arrived at my apartment last night twice, and for anyone who doubts that this series could be continued in a way that would allow it to maintain its depth I would suggest watching the movie, because it is absolutely brilliant. The use of puppets, and other childhood imagery, in these serious discussions makes us uncomfortable, and I think that is one of the tools that is utilized so perfectly here. Here we have a genuinely serious discussion about our own mortality, one that makes the viewer take a step back and look at their own life and say "why have I been living the way I've been living? Whether my life has greater value or not, I can't know, but why have I been treating it as if it didn't, going from day to day lost in the flow, just waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen?" The child's conclusion at the end, that it would be better to burn intensely as an individual for a couple of decades, than to slowly fade into the monotony of life that consumes most of us keeps ringing in my head.

To anyone who wonders whether or not this could be a series, I would say this, I don't know. But what I do know is that here we have one of the most brilliant artists working today, offering us a chance at his creations, and it would be truly foolish of us to say "I don't know whether his work will continue to be good, so I won't look to see." That statement could be true of any artist, and the reason we may not level at some of the other videos is because they don't come even close to having this kind of depth, they don't have as far to fall, so it would not concern us too greatly if they did. To miss the opportunity to provide Newcomb a chance to express himself here at The Escapist, and to miss the opportunity to see more of his work, would truly be a shame.

EDIT: I would also point out that in as far as this website is a site about gaming, we would again be taking a profound loss if we missed the opportunity to hear more of Newcomb's ideas. One of the things he's absolutely brilliant at is expressing the depth of metaphors that can be found in games in which the metaphor had not been intended by the creator. In the film being voted for here the child says "If finding digital bananas is this tedious, imagine how difficult it must be finding paychecks." What a profound statement on life, created with metaphor from Donkey Kong 64! Perhaps even more poignant is the way in which he uses Pinball as a metaphor in the earlier mentioned Only Interstellar Pinball Lives Forever exploring it as a discussion of mortality, with the ball's eventual demise as it falls into a trap used as the image of death. For a website as obsessed with the idea of videogames as art as The Escapist is, these ideas are so incredibly important. If game designers actually made games around ideas like this, using the game as a profound metaphor, then there would be no denying that they were in fact art. The chance given to The Escapist here, to provide the world with easy access to some of Newcomb's ideas, is really valuable. In as far as the industry actually pays attention to what goes on here, The Escapist has the chance to offer them on a silver platter the tools they need to truly demonstrate the artistic value of videogames, the tools to give legitimacy to the medium.

When I saw you had entered, I remembered your entry from last year, thought "oh my God, this guy again", and reluctantly watched your video.

Now, s an artist, there are many things I can professionally appreciate but find seriously distasteful and disturbing. Artistically, you've got a Picaso-like thing going on here, using familiar subjects and challenging our understanding of them by taking them apart and mashing them together in a way no one is entirely comfortable with. You take serious, painful topics like alcoholism, loneliness, suicidal depression, divorce and poverty, and force them to our attention with a blinding, flickering light. I am impressed. I am disturbed. This is an amazing piece of art.

Personally? I hate this. It's painful, it makes jokes about serious, real issues and isn't funny at all. I actually felt physically discomforted and insulted while I watched this, and I honestly want to punch you.

So, congratulations. You've done exactly what you wanted to do and I respect that. Doesn't mean I don't hate it, and I sincerely hope this doesn't win.

That was really really messed up.
I mean come on! 3 stars?!? 4 at least and I would say 4.5.

Kpt._Rob:
...I have already watched the copy of Only Interstellar Pinball Lives Forever that arrived at my apartment last night twice, and for anyone who doubts that this series could be continued in a way that would allow it to maintain its depth I would suggest watching the movie, because it is absolutely brilliant. The use of puppets, and other childhood imagery, in these serious discussions makes us uncomfortable, and I think that is one of the tools that is utilized so perfectly here. Here we have a genuinely serious discussion about our own mortality, one that makes the viewer take a step back and look at their own life and say "why have I been living the way I've been living? Whether my life has greater value or not, I can't know, but why have I been treating it as if it didn't, going from day to day lost in the flow, just waiting for something to happen instead of making it happen?" The child's conclusion at the end, that it would be better to burn intensely as an individual for a couple of decades, than to slowly fade into the monotony of life that consumes most of us keeps ringing in my head.

...Perhaps even more poignant is the way in which he uses Pinball as a metaphor in the earlier mentioned Only Interstellar Pinball Lives Forever exploring it as a discussion of mortality, with the ball's eventual demise as it falls into a trap used as the image of death...

Mate, very cool of you to type all that & to have watched OIPLF with your synapses on full alert. I'd been hoping, someday somehow somewhen, that the perplexing flavor of OIPLF might click with a few rare folk, and it's a damn fine pleasure to meet one. *insert formal handshake here*

And actually, reading such feedback is like winning in advance, so no worries on the final result. You made as eloquent a case for it as I'd ever hope to make myself -- and yet, I'll never forget that The Escapist had the coolness to put the vid in such a prime contest slot to begin with. In all honesty, I stared at my laptop screen in slack-jawed shock.

tristan_n:
Alas.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ha2fHGEdCdk

Finished it in June, and so far all the festivals have rejected it. Not even any "nice try" letters. But I suppose "dark side of puppetry" is probably a self-defeating category to pursue at the festival level; puppets create an expectation of muppety antics, and it didn't help that the feature was even more odd and death-obsessed than the shorts.

But in O.I.P.L.F., it was clear that Dobo was coming from the grown man's imagination (except in the prologue, which takes place in the late 80's). In the Escapist short, I'm actually undecided if Dobo is "real", or if he's just the man's desperate projected wish to be a kid again -- and so the dad would actually be just a childless adult man, living alone, drifting into bits of age-schizophrenia from being so damn disappointed with life (plus the liquid assistance). So everyone can decide for themselves if Nintendobo is really there or being imagined, it works either way. There was a great movie called "Sunday" which had the same anti-conclusion about the main character --

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120244/

-- sort of making him a Schrodinger's Cat of two equally-possible-but-opposite identities, and never giving the audience the full answer -- which was far more intriguing than trying to make it a one-answer twist at the end. You'd have to see it to really get the "is he or isn't he?" impact, I'm not even close to doing it justice.

I love absolutely every word in this.

I do have to say (with regards to last year's video) that I didn't think about Nintendobo as a dissociative fugue, though in hindsight it makes sense given his very adult-like dialogue. I also find it interesting that you repeated the cross imagery at the end of both this year's video and the last (not to mention Dobo wears the same "God has a plan for me" shirt). I'm curious if you were deliberately going for a "persecution" angle, like the purity of the image of his childhood couldn't be sustained because the he and his substance abuse was crucifying it.

Also, I liked the subtleties you threw in (no 'memory' pack so he has to review it from 'memory'; Dad not noticing that his wine is urine, implying that the wine 'tasted like piss', etc.).

That was an intimate, subtle, disturbing, evocative, interesting, brutal, beautiful, incredibly fucked up short.

And honestly, it's a piece of art that doesn't have a place on a website that advertises Gamedogs and pornstars playing DnD.

Take your series elsewhere if you don't get this spot.

I loved this short and I really hope to see more from Lumalin Productions.

EDIT: I apologize if this offends anyone.

my_ledge_ends:

I do have to say (with regards to last year's video) that I didn't think about Nintendobo as a dissociative fugue, though in hindsight it makes sense given his very adult-like dialogue. I also find it interesting that you repeated the cross imagery at the end of both this year's video and the last (not to mention Dobo wears the same "God has a plan for me" shirt). I'm curious if you were deliberately going for a "persecution" angle, like the purity of the image of his childhood couldn't be sustained because the he and his substance abuse was crucifying it.

Also, I liked the subtleties you threw in (no 'memory' pack so he has to review it from 'memory'; Dad not noticing that his wine is urine, implying that the wine 'tasted like piss', etc.).

Ha! Reading that feedback makes the half-dozen rewrites worth it.

His sudden swerve into proclaiming himself the new Jesus is a childhood riff on the WWJD trend: children would never bother with a "What Would Spiderman Do?" meme, they would cut out the middleman and simply proclaim themselves (temporarily) Spiderman. And his sweatshirt saying "God Has a Plan For Me" is really the catalyst for the perpetual anxiety in his facial expression. If any diety has a plan regarding you specifically, it's damn well time to panic....

And yeah, Dobo began as an odd little character study (like all the old smuppet vids), then he drifted into surrealist death obssession (partly because of that facial expression of his), and finally, for OIPLF, he became a projection of a desperate protagonist trying to be a "kid" again to find a technological means to acheive immortality (because the confidence for tackling the completely impossible is only something a kid can possess). In the Escapist vid, regardless if he's "there" or just being imagined, he's completely the childhood-shaped lens by which adulthood is being viewed.

*stopping to take a breath*

When you're an adult, looking back at your childhood perceptions is like looking into the cramped headquarters of a sweet, innocently devious hyperactive simpleton who could be completely immersed in things like Happy Meals and action figures and N64 platformers. What is less often remembered is the other direction, how things like adult depression, adult malaise, and adult passivity look to a child -- they seem so damned bizarre and absurd, like the behavior of an alien creature, almost. How can an adult, who has such control over where they get to live and what they get to do and buy, still be depressed with all that power? It's a naive error on Dobo's part, but luckily the adult beverage furnishes a quick gateway to adult empathy. However, in the end, he still doesn't excuse his dad because the great thing about childhood perceptions is the lack of impossibility in solving things. You solve them by trying different things and then getting bored and moving on. Why the hell do adults get stuck in situations? What counter-intuitive psychological absurdity is vexing us, damnit?!! *throws stuffed monkey at window*

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