Indie Game: The Movie

Director: Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 3.0

Pajot and Swirsky follow around four game developers - Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen ("Team Meat"), Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow - and talk with them about the challenges of making independent, intelligent games in a time when studio-developed games (by Electronic Arts or Microsoft, to name two) are dominating the gaming marketplace - you can easily see how this could be considered a metaphor for the movie industry as well. It certainly doesn't hurt their cause that the four key figures they cover made what amount to three brilliant games (I've played Fez, Braid and Super Meat Boy) and that their subjects are perceptive and deeply emotional: Refenes, McMillen and Fish are (technically) grown men, but they're not afraid to cry or show weakness, and very much in touch with their inner children. Of course, being a big video game fan since I was a kid this is very much something I'd want to know about, and I doubt people not interested in games will find much to take from it (it doesn't help if you've never played - or been frustrated by - the titles discussed here ... and believe me, Super Meat Boy in particular can be maddening). The result is a little film-school-y, but well-done nevertheless.