My Connection with Interactive Cinema


The interactive cinema “Night Shift” I watched one year ago in this classroom, and the intensive and inspiring “film theory” I took last semester, have lured me to attend this amazing class. I am curious about the new trend of cinema, its precursors in early cinema, and the frenzy in festival circles. 

Although I am not a game master, I have been exploring the settings and narration of various games. I am eager to understand why I developed an emotional attachment to the round object in the simple game of “Gemini-A Journey of Two Stars” (honorably presented by Atlas Chen and Nick Zhang in NYU Game Center), and why I was moved to tears when the black-humored fictional astronomer in “Life Line” reported himself to be running on the spaceship corridor, singing loudly to dismiss his fear for the doomed death, via occasional text messaging.



Life Line

I suppose it is the dreamy atmosphere of the games that capture me. It is not surprising that one of my favorite films is Waking Life (2001, dir.Richard Linklater), which displays the dreamy status and the disoriented feeling of modern human beings. I love the witty talks of great philosophers, scientists, film theorists and common people, as well as the off-cord music, the dazzling color and the exaggerated ever-changing shapes empowered by rotoscoping-based animation. Overwhelmingly rich in text and form, cinema like this offers me a channel to ruminate on big issues with sense and sensitivity.

Waking Life

Another beloved film is Russian Ark (2002, dir. Alexander Sokurov), where the mysterious and murmuring marquise walks us through the historical moments of Russia. Everything taken in a single breath, I feel myself present in the whole dreamy journey through the intimate interaction between the marquise and the person behind the camera.

the End of Russian Ark

In addition to games and films, I hope to familiar myself with the often challenging and ambiguous interactive installations. The idea for diminishing the space between the artist and the viewer, and the inclination to share power mentioned by Erkki Huhtamo in “Seeking Deeper Contact: Interactive Art as Metacommentary” helps me to understand Oiticica’s EDEN at the Whitney Museum in retrospective. Lucky to be in New York, I am now a big fan of the various well-curated museums, especially after taking the MIAP course. I remembered how I was fascinated by the VR installation of a French architect in the Jewish Museum last semester.

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