Instead of hedging his bet with a dynamic narrative, the director promised no pyrotechnic plot twists. “People would ask, ‘So what happens?’ ” Mr. Linklater said. “And I’d have to say, ‘Not much.’ ”
Mr. Hawke said that Mr. Linklater never minimized the risks at business meetings: “A financier would say, ‘That’s fascinating, but what’s going to make this movie great?’ Rick would say: ‘Oh, it might not be. We’ll have to see.’ ”
Most coming-of-age films are replete with sex and crises like deaths, overdoses and crimes, but in “Boyhood,” Mr. Hawke said, “the event is the nonevent.” The boy just grows up.
The majority of contemporary films are marketed with gimmicks, and Boyhood is no different; but Linklater’s calm audacity is one of the most refreshing concepts I’ve ever come across.
Few films come to mind take the concept of video game competitions seriously. There really isn’t any reason they should either. The public’s appetite for a “battle between Man and Machine” appears to have been filled when Kasparov lost to IBM’s Deep Blue.
Since then, most films on the subject of people competing with computers have been played for laughs. Which seems to avoid all the obvious layers of consciousness, in favor of admittedly more pleasing narratives: nerds with a desire to compete.
The key example for this would be the world of King of Kong [trailer]. Looking at the film now, one can see a great deal of Danny McBride-esque takes on how preposterously serious some of the competitors approach the game of Donkey Kong1.
King of Kong takes great care to create characters, or more specifically caricatures of it’s subjects in order create a comedic film.The film has the distinct feel of fasciation, empathy and mockery of it’s subjects.
The 1989 The Wizard, starring Fred Savage takes video game competitions seriously, or as seriously as a film for a pre-teen consumer audience can2. In the film the future Wonder Years star plays a an emotionally withdrawn youth who has travels to California in order to compete in a Nintendo competition.
So, it is this void The Ecstasy of Order fills. The documentary is well stocked with a cadre of odd ducks we’ve come to expect in these sorts of films. They come in varied shapes; thin, over-weight and wire-y. They speak with a manic energy reserved for super-fans of a given topic. These particular nerds are obsessed with Tetris.
You get the impression from the trailer their eccentricities are to be interpreted as a “drive to compete” and push a flavor of Rocky-esque narrative these types of films employ to fulfill a three act structure. Which might work, I haven’t seen the movie.
What interests me about The Ecstasy of Order is its drive into fandom and excitement. The people in the film appear to have long since exhausted their ability to explain why the love something, and having found a community of like-minded fans of the game, have taken steps to compete for status within their micro-community.
On the topic of the Russian phenomenon that was Tetris, there’s a well-regarded hour-long documentary produced by the BBC titled From Russia With Love, which can be viewed in it’s entirety on YouTube.
Or down below.
Namely, the universally acknowledged douche bag Billy Mitchell, who is likely one of the most reviled villians in a documentary film in recent memory. ↩