Susperia 2018: the Nitty Gritty Rawness of Female

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio, Writing

Spoilers ahead: Susperia (2018) may not be a film driven by a feminist agenda, but it still works to push the medium forward in embracing a raw and real feminine identity.


(Article published on Sidequesting)

We’re in 1977 divided Berlin and a young girl named Patricia manically enters her psychiatrist, Dr. Klemperer’s, office. She curls into the fetal position of his chair muttering of how she was groomed to be “perfect” by the heads of the famous Markos Tans Dance Company. She twitches squirrelishly and sees eyes on everything, tossing albums and books about to avoid their all-seeing gaze. She hears voices in her head. In an Arthur Miller manic episode she shouts “Witches!” and Dr. Klemperer writes down that her psychological state is diminishing. The camera then shifts to a dying woman in rural America as Thom Yorke’s melancholic score creeps into the background. This is Susperia (2018)– not a remake of the 1977 Argento film, but something meant to hold its own. And while it’s a horror film first, it also supplies a healthy step in the right direction for women in film as well.

Overall, it’s been a relatively hopeful time for women in movies and television. With the reincarnation of DC’s Wonder Woman and the excitement trailing the upcoming release of Captain Marvel, it’s safe to say that women are getting more lead time in mainstream film. Strength and autonomy radiate from female protagonists who, in many ways, embody the quintessential feminist narrative. The Buffys and Lara Crofts. The Salts and Mrs. Smiths. The Jill Valentines and Female Commander Shepards. All of them powerful and independent. None of them objectified in their creation. It’s inspiring to think that young women can see these characters and realize that there is a relatable strength within them – characters that previously only reflected a shallow sense of service to the plot; it’s even better to see men embracing them as protagonists as well. But Susperia is unique because, even though it could be considered an empowering feminine narrative, it’s not about a heroine—and it’s that’s tremendously important to promote. Being strong in the physical sense – being able to defend oneself and throw a car across a room – is still, at least initially, a man’s idea of strong.

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Elevated Sci-Fi and Why Stories Matter: Blade Runner 2049

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Blade Runner 2019 provides a gorgeous narrative that digs into age-old philosophical questions.

Article published on Sidequesting: http://www.sidequesting.com/2018/01/elevated-sci-fi-and-why-stories-matter-blade-runner-2049/

Some may argue that its financial downfall at the box office dooms the film as a failure — yet many critics deem Blade Runner 2049 the best film of the year. There is a strange dichotomy in thought here, as to what deems a film’s success: on one hand we have financial failure, perhaps not enough popcorn to draw in the casual fan; on the other, we have a resounding success as one of the best science fiction films of all time, thanks to the very thing that made it unfriendly toward the casual viewer: existential investigation.

In that case, Blade Runner 2049 succeeds. It is long. It is hard to digest. But, to that end, it takes the viewer on a philosophical exploration of the human soul. That exploration, hard though it may be, is all the more important in an age when we are inundated with mindless entertainment, instant gratification, and unreliable information (I write, as I sit in a café staring at a couple in conversation — the girl, uninterested, browsing through Instagram; the guy, attentive, stares in erudite longing at her “uh huh” responses).

Ken Levine’s “Narrative Legos”: A World of Infinite Replay GDC 2014

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

Creative mastermind Ken Levine discusses how games have infinite potential in narrative design.

(Article published on Gameranx.)

In a panel at this year’s Game Developers Conference, BioShock’s Ken Levine discussed his aspiring ideas on how to break the mold of linear narratives in game design. His goal? To create a system that allows for infinite replays. In other words, he wants to create a circle that remains unbroken…. without falling into the linear redundancy that he graciously admits games like BioShock often rely on.

‘Beyond: Two Souls’ How Narrative Design Can Make a Game an Experience

Games and Media, Journalism, Portfolio

In 2010, Quantic Dream and Sony Computer Entertainment reinvented video game narrative style with their critically acclaimed title Heavy Rain, a game that tugged at the heart strings of the millions that played it. Emotionally engaging and at times uncomfortably heart wrenching, Heavy Rain, written and directed by master story-teller David Cage, gave the world affirmation that video games have the capability to tell artful, intricate, and morally complex stories with a cinematic scope. Quantic Dream’s up and coming title Beyond: Two Souls, promises to do the exact same.