Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guillermo del Toro talks about gaming

You can read it at Edge. Del Toro talks about his upcoming Hellboy movie and what he thinks of video games.
Did I say that design of Edge's website was nice by the way? OK, white is pretty much de rigueur these days, but it's pure and that makes a nice place to go to.

I wasn't much aware of the director's view on video games, so what he said surprised me.
It's the open identification of games which goes beyond basic quotations of Pacman, Galaga and Pong that is knee-jerking, refreshing, and he's very current on this stuff. Oh yes, he did cite them, but this was just the beginning. The old memories you know.
He looks like a sentimental geek in many aspects, which doesn't preclude him from having a tooth for vision and beauty.

Best bits, for sure:

There was a Japanese game called Gadget that was very influential on movies like Dark City and The Matrix.

Well, if that's one of the reasons I love Dark City, maybe I should try that Gadget game, even if nostalgia could have an influence on his actual appreciation of the decades old design. However, who said this was bad? It's not like he said he was about to make a Galaga movie.

How far have games really come since then?

They’re an incredible storytelling tool, one that filmmakers should embrace instead of reject. In the next ten years, they’ll yield a couple of narrative masterpieces.

Which allows me to jump onto a parallel topic. There are good essences about the film industry which should serve as inspiration for ours, notably the way projects and teams are managed until a product is finished and people, resources and funds are moved onto the next one, but there are aspects of it which we should stop trying to mimic. Yet many times, you'll hear figures from the video game industry pointing to the film one for the wrong reasons.

There are only two games I consider masterpieces: Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

Probably easy games to cite as you don't get much points anymore for doing so among gaming circles, but that's a whole different story for people not traditionally associated to gaming.
Now, sure, it's still a matter of opinions in the end, and some people may find those games boring and tepid.
My own list would clearly include many others, even stuff like R-Type Final, but that may just be me.
Anyway, I think it's still something incredible having such a famous director being capable of naming games such as GTA IV, Sonic, Kirby, Bioshock, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Devil May Cry, etc. When said person even adds Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, it's all the more baffling.

How much influence do you think your gaming has had on your movies?

A lot. Videogames use art direction, colour and storytelling in a very pure way that a lot of movies have forgotten.

Just think of the implications of having del Toro uttering such words.
Video games shape his style to a considerable degree.
Now think of the delicious irony of movie critics and newspapers praising del Toro's works, while selling their drivel as part of their war on video games.

EDIT: Edge's recent extra on this article made me realize that I skipped one of the most quotable lines of all:

The first Silent Hill was so beautiful, almost like a Lynch, Polanski or Romero type of horror experience.

Tomorrow I'll start building the man a statue. Ivory, gold and all that.

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