In the latest series of Five In Focus articles we ask a group of computer game designers to list the movies that have influenced them most in their work.
David Lynch's film is, for me, the greatest ever made. Attempting to explain why, using mere words, is a grave injustice to the film (as for all these films). But here we go anyway. It has something to do with the way Lynch creates a very active space of connections through which the mind can wander, using our question-asking and pattern-noticing facilities to move us from one place in idea-space to the next. These pathways branch, twist like Moebius strips sometimes, and reconnect in unexpected places at odd angles. It's like one of the Escher drawings with pathways that connect to each other in impossible ways, but which looks sensible if you focus only on a small area. Through this process of seeing, connecting and questioning, a bigger picture forms, which can't be seen directly; one can catch a glimpse of God.
Simmering in the background of John Boorman's 1981 film, in the space between all the Arthurian comings and goings, tying them together, is the awareness of something beyond the limits of humanity, which we cannot comprehend, but at times seems tantalizingly close. Certainly this is an imperfect film, but the imperfections resonate because the film itself is so much about the inevitable imperfection of human endeavor.
Nothing seems to make sense. All these people around me are very strange, and they seem to believe that things are making sense. My best bet is to stay cool, to play along with it all, and try not to succumb to the existential terror of sexuality. Am I in a Cronenberg film? Oh wait, this is real life.
This film of Aronofsky's is beautiful and it cares about the truth.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
This film is very unlike anything I find myself doing in the field of video games, yet I cannot deny its influence. That influence is just ingrained so deeply it's hard to see. This film came out when I was a young teenager, a very impressionable time, and I fell in love with its darkly humorous view of the world. When I grew up, I wanted to be Buckaroo Banzai; that is for sure. Though I have certainly failed at that, I still see the movie in an aspirational way.