"'With their evocative multidimensional camera, the designers have attempted to embody Hugh Everett's many-worlds theory in an object that adds to the cinematic tradition of The Matrix (1999), Lost (2004-10), Fringe (2008-ongoing), and Source Code (2011), to name just a few.
With researchers working to harness the the peculiar workings of our subatomic world, we, as designers, were given an opportunity to explore the implications of one of its more concrete and immediate applications: quantum computing.
Working with EPSRC, NESTA, the RCA, and a group of scientists from the Quantum Information Processing Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration (QIPIRC), the 5th Dimensional Camera was produced for the 2010 IMPACT! exhibition as a metaphorical representation of quantum computation - a fictional device capable of capturing glimpses of parallel universes."
"I take representing digital culture in film very seriously in lieu of having grown up in a world of very badly researched user interface greeble. I cringed during the part in Hackers (1995) when a screen saver with extruded 'equations' is used to signify that the hacker has reached some sort of neural flow or ambiguous destination. I cringed for Swordfish and Jurassic Park as well. I cheered when Trinity in The Matrix used nmap and ssh (and so did you). Then I cringed again when I saw that inevitably, Hollywood had decided that nmap was the thing to use for all its hacker scenes (see Bourne Ultimatum, Die Hard 4, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, The Listening, 13: Game of Death, Battle Royale, Broken Saints, and on and on). In Tron, the hacker was not supposed to be snooping around on a network; he was supposed to kill a process. So we went with posix kill and also had him pipe ps into grep. I also ended up using emacs eshell to make the terminal more l33t. The team was delighted to see my emacs performance -- splitting the editor into nested panes and running different modes. I was tickled that I got emacs into a block buster movie. I actually do use emacs irl, and although I do not subscribe to alt.religion.emacs, I think that's all incredibly relevant to the world of Tron."
(Joshua T. Nimoy)
"GUN REPORT THUNDERS through the underground, both men BLASTING, moving at impossible speed.
For a blinking moment we enter BULLET-TIME.
Gun flash tongues curl from Neo's gun, bullets float forward like a plane moving across the sky, cartridges cartwheel into space. ..."
(Larry and Andy Wachowski, 3 June 1997, Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie Scripts)
"Science-fiction films tell us as much about the time in which they were made as the future they project and between the two moments – the one specific, the other nominal (1984, 2001, etc) – a sense develops of their qualities of prescience and allegorical vision. The enterprise of proposing a world-to-be is always a hostage to the future's fortune. The law of diminishing returns that applies as regards special effects bears this out. How soon before Matrix-era 'bullet time' looks as dated as Douglas Trumbull's 'star gate' pyrotechnics in 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)? Which may explain why Alphaville hasn't aged as badly as other examples of the genre; it finds its 'special effect' in the specifically cinematic resource of light.
But this light, let's remind ourselves, is the light of the past brought to bear on the presence of the future now. Would it be going too far to suggest that, in adding the dimensions of past and future to the present of 1965, Godard was able to set the controls of his particular time machine to withstand the very test of time? There's no shortage of films that seek to travel in time following Alphaville, from Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) and Mauvais sang (Leos Carax, 1986) to Gattaca (Andrew Niccol, 1997) and Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998). There is also the developing genre of what critic Jonathan Romney has named 'steel and glass cinema' which he describes 'as cinema set in the recognisably contemporary urban world but framed and shot in such a way that it becomes detached, not unreal so much as irreal, bordering on science fiction', examples of which include Elle est des nôtres (She's a Jolly Good Fellow, Seigrid Alnoy, 2002), Demonlover (Olivier Assayas, 2002), Cypher (Vincenzo Natali, 2002) and Code 46 (Michael Winterbottom, 2003). Romney claims Alphaville to be 'the mother' of such cinema and with good reason. In the forty or so years separating Alphaville from Demonlover it has become evident that the no-place of Godard's dystopia, with its labyrinth of corridors and lobbies, was already one big non-place in waiting. The presence of the future that Godard was keen to capture back in 1965 has since taken shape as a global nonplace crossing continents and time-zones. 'It may be that we have already dreamed our dream of the future', J.G. Ballard has mused, 'and have woken with a start into a world of motorways, shopping malls and airport concourses which lie around us like a first instalment of a future that has forgotten to materialize.' Or, to put it another way, Alphaville exists. Everywhere."
(Chris Darke, Vertigo Magazine)
This is an edited extract from Chris Darke’s monograph on J-L Godard’s Alphaville to be published by I.B.Tauris in 2005. Chris Darke is a writer, critic and lecturer on the moving image. His book of selected writings, Light Readings, is published by Wallflower Press. He is also represented, with his film study Chris on Chris, on the DVD of La Jetée and Sans Soleil. See also pages 26 and 38.
"In translating a digital game to the big screen, these titles rely on the integration of aesthetics and narrative from their game counterparts to further enhance the viewing experience. The utilization of game narrative in the horror adaptation film is partially based on the acceptance of the video game medium as a cyberdrama, which emphasizes 'the enactment of the story in the particular fictional space of the computer.' Many popular titles were not only about motor coordination and skill, but about becoming immersed in good storytelling. Author Janet Murray states, 'A story has greater emphasis on plot; a game has greater emphasis on the actions of the player. But where the player is also the protagonist or the god of the story world, then player action and plot event begin to merge.' Murray describes the player's attachment to the game narrative as dramatic agency, which 'requires that we script the interactor as well as the world, so that we know how to engage the world, and so that we build up the appropriate expectations.' "
(Timothy D. Alley, p.47, 2007)
54. Janet Murray, "From Game-Story to Cyberdrama." First Person. Eds. Noah Wardrip- Fruin and Pat Harrigan (Cambridge, MA: The MIT P, 2004) 4.