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Filmism.net Dispatch May 28, 2012

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A couple of years back I really wanted a videogame I'd seen pictures of called Shadow of the Colossus. It was the follow-up to a very successful game called Ico and I was never much of a gamer (it had taken me six months and I still hadn't got to the end of Ace Combat: Squadron Leader), but I wanted it.

Just the picture on the cover was enough to get me excited. It showed a knight or warrior on horseback approaching a huge, otherworldly beast rising out of the mists, fulfilling every superlative for 'big monster' you've ever dreamed about.

The object of the game was to attack these colossi, of which there were 12, and use various methods and points of vulnerability to kill them. Well, I was rubbish at it. It seemed to take half an hour to ride my horse across this grassland and climb up a rock face to the first beast and the furthest I got was up to its calf muscle. I think I sunk one arrow or knife in and couldn't get any further.

I don't think it was my age. I loved arcade videogames as much as the next Generation Xer. I think it's the spare time I have (ie none) to learn all those buttons and switches and joysticks. It was just too complicated, and my style in videogames today is Lego titles and Wii Sports. I love to watch someone with experience play a proper game, but to this day I myself can't play them for shit.

But when I heard they were making a film based on Shadow of the Colossus, I gave a little internal squeal. If just-appointed director Josh Trank (Chronicle) does it right with austere music, a serious outlook, and the images of these 10-storey tall creature rising out of distant mists and forests, it could be one of the best adventure films you've ever seen. Think of the scene in the brilliant Trollhunter where the climactic beast appears on the distant, snowy plains.

In news from the other end of the spectrum, Michael Haneke skipped off with another Palme d'Or at Cannes just today, for his critically beloved Amour.

I also looked at a classic from yesteryear, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and not to be a killjoy, but I couldn't help but wonder if it sends the right message to young women about the definition of success.

And a very quick plug about another film site I run, 8814clear.com, a shrine to my love of movie trivia. I know, there's a billion movie trivia sites, and none of them do it better than the trivia page of the IMDb.com title listings, but 8814clear.com is about (as the subtitle promises) deep movie trivia, real blink-and-you'll-miss it stuff. Enjoy, and don't forget to like Filmism.net and 8814clear.com on whatever social network newfangled thingies the kids all do these days (or something).

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