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by Rob Horning

26 May 2009

Since I am always complaining about how technology accelerates life, transforms it into something we feel compelled to consume more and more quickly rather than experience, I was intrigued by this video-game review at Slate by Chris Sullentrop that promised a look at the apparently emerging “slow video game movement.” It’s a review of a game called The Path, and it sounds totally bizarre. Even after reading Sullentrop’s description several times, I still didn’t get it. Here’s how Wikipedia explains it:

The game begins in an apartment. The player is shown six girls to choose from, and is given no information about them other than a name. Once the player selects a girl, the journey begins.
The player is given control of the girl, and is instructed: “Go to Grandmother’s house, and stay on the path.”

As you explore, you’ll find various items scattered around. However, there is no ‘interact’ button. For a girl to pick up or examine an object, the player needs to move her close enough for a superimposed image of the object to appear on the screen, then let go of the controls. The character will interact, and an image will pop up on the screen, indicating what’s been unlocked; every item a girl encounters in the forest shows up in some shape or form in Grandmothers House, and some objects open up whole new rooms. Small text will also appear, a thought from the current character. Some items can only be picked up once, and do not appear in subsequent runs. However, each character will have something different to say about an object, so player has the option to access a ‘basket’ to see what they’ve collected. In this way, the player comes to understand their character, giving following events more significance when they encounter the Wolf.

It is not required to find the Wolf. In this game, there are no requirements.

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2009

Balkan composer and musician Goran Bregović has two new North American releases, Alkohol (19 May) and Welcome to Bregovic: The Best of Goran Bregović (9 June). Here are two recent live performances to whet your appetite. June tour dates are posted below.

06/11/2009, Thu: Brooklyn, NY Celebrate Brooklyn!
06/12/2009, Fri: Toronto, ON Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts & Creativity
06/13/2009, Sat: Toronto, ON Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts & Creativity
06/14/2009, Sun: Chicago, IL Ravinia Festival
06/15/2009, Mon: Cleveland, OH Cleveland Museum of Art
06/17/2009, Wed: Austin, TX Bass Concert Hall
06/19/2009, Fri: Los Angeles, CA Royce Hall
06/20/2009, Sat: Los Angeles, CA Royce Hall
06/21/2009, Sun: San Francisco, CA Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium
06/23/2009, Tue: Seattle, WA Moore Theater

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2009

The National played a new song from their upcoming album on Canada’s Q TV.

by PopMatters Staff

26 May 2009

1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Tuesdays With Morrie.  It’s a great story about finding yourself and what really matters in life.

2. The fictional character most like you?
Don’t really know any fictional characters, or at least followed any. So I don’t really know what each one does or stands for.  Never really got into any animated shows or cartoons.

3. The greatest album, ever?
Donny Hathaway’s i>These Song For You Live!’. Stevie Wonders’ Signed, Sealed and Delivered and Marvin Gayes’ I Want You album are tied for a close second place!

by Bill Gibron

26 May 2009

James Cameron swears it was an original idea. Harlan Ellison begged to differ, and was awarded a screen credit (and one assumes, some cash) for challenging said statement. It turned Arnold Schwarzenegger into a superstar and reset the tone for actions movies for decades to come. Yet few who saw the original Terminator thought it would be a sleeper hit. Cameron, working with a tiny budget and a mostly no-name cast, had to be overly inventive in his story of a killer from the future chasing down the mother of the man who would lead the human resistance against the machines in a future war fraught with death and destruction. The results hit audiences desperate for something both intelligent and energetic. The sequel was even more satisfying, utilizing amazing special effects that, once again, rewrote the sci-fi filmmaking rule book.

But then time passed, and studio suits grew antsy for more fanboy cash. They cooked up a warmed over version of the second film, hired a then flagging Ah-nold to return to his signature role, and went all girlie on the potential murder machine. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines had its moments, but with its shockingly similarly storyline (a 20-something John Connor is chased by an advanced cyborg, only to be protected by another Schwarzenegger-bot) and downbeat ending, everyone could see the corner the series was staring into. Now, with the less than successful returns for the fourth installment, it seems like nothing can successfully bring the Terminator back to Cameron era, excellence.

//Mixed media

Stone Dead: Murder and Myth in 'Medousa'

// Short Ends and Leader

"A wry tale which takes in Greek mythology, punk rock and influences of American suspense-drama, this is an effective and curious thriller about myth and obsession.

READ the article