Posts Tagged ‘cinema’

Jumping Genres!

July 4, 2014

My last post¬†was written mostly with humorous intent, but also was intended to get some thoughts churning. Protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, I wouldn’t derail an existing and relatively serious,steady game so wildly as to put something like the Deck of Many Genres into play. That would be a rather gross abuse of the social contract between GM and players, really.

I would, however, shift genres in a game as long as that made sense within the context of the game… and I would also run a game where the very premise revolves around shifting genres/layers of reality/alternate dimensions where the players move from one genre to the next and possibly back again. It might work best with a certain pre-determined number of predesigned genre/setting/layers where the players will run genre-shifted iterations of the same character/soul/self. I think that could be really, really fun.

Originally I was going to go back to the last post and edit it to that effect, but then after my friend Terry made a comment on his repost that was very much in line with my thinking, I decided this might be better suited if I post it by itself. I’ll share a few specific examples of times I’ve experimented with the genre-shifting concept already in games and found it a satisfying pursuit, point out a few narrative media where this technique or a variant has been used to good effect. I’ve never run a campaign where shifting realities and genres was a major part of the premise, though I have done individual adventures in a couple different systems that explored the concept either seriously or otherwise.


All It’s Cracked Up To Be

July 28, 2009

Man, what a cheesy title.

Anyhow, I have wasted far more time than I’d care to admit to looking at stuff on Cracked. Here are a couple of things that I have found there that I greatly enjoyed, and I think you might as well. Also, a little bit of commentary.

5 Real Life Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like a Pussy, by Marc Russell.

This one’s really entertaining to me, partially because if there is anything awesome, dashing or fascinating, I seek after these things. Bonus points if there are weapons involved. And oh, are there weapons. Now, simo Hayha’s old bolt-action rifle is totally sweet, but come on… Fighting Jack Churchill took a sword and a war bow with him on raids against the Germans!

That part of the article made me a bit suspicious though, since it explicitly states that Mad Jack’s sword was a two-handed scottish claymore. Eccentricity aside, I didn’t find that likely so I decided to do a little bit more research. Much more likely and more suitable for the purpose, to my way of thinking about an English officer with a penchant for Scottish cutlery would be a basket-hilted claymore, the type of sword known more precisely as a “claybeg” and to D&Ders (and casual sword fanciers the world over) as a “broadsword.” Note that the above-cited wikipedia article specifically states that the basket-hilt is what churchill used. For a more in-depth look at the awesomeness of Jack Churchill, see this profile column by robert Barr Smith. Read it.

Also, the article takes a fictional hardcase for each real soldier and shows how the real thing was way more awesome. Look out for a twist ending, though.

6 Real Life Islands Way More Terrifying Than the One On ‘Lost’, by Rory Colthurst

I found the #1 to be a bit of a letdown, though it’s probably #1 for the stealth scary factor. However, the others are totally exactly what it says on the tin. Ramree Island is my favorite, though the #2 is utterly horrifying in almost every way that doesn’t have to do with being eaten alive. Well, once you get to the sharks part it’s that too.

Pan’s Labyrinth

October 1, 2008

I finally watched this film tonight, after meaning to for ages. It’s a sublime film in that it’s much bigger than the small space within which it takes place, and is simultaneously beautiful and grotesque.

Like Munchausen, it never answers the question as to whether the magical events of the story were "real," the fanciful imagination of a little girl that’s dealing with a dreadful world and the sickness of her mother, or somewhere in between. This fact creates a tension in the end of the film such that it is either uplifting, depressing or both at once. I for one appreciated the touch of hope, and the potential religious symbolism. In any case, it’s a wrenching film.

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