Vietnam Romance: Entertainment System
  • Vietnam Romance: Entertainment System

In some of the shorts that screened last month at the Nightingale, filmmaker Harun Farocki considered how we might analyze the many types of noncinematic moving images—such as surveillance footage and video game landscapes—that have become all but inescapable in 21st-century life. This issue will likely come into play tomorrow night at the Film Studies Center at University of Chicago, when artist and game designer Eddo Stern will lecture on his work and present some recent projects developed at the UCLA Game Lab. The event begins at 7 PM, and admission is free.

Stern’s work, per the Film Studies Center summary, “explores uneasy and otherwise unconscious connections between physical existence and electronic simulation, surrounding the subject matters of violence, fantasy and historical memory.” He regularly combines video game software, live performance, and other forms of spectacle. The results certainly sound unique. Stern describes one of the projects being presented tomorrow, Vietnam Romance: Entertainment System, as a “dinner theatre/adventure video game.” Landlord Vigilante, an earlier project I learned about through Stern’s website, looks a bit like Grand Theft Auto and tells the story of “a Los Angeles cab driver-turned-landlady who has nothing in life except for her fierce belief in individual freedoms and the marketplace.”