Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Red Dead Redemption: Another Place to Find Modern Silent Films

If you're a gamer, you're probably all over Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar Games' latest console-based blockbuster. Redemption is an 'open world action-adventure game' (says Wiki), set in 1911, in the waning days of the Old West. Players control a gunslinger named John Marston, who must track down his former outlaw gang-members.

The game is apparently terrific, but someone else can blog about that. What interests me are the two silent films that Rockstar has added to it--mostly for colour, I've been told, but sometimes it's the little touches that make the difference. Both are cartoons, and both are on YouTube, which means they can be here, too:

Quick impressions? An animator in 1911 would have given his non-dominant hand to produce a cartoon that moved this smoothly. Rockstar's brand of humour also seems a bit edgy for the period, but if you know more about early animation than I do, feel free to enlighten me otherwise. My last complaint: the arch wording of the intertitles seems more like what modern gamers think people of the 1910s sounded like than what silent film intertitles from that period actually say. But something is certainly better than nothing, and if Rockstar Games inspires a few players to delve deeper into the silent artform, good for them.


  1. I love this post...what keeps me coming back to your blog is the way you think outside the box of what it is and think instead about what it could be.

  2. With fifty or so years of hindsight, art critics may look back to Rockstar Games and Pixar as the cultural engines of the last decade (and maybe the next one). I really need to play more video games. The issue is time, which is also their greatest strength as a medium.