The Game Just Got Real
21 Jan 2022
The Game Just Got Real is a very brief short film with no plot, no characters and no motivation. Yet, there is something that is strangely haunting about watching it. A lack of substance to the film not only infuriating, but challenges the viewer to think outside of the box and figure out what exactly is happening here.
A summary of the film can be found on IMDB with the description: “Dogs and humans want to play. Or Not?”, which is definitely in-keeping with the film’s delightfully vague motif. What happens in the sixty seconds that it takes to watch this film is a series of paw prints, dog noises and human footprints around an abstract neighbourhood. Various other noises and objects also interrupt the scene, with sound effects layered over the top of each other, to create an overwhelming atmosphere of confusion. These elements feel incredibly constructed and mechanical which match the look of the piece.
As there is only implied scene direction as to what the supposed characters of the film are doing, film creator Bellopropello showcases a really unique and unsettling way of animating a short film. Viewers are given no information concerning where the film is heading in terms of story direction and yet at the same time we feel like we know everything that there is to see. This creates a somewhat eerie realisation, as there is a simultaneous recognition that the viewer is watching everything and nothing all at once. Through a lack of clarity, the viewer is able to construct their own visual representation of what they think they could be seeing – which is a clever trick.
The Game Just Got Real could simply be described as a brief moment of confusion, mostly in part due to the piece having no real beginning, end, or sense of purpose. Whilst typically these qualities would be used to describe a critically ‘bad’ film, it can be debated that having unclear motivation could be an interesting way to explore the short film genre. The title of the film itself maybe suggests a turning point, or a climactic moment, which briefly plays out for the viewer to try and engage with.
Bellopropello as a filmmaker is known for including symbolism and hidden messages within his film work and this latest work is arguably no exception to this rule. Despite its lack of quantity and uncertain motivation, perhaps The Game Just Got Real does contain a hidden message – and it could be the audience member’s job to attempt deciphering it.
As far as sixty second films go, this is an intriguing one.