Still from Indie Game: The Movie
Indie Game: The Movie
Sundance Film Festival
Directors: Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky
While most of the documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival focus on controversial or critical subject matters, every once in a while, a documentary revolving around outrageous characters and a bizarre topic surfaces, allowing audience members the opportunity to witness unusual customs while snickering at the odd circumstances. Such is the case with Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky’s “Indie Game: The Movie” which follows multiple independent game developers as they feverishly work in their home offices to meet demanding deadlines set by large gaming distributors. The film primarily focuses on the duo Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes as they develop “Super Meat Boy” and the self-destructive Phil Fish as he attempts to complete the much-anticipated “Fez.” Pajot and Swirsky embed themselves in exactly the right places at exactly the right times as they capture the neurotic behaviors of Fish who literally has a public meltdown on camera while damning his ex-business partner’s antics. To make the situation grimmer, Fish honestly confesses his intentions of ending his life if his pending lawsuit is not settled, and you genuinely believe his proclamation. On the lighter side, audiences have the pleasure of witnessing the anxiety of McMillen and Refenes as they receive multiple positive reviews before the official launch of their title, but the pair can only hope gamers will arrive with their wallets open. As light-hearted as the film may be, Pajot and Swirsky have crafted a well-balanced production that’s as exciting and fun as it is gripping and distressing.