Ah, the 1990s. What a time: Tamagotchis, Pokemon, and FMV games that aged like weeks-old cheese almost immediately upon release.
The relic of the medium (essentially interactive movies that would later be refined in movies such as Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch) have thankfully been confined to the bargain bin of history. But one has been brought back – and, I can’t believe I’m saying this, it stars Quentin Tarantino and is in part directed by Steven Spielberg.
Restored by Molle Industria’s Paolo Pedercini (thanks, AV Club (opens in new tab)), Steven Spielberg’s Director’s Chair was originally conceived as a Spielberg-led tutorial on how to direct a film. There's even a mini-movie at the end filled with various stylistic choices designed to put the lessons into practice.
The original game, Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair, was an awkward but ambitious film-making simulation, in which Spielberg coached you from pre-production to premiere.It was meant to inspire a new generation of directors... pic.twitter.com/OUxOVIkw4mAugust 8, 2020
The movie was ripped out and placed into an easy-to-control interactive game which you can play for yourself here (opens in new tab). Come for Tarantino’s acting, stay for a potentially lethal dose of pixelated nostalgia.
The plot for the FMV game centres around a man (played by Tarantino) imprisoned for a crime he may or may not have committed and follows his girlfriend’s (Jennifer Aniston) attempts to uncover the truth. Penn and Teller also show up as a pair of shady magicians, proving this couldn’t get more ‘90s unless Barney the Dinosaur has a walk-on cameo.
Percini revealed his Herculean efforts on Twitter, “By the way the footage was totally raw, I had to edit all the clips, add sounds and music. I also upscaled the ultra low res videos with an AI-tool. Very stupid project, I don't recommend.”
But, hey, it’s a long-lost Spielberg project brought back to life in the 2020. What’s not to love?
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