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BLA BLA: A Film for Computer

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November has brought us news on exciting new movie releases, controversial tax credit debate, Oscar polls and a whole lot of jelly beans, but now it’s time for something a little different.  With that in mind, I introduce to you BLA BLA, an interactive film and online experience created by Vincent Morisset.

BLA BLA is an animated interactive tale exploring the principles of human communication, from learning a language, to making small talk and expressing emotion.   Each topic is explored playfully through separate chapters, in which the viewer must explore, experiment and interact with the scene for the story to progress.  Experiences range from feeding a friendly large headed puppet with endless coloured buy cheap maxalt pills until you think he will throw up, to creating an infinite army of characters that will happily wander round and strike up a conversation with one another.  It’s difficult to visualise without playing, but trust me, it’s strangely addictive!

Even if the story doesn’t appeal, it’s difficult not to be impressed by the look of BLA BLA.  The appearance of the film is very striking, largely due to the animation and character designs of Caroline Robert.  Playing through the various chapters reveals an interesting mix of traditional and hi-tech animation techniques including xerography, ActionScript-generated animations and puppet stop-motion combined with real-time 3D mapping.

Morisset has been working in interactive art for twelve years, with the hallmark of re-imagining “once upon a time” for the digital age.  His other work includes working with indie band Arcade Fire with “be oNline b”, widely considered the first interactive music video.  When discussing the driving force behind BLA BLA he explains “I wanted to create moods and generate emotions through an interactive piece.  It’s quite hard to do dramatic crescendos on a website. I thought it would be an interesting challenge.”

So has Morisset succeeded in his goal?  All that’s left to do is play BLA BLA  and decide for yourself – let us know what you think!

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