You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Indie Game: The Movie

Yet another docu portrait of the artist as a brilliant young geek, "Indie Game: The Movie" tracks four variously neurotic programming geniuses bringing their pored-over wares to market.

With: Edmund McMillen, Tommy Refenes, Phil Fish, Jonathan Blow, Gus Mastrapa, Danielle McMillen.

Yet another docu portrait of the artist as a brilliant young geek, “Indie Game: The Movie” tracks the hyper-obsessive designer of Fez, a single-player videogame several years in the making (and still unreleased), along with three other variously neurotic indie programming geniuses bringing their pored-over wares to market. Though the intermittently snappy Canuck pic took a documentary editing award at Sundance, it plays at least 20 minutes too long — which might explain HBO’s recent purchase of rights to adapt the film into a half-hour TV series. Albeit not for everyone, “Indie Game” does bring its joystick-jockeying subculture to life.

The pic scores big points by drawing a sharp distinction between corporate vidgame programmers and indies, who work alone or in contentious pairs while flaunting narrative flaws and character vulnerabilities, the difference bearing a relation to the gap between Hollywood product and low-budget art cinema. Though all four sleepless subjects represent the mixed blessing of acute anxiety as it relates to subversive creativity, the pic’s most compelling story by far is that of four-eyed Fez designer Phil Fish, whose love of the game is so deep he can’t finish it.

Indie Game: The Movie


Production: A BlinkWorks presentation of a Flutter Media production. (International sales: The Film Sales Co., New York.) Produced by Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky. Executive producers, Jeff Lindsay, John McCullah, Jourdain Pajot, Ken Schachter, Matthew Swirsky. Directed, edited by Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), Pajot, Swirsky; music, Jim Guthrie; visual effects, Swirsky. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 21, 2012. Running time: 103 MIN.

With: With: Edmund McMillen, Tommy Refenes, Phil Fish, Jonathan Blow, Gus Mastrapa, Danielle McMillen.

More Film

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Robert Iger's Pay 'Naked Indecency' in Op-Ed

    After stirring a flurry of reactions over her Tweets calling out wage inequality at the Walt Disney Co. on Sunday, Abigail Disney, a filmmaker and philanthropist who is the grand niece of Walt Disney, penned an opinion column outlining her arguments against Disney’s pay practices. In her op-ed, which was published in the Washington Post [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame' Reaps $90 Million in China by Late Afternoon of Opening Day

    “Avengers: Endgame” is already breaking records in China, raking in $89.6 million (RMB602 million) as of 5 p.m. on opening day Wednesday – two days ahead of the U.S. – and putting itself firmly on track to become the biggest Hollywood title ever in the Middle Kingdom. The Marvel finale has already set a new [...]

  • ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny

    Film Review: ‘The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash’

    Very much in the manner of an “unplugged” acoustic album that showcases the musicianship of a major artist without distracting flash and filigree, “The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” is a tightly focused yet impressively multifaceted documentary that attempts nothing less than to delve past familiar myths and illuminate the soul of its fabled [...]

  • Emily Morgan Cormac Fox Gregoire Debailly

    European Film Promotion Reveals 2019's Producers on the Move

    Twenty of Europe’s up-and-coming producers are going to Cannes with European Film Promotion. The organization unveiled its latest roster of Producers on the Move on Wednesday, a lineup that features France’s Gregoire Debailly, who produced Jean-Bernard Marlin’s “Sheherazade,” which premiered in Critics’ Week in Cannes last year, and Ireland’s Cormac Fox, who produced Sophie Hyde’s [...]

  • Avengers EndGame Trailer

    ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Marvel claims the top spot in spending with “Avengers: Endgame.” Ads placed for the superhero film had an estimated media value of $6.28 million through Sunday for 927 national ad airings on 39 networks. (Spend figures [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    Netflix Can Chill: Academy Rules No Change in Streaming Oscar Eligibility

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will not change eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite speculation that streaming companies might see a crackdown on their release practices when pursuing golden trophies. A board of governors meeting on Tuesday voted to maintain the status quo, that any feature-length film can be considered for the [...]

  • Aniara review

    Film Review: 'Aniara'

    Each year brings an example or three of purported “thinking person’s science-fiction” films, a category that pretty much embraces anything not centered on monsters or lightsaber battles. These efforts are often more admirable in theory than result, but “Aniara” — the first film drawn from Nobel Prize-winning Swedish poet Harry Martinson’s 1956 cycle of 103 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content