ACMI currently has an exhibition named ‘Screen Worlds’, which explores the story of ‘film, television and visual culture’. The exhibition is both visually appealing and interactive, with lots of bright lights and buttons to press. The thing that I first noticed when walking in was a few people playing Mario Kart Wii projected onto a large screen. Surrounding it was all sorts of new and old gaming platforms – which being a gamer myself, brought me a nostalgic feeling and many memories of my childhood. If one wasn’t at the exhibition to learn, they could easily sit there and play games for 24 hours. Fortunately, it was detailed with signage explaining the gaming systems and their history. It was interesting playing a Commodore 64 game considering I had never seen one in person, let alone use the old fashioned joystick to move the characters in their very limited movement.
Not only were there props from iconic movies Moulin Rouge and Pirates of the Caribbean (to which I may have freaked out a little), but there were the original concept art and 3D models for the Australian video game ‘Ty the Tasmanian Tiger’. To most people, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me: someone who played this game over and over as a child, it was a VERY big deal. Something interesting about this part of the exhibit was a mesmerising rotating carousel in a room with strobe lights with what seemed to be robotically moving figurines from Ty. However, once the strobe lights stopped, all you could see was a display of figurines rotating around – the ‘robotics’ had never been there in the first place – it was an illusion.
I didn’t realise the impact this exhibition made on me until I entered a square room with a film playing on 3 walls – like surround sound, but with video too. It was intense – like we were in the film ourselves. It occurred to me that this is potentially what the future of cinema could be like. We’ve come so far from our old Mario Bros games on small 2D screens, to be able to to be physically surrounded by a high quality film. It’s slightly scary, but also an incredible thing. I would recommend this exhibition to anyone and everyone with a love or interest in screens of any kind.
*Photos all taken by me at ACMI Screen Worlds