Movies and Video Games Meet at the Cossitt Library


Downtown's Cossitt Library is one of the city's most overlooked and underused assets. This Saturday, Aug. 27, the film tag team of Craig Brewer and Black Lodge Video will try to start changing that. 

A new interactive film series called Pandemonium Cinema Showcase will debut with the Video Game Movie Meltdown. The all-night, mini film festival will include films inspired by video games, including the 2012 smash hit Wreck It Ralph, the smash hit Walt Disney animated film that stars John C. Riley as a video game big boss who's tired of battling players and just wants to be loved. The second film is a 1989 curiosity called The Wizard, a Fred Savage vehicle that extolls the virtues of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Wreck-It Ralph
  • Wreck-It Ralph

Then, a Disney classic that could fairly be called the birth of the video game movie genre, Tron. In 2016, the plot of the 1982 film, which involves super hacker Flynn (Jeff Bridges) being sucked into a computer and forced to fight in a life-or-death video game arena, is now eye rolling, but the images remain as fresh as ever. Released just three weeks after Blade Runner, the two sci fi films couldn't be more different in tone or subject matter, but together they defined a new cyberpunk aesthetic that now permeates popular culture. 

  • Tron
The only documentary on the program is The King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters. It's one of the must-see documentaries of the last decade, tracing the epic battle of two ordinary men obsessed with owning the high score of the most difficult classic arcade game, Donkey Kong. And finally, the evening will close with the infamous 1989 trainwreck Super Mario Bros. Starring Bob Hoskins as Mario and Dennis Hopper as King Koopa, it's the leading cautionary tale of why plots that work to motivate action in video games usually don't translate to the big screen. 

But there will be plenty of action on the little screen at the Library, too. The film screenings will accompany a play-a-thon of vintage and contemporary video games, ranging from Atari 2600s to Xboxes, with literally hundreds of games to choose from. There will also be a cosplay contest with prizes for the best video game themed costumes.

Games and movies begin at 4:30 PM on Saturday, August 27 at the Cossitt Library Downtown. 

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