Welcome to Cinema’s Second Life!
The parallel virtual universe of Second Life and its cohorts, once served to provide a custom-made existence free of all earthly worries and woes; an artificial alternative for our not-so-interesting lives. SubmarineChannel’s very own spy, Molotov Alva first introduced us to this fascinating universe, and we took the adventure one step further in our documentary Another Perfect World. Looks like we mighta started something there as more and more directors are bringing Second Life to our cinema and TV screens with movies like LIFE 2.0 or R U There. The latter, directed by Dutch rising star David Verbeek, follows a Dutch gamer as he comes to terms with the discrepancies between his experiences and emotions in the virtual world, versus the grim realities of non-virtual life. The inner conflicts of our protagonist, Jitze, are reflected in the visual style of the film which merges live footage, with recordings in Second Life – demonstrating how the two can coexist happily and to powerful visual effect, on the big screen.
So even though this guy is claiming we’re all a little too late, R U There’s screening in the Cannes’s Un Certain Regard program and LIFE 2.0 ‘s inclusion in the 2010 official selection of both Sundance and SXSW suggest that we haven’t quite seen the last of this new frontier; cinema, it seems, is finally getting a Second Life!