Resident Evil: Retribution ★★★★★

one of those art-history truisms taught in school the superior reality-reproducing capacities of the photograph created a crisis in the why and the how of painting, ultimately liberating it from the need to reproduce reality at all, allowing it to dwell within itself, subject only to material constraint and the perceptual constraints of the viewer. as cinema challenged opera, video games challenge cinema's status as the totalizing artwork, folding every other material practice into a grand unifying whole, reorganizing narrative around the subjectivity and agency of someone not formally inside of the narrative at all, whose motions and decisions ultimately are what the narrative is, not a single narrative, but a broken, iterative, overlapping, contradictory set of narratives all of which suggest a metanarrative space in which all potential iterations of a given story can exist at once, each story-instance selecting a path through the charged cloud. this represents a deathblow to cinema really. not that movies won't exist because they do and they will, but how they represent the subjectivity of the viewer within the structure of the movie and how that subjecthood relates to cinematic narrative space, and how many subjects or how many versions of the same implied subject-viewer, a blurry cloud of potential user/viewers further complicated by ongoing serial narratives which offer further and further narrative logjam/jack-knife/pile-up and they can all happen at once along-side and on-top of one another, no longer having to hide seams and disjunctions, hard edits/reboots/savepoints, death and lesser resurrections, paths selected from strategies developed over multiple lives through the wisdom conferred by dying again and again. cinema can learn that dead is better, that everything it thought it needed to hold onto from its past lives in the nineteenth-century novelistic tradition and the stageplay can be abandoned or wholly reconfigured in a cheaper, shallower, emptier fashion. cheapness is wealth. a billion digital copies are almost just as expensive as two. shallowness of space increases velocity. decrease in texture reduces friction. to empty of what is not needed all of that heavy dark furniture taking up all of that room now the light that we create which comes from no sun the room itself is made of light upon light upon light. what you don't remember is gone what context you need is illusory or can be supplied only to be abandoned once its relative worth is achieved and surpassed. no npc. everyone or no-one. we are only as real as we need to be in the moment and once we are gone our starts and efforts, our bloody demises, archived forever to be forgotten or elaborated upon by some future version of ourselves that might not recognize the person who was last here but might remember how they died, to call them back once more into the service of a self and a story larger than of which they are the medium and the instrument and the subject, chords and harmonies and choruses of selves each made different by the idiosyncracies of failure and death even in this digital space but these slippages and differentiations unite us in our mediocrity, in our struggle, in our collapse over and over before the target is reached and even if it is not than some version will survive to reach the end, to call the shape of the story into being, starting at the end and weaving itself together backwards through time, collapsing potential narrative space into actualized narrative space but only in that instance, for that moment. the richer each metanarrative becomes through each iterative telling each of the individual strands blends into the whole a thread within a tapestry, powerful together in clots and fields and runs, a color accent or a swift turn in affective charge recasting the whole of the present. abandon cut-scene drop-in paste run sequence resummon resummon we leave here together or not at all <3

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