Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Home GAMING Immortality Review - IGN

Immortality Review – IGN

It would seem that Warner Bros.’s recent decision to scrap the release of its near-finished Batgirl movie was motivated entirely by boring old tax reasons, but what if there was something much more sinister at play? Such is the setup for Immortality, the latest investigative thriller from the makers of Her Story and Telling Lies, that it had me searching through an archive of FMV footage from three previously unreleased films in an attempt to discover exactly why it never saw the light of day. . Despite some surprisingly sketchy search tools, what followed was an utterly absorbing venture that began as something of a puzzle but morphed into the cinematic equivalent of a Magic Eye poster, and I stood completely transfixed as each piece fell into place. place until suddenly Immortality’s. The real subject came into focus and its larger shocking image was revealed.

Connecting the three unreleased films is Marissa Marcel (played by Manon Gage), a model-turned-actress who starred in each of the unsuccessful productions and subsequently never worked again. She is introduced in the opening clip of Immortality through a 1969 guest spot on a Johnny Carson-esque talk show, charismatic and full of optimism for her upcoming big screen debut, but from there her ill-fated career is experienced as a jumble of out-of-sequence on-set shots, table reads, rehearsals, and 8mm home movies spanning a 30-year period. Gage gives an absolutely electric performance in the title role and I literally couldn’t take my eyes off her as I had to sift through nearly 200 clips of her as Immortality’s approximately nine-hour story came to a close.

A found-footage party that was just as easy to buy as the original Blair Witch Project.


The footage itself is absolutely believable, not only because of the period-specific film stocks and aspect ratios used, but also because of a host of smaller details, from archaic between-take bullying by a misogynistic director during production from 1968’s Ambrose, to the perfectly cheesy turn-of-the-century pop performance in 1999’s Two of Everything. There’s a rawness throughout that further enhances this sense of authenticity, with actors struggling not to laugh at a naked corpse before the click of a clapperboard indicating a dramatic scene in a morgue, and stagehands stepping in to manipulate primitive special effects. Immortality almost completely convinced me that I was poring over a collection of lost clips from productions that actually existed, a found-footage fest that was as easy to buy as the original Blair Witch Project, causing me to scramble to piece it together. all together more determined.

celluloid sliver

In reality, browsing through Immortality’s growing catalog of clips involves a process that effectively combines the whirring mechanical playback of an old Moviola editing machine with the advanced AI-based image matching of modern search engines. You can move forward and backward at variable speeds, instantly jump to either end of a reel, or even advance frame by frame. This precise control over playback is critical, as discovering new clips requires you to pause and click on a face or prop to instantly jump to a matching instance in another piece of footage. I quickly found myself falling down rabbit holes and teleporting between time periods as I gradually pieced together the plots of all three films and, more importantly, gained deeper insight into the relationships between the lead actors through heartfelt moments that were revealed. they developed after the director yelled “Cut.”

immortality screens

This setup may seem reasonably straightforward for a non-linear story, but there’s actually a lot more to Immortality than initially appears. To go into too much detail here would be to disarm you of the story’s most jaw-dropping moments, but it goes without saying that there are subtle clues pointing to more malevolent forces at play from the start. These initially came in the form of double-take-inducing flashes of horror while reviewing a clip at high speed, triggering alternate sequences featuring an enigmatic provocateur known only as The One (played by Charlotta Mohlin) when further scrutinized. close up. Mohlin is utterly riveting in the role, and her increasingly ominous influence on her on your ongoing quest paves the way for a series of chilling revelations and alarmingly lurid images that give the term “behind the scenes” a whole new meaning. and disturbing.

Cutting room defect

Being able to weave back and forth between images simply by clicking on objects or faces may be a more streamlined setup than the typed search terms of Her Story and Telling Lies, and it’s certainly a lot easier for gamers to deal with. console, but it can also be somewhat messy. Occasionally I’d click on a foreground object, like a hand holding a key card for example, only for Immortality to interpret it as me selecting the window behind it and thus combining it. with some random window on another clip. It was equally disappointing every time the cursor changed to indicate that a certain person’s face was searchable, only to be thrown back into the sequence I was already in.

The image-based search function also means that Immortality feels overly streamlined when it comes to the actual research side of things, and I had the general impression that most of my discoveries were the result of dumb luck rather than dumb luck. to be the direct result. of any actual deduction. To be sure, there were a handful of memorable occasions when I felt rewarded for having an eagle eye – freezing a frame at the split second an off-screen character revealed itself in a reflection, for example – but most Most of the time I just kept clicking on the same faces and objects until I ran out of the number of new matches they discovered, before moving on to the next. It’s a method that can sometimes feel annoyingly rough, like when I clicked on a very distinctive smiley face pendant and paired it with a completely different piece of jewelry, and that regular randomness makes the process feel a bit like giving up. a proper Google search. in favor of spamming the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

That said, even though I rarely felt like I came to them of my own free will, the major reveals of Immortality’s story never failed to amaze me. The narrative complex is masterfully crafted; looping and layering on itself and continually recontextualizing events through a trickle-down fountain of new details, gradually unraveling the initially cryptic monologues delivered by The One and bringing to the surface the real reasons behind Marcel’s apparent exile from the movie industry. cinema. So shocking indeed was the moment when it all fell into place and the truth became completely apparent to me, who had been livestreaming my gameplay via picture-in-picture of my face that would have been cast on a dolly like me. . he was the lead in a Hitchcock movie.

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