Intertextual Story Telling – National Film Board of Canada’s Pine Point

What I find disappointing about multi media or transmedial, digital story telling projects that i have come across over recent years is their over reliance on gaming story structure to tell their story –  on ‘reaching increasing challenging and risk taking levels within a number of finite path options, etc, – as if gaming narratives are the only way narrative moments can be communicated transmedially. We have been putting together narratives from a variety or oral, written and visual media for years – way before computer games. The narrative of Christianity for instance has been represented transmedially: in text [the bible and it’s many spin offs]; orally [biblical stories adapated, parables and fables handed down from generation to generation];  musically  [some of the world’s most inspired and acclaimed musical compositions]; visual art/images [some of the worlds finest painting and sculpture]. Its representational transmediality is part of what made Christianity’s message spread so fast and what wove it into the fabric of Western culture for so long. Intertextual story-telling is not new so why then is it so hard to find contemporary examples of digital intertextual works that engage audiences on the emotional, literary, philospohical and psychologically rich levels? Just because the images, sounds and text are generated, stored and disseminated digitally must that mean we must check our hearts and heads at the door and seek only structured sensation where value is quanitfied by a point system?

Pine Point is a great example of the kind of work I’d like to see more of. It is not designed to maximize reader/viewer interaction [there are only a few basic operations and tasks you as viewer/reader/listener can alter] but Pine Point is designed to and succeeds in conjuring an evocative, literary address to its audience through a variety of media. It is an inspiring example of what intertextual, intermedial digital story telling can do when it concerned to engage more than fingers and pulse. It is not adrenaline or goal focussed. It is an evocative, moving, melancholy meditation on memory and place. Emotionally fluent and reflective.

It’s great. About 20 mins to watch.

Pine Point [duration 20 mins approx]

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