8 BIT (2006)

Long before Beck introduced the masses to bleep with his Hell Yes EP, circuit-bending obsessives were cracking open Game Boys to unleash customized Super Mario sounds. Marcin Ramocki’s 8 BIT: A Documentary about Art and Videogames situates these hackers somewhere between self-reflective, pop-art technocrats and geeky gamers, pondering the nature of digital inspiration. 8 BIT shows that this genre isn’t limited to Frogger-fied funk either: abstract robotic experimentalism peacefully co-exists with booming sine-wave grooves. And if you stick around until the end they might divulge the secret code to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon.

Flavor Pill

8 BIT Dir. Marcin Ramocki. 2006. 90mins. Video-game aficionados, 80’s culture vultures and multimedia mash-up addicts; there’s a little something for all of you in this self-proclaimed rockumentary about creative types who appropriate computer noises for music, animation, etc. It will make you say (in computerized voice) ,”Oh my God, that’s the funky shit.”

Time-Out NY

A combination “rockumentary,” art expose, and culture-critical investigation, 8 BIT ties together the 1980s demo scene, chip-tune music, and artists using “machinima” and modified computer games. Produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo, the documentary brings a global perspective to the new artistic approaches of the DIY generation that grew up playing Atari, Commodore 64, and other video game console.

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