While it quite clearly isn’t the game’s vocation, artists have used GTA 5 in various, unique ways before. It was utilized by a french artist to simulate the chaotic randomness of death during terrorist attacks shortly after the incidents in Paris. Rockstar often shares batches of fan art which hit exceptional levels – often containing a few works more deviant than pictures – to the Newswire.
In spite of – or because of – the game’s controversial nature, it seems that those with an artistic twinge are somewhat drawn to it, to using GTA 5 as their canvas of choice. While the Rockstar Editor, such as it were, is usually used to create crude parodies of Television opening sequences, provides budding filmmakers and artists of all walks with a great channel of expression.
This time around two British artists decided to utilize GTA 5. The two are otherwise dealing with the works of Frantz Fanon. Fanon was a psychiatrist and influential anti-colonialist and Marxist philosopher. His works have contributed to the rise of various national liberation movements across the globe. He himself fought in the Algerian War for Independence back in the day.
Their “Finding Fanon” series is mostly dedicated to exploring post-colonial ideas, how globalism and the digital age has aided in the reconciliation between societies. It looks at how those who were oppressed mere decades ago today count their former oppressors among their friends.
As the “gaiden” (anime fans should be familiar with the meaning) word in the new work suggests, it is a bit of a deviation from the primary line of their series. This installment includes various quasi-interviews with people between the ages of 16-19, to get a picture of their world- and self views. Their responses were recorded, their likeness recreated as a GTA Online character and recorded in the Rockstar Editor as if the character was saying their words.
The use of the Rockstar Editor allowed the pair, Larry Achiampong and David Blandy, to create scenes that would otherwise require a full film crew. Mods were also used to empty the streets of Los Santos, allowing the viewer to focus closely at the character on screen. Many of the shots shown would have been nearly impossible without the backing of a large studio and high-end equipment if shot in real life.
The pair have used GTA 5 in two films previously, one called Control about former convicts and another called Delete, featuring the testimonials of migrants.
It’s a flexible system, but constrained by many of the inherent biases in the game. For example, when working with the migrants in Oslo, it became evident that there are no head-scarves as an option, and Larry could never accurately portray his hairstyle. – Blandy
The characters created to represent the interviewees don’t necessarily portray their actual physical appearance, but rather that of their identity in this modern world. The film depicts them alone in situations of crisis or melancholy.
Even so, in spite of the general dark tone to the project, the pair states that this work seeks to reach a positive conclusion, as portrayed by the cautious optimism displayed by the youths.
The young people are seeking ways to understand the world, and Fanon offers a strong vision for a common humanity, for a way out of the cycle of oppression, exploitation and mutual hatred that we’ve been locked in for millennia.
Unfortunately, it seems that the film cannot be accessed online as of now. FF Gaiden: Alternatives is currently showing at an art cinema, namely the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne. If an of our readers live there or nearby, they should definitely give this a look.
Have you ever used GTA 5 to fuel some sort of artistic endeavor?
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