DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

The Lost Arcade

Director - Kurt Vincent - 2016

"Greasy movie"
The lost love for social games: documentary explores the longing and the nostalgia that replaced the jolly and bustling video game arcades that dotted the US in the 1980s

Arcades smell of nostalgia. They embody a primordial memory that is slowly fading away, as most people now play at the solitude of their home, engaging with remote opponents instead. The colourful pinball machines, the old-fashioned video games, the loud music, the boiterous talk and social environment where people play, compete and socialise have almost completely disappeared.

The Lost Arcade opens with the dictionary meaning of “arcade”, which originally signifies “an arched shelter”. This sentiment of protection (of being sheltered) has now disappeared. The vast majority of the 24,000 arcades that dotted the US in the 1980s – providing an explosion of colours to Chinatown and Times Square in New York as well as other metropolises – are mostly gone. This is with the exception of Chinatown Fair (pictured above), one of the few surviving arcades, which thrives on melancholy and a few die-hard fans.

The puerility of some of the attractions is both awkward and fascinating. There were shooting games, racing competitions, Zoltar the future-teller machine and even a real dancing chicken. There is something very distant and eerie about the latter, perhaps because Ian Curtis from Joy Division killed himself after watching a very groovy hen in the Werner Herzog’s Stroszek (1977) – though the movie does not make this connection!

The movie is packed with interviews with old and new users, mostly adults. It notes that today’s teenagers were born after the demise of the arcades began, and so they are not recurring faces at the Chinatown Fair. Interviews with the owner Sam Palmer also help to establish what the business relies mostly on bucolic and old-fashioned users.

The arcade community is hardly there nowadays. It used to be almost like a cult or a religion – minus the strict doctrine. Arcades are now tacky, decadent but still strangely charming. What’s gonna happen next? Watch the film and find out, before the last arcade games can only be seen at a museum.

The Lost Arcade showed last week as part of the Open City Documentary Film Festival in London. You can find more information about the next screenings and distribution rights by clicking here.

You can watch the film trailer below:

.



"Greasy movie"

By Victor Fraga - 28-06-2016

By Victor Fraga - 28-06-2016

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based writer with more than 15 years of invo...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

The world is blithely unaware of the coup [Read More...]
Back in 2010, Germany striker Mario Gomez urged [Read More...]
Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
When people die, they are taken to the [Read More...]
Perhaps no other 20th century artist has captured [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]

Read More

We’ve walked a long, long way together!

 

DMovies' team - 13-12-2018

DMovies and Walk This Way look back at the 18 dirty gems of European cinema released throughout 2018, and celebrate the second year of their partnership! [Read More...]

Santa Claus (Le Père Noël)

Alexandre Coffre
2014

Redmond Bacon - 13-12-2018

A petty criminal disguised as Santa Claus learns the true meaning of Christmas, in festive French comedy that never overstays its welcome - out on VoD on Monday, December 17th (with Walk This Way) [Read More...]

Free Solo

Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
2018

Redmond Bacon - 12-12-2018

Ain't no mountain high enough? Extreme climber wants to become the first person to achieve an impressive feat, with very little concern for the possible consequences of his actions - in cinemas on Friday, December 14th [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *