The Interactive Story (No, Not a Video Game)

What struck me most about the pieces Inanimate Alice and Flight Paths was the soundtrack. They were simple, little soundbits repeated over and over, changing from slide to slide. What also interested me were the changes in language between ages/characters.

In Inanimate Alice, Alice’s language improved as the story proceeded and she aged. Not only that, her dialect changed depending on what region she was in. Maybe this is the author’s own dialect and it just worked out this way, but I hope not because I think it adds to Alice’s overall development. For example, when she is living in Britain, she refers to her mother as “mum” or “mummy,” and there are a few other words from the British dialect present in that segment. The soundtrack changes were also interesting for two reasons: one is that they got more complex over time, and two is how they set the mood–like when the bridge fell out and the music became intense. I know, that’s a pretty obvious observation, but the music is an integral part of the piece and the story wouldn’t be the same without it.

The only problem I have with Inanimate Alice is that it is unfinished: they only got to part four. And that was years ago. Why didn’t they ever finish the story? What happened!?

Flight Paths followed a same pattern, but the language differences were conveyed in a very different way. The character who stowed away in the plane wheels was much more shortspoken than the housewife at the grocery store–probably because he didn’t know much English. The British dialect came into play in this piece again, which leads me to believe that, unfortunately, Alice’s use of the word “mum” was just because that is how the author speaks normally, rather than a calculated decision. The music development in this piece was much more obvious than in Inanimate Alice, too, and I think that’s because the author wanted to present a contrast between “minimalism” of the character in the plane versus the “abundance” of the housewife.

My favorite scene from either piece, though, was the housewife’s drive to the grocery–it felt the most relatable. We’ve all driven somewhere by ourselves, and are left with nothing but our own thoughts. We argue with ourselves. We come up with problems. And we sometimes resolve them. Driving alone is a great time to think, and I really like how the progression of images conveyed that we were on that car ride, too.

– Joe DeMarini


~ by theamnesiac1 on February 8, 2011.

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