Prince of Persia Director Hates Games

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Mike Newell is the director of such things as Four weddings and a funeral, Love in the time of cholera, and Mona Lisa smile. He’s also the guy who directed the Jerry Bruckheimer produced Prince of Persia, starring the rather toned Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s ended up being a pretty decent popcorn flick, and one of the better videogame to film adaptations.

He must have some sort of appreciation of videogames, right? Well, no. He can’t play games, thinks they’re stupid, and admitted that even talking about them "bores the arse" off him.

"I’m entirely incompetent at playing videogames," said Newell. "In the Prince Of Persia game, you have to run across walls — I could never get more than three feet without falling into the revolving knives. I was hopeless. And yet I knew I had to satisfy the gamers with the Prince Of Persia movie. It’s an important audience and it’s a very vocal audience. If they don’t like something, you’re going to hear. I didn’t want that to happen."

He reckons the the Prince of Persia movie is good because it didn’t try to emulate the games, which he asserts lack human drama: "You can’t do it without the human drama. And the videogame cannot do that. The videogame can do all sorts of face-pulling, all sorts of: ‘I am a bad man, I have a mean jagged sword,’, but it can’t do any more than that.”

"… Don’t get me wrong,” he continued. “I watched the game and took many things from it. But I haven’t had the experience of feeling in a game. The one thing I do not do when I watch my son mow down Brazilians by the regiment – nor when I watched my assistants playing Prince Of Persia — I don’t feel anything, which is why I hate my son doing it."

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Interesting point of view, but not one I can say I agree with. Of late, I’ve been more emotionally engaged by games than most films. Sure, film, on account of its shorter time of active engagement is able to stir emotion much more succinctly, but that doesn’t derogate from the fact that games are capable of imparting emotional impact – even if that impact , sometimes, is throwing your controller through a window while calling the camper who killed you a litany of ethnic and homophobic slurs.

Source : CVG

Last Updated: July 29, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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