SXSW FILM FESTIVAL
SXSW Review: Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet
by Ken Evans
March 13, 2008
I find it funny that there are all of these movements going on around us with huge followings and yet we often times don't even know they are there. It's like there is another world hidden underneath this one that we never get to see. I realized this after seeing We Are Wizards and now Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet. Getting to see all of the Harry Potter fans that are part of bands or clubs coming together with one purpose, and now seeing the fans of chip tunes and how many there are out there is just mind blowing.
Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet is an introduction to the world of "chip tunes." Chip tunes are songs that are created using old video game hardware, such as the Nintendo Game Boy or Nintendo Famicom. Director Paul Owens was able to follow certain artists to learn how they do what they do and what the whole chip tunes movement is all about. We also get a front row seat at the Blip Festival in New York that gathers a sampling of the best chip tune artists throughout the world for a 4-day concert.
These artist such as Nullsleep or Bit Shifter are able to create new and original songs that turn out simply amazing. They turn these old video game systems into tools to produce amazingly creative tracks that, although they resemble video game sounds, are something wholly different and unique.
So you don't get confused, this is not a video game film. This is purely a film about artists making music that they love. In fact some of the artists, like Bubblyfish, don't even play video games. This is definitely a documentary for anyone interested in learning about an underground music scene that they might not have heard of. It is also for anyone looking to hear and watch some truly great music that is the some of the most interestingly creative sounds I have ever heard.