A COMPLETE BREAK-DOWN [...] HOW LONG CAN IT GO ON LIKE THIS [...]
me with and without my brother is a short experimental video exploring isolation and separation between brothers using original, real-time Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Bros. 3 audiovisual corruptions.
Luigi repeatedly tackles Mario, jumping off his head, the eternal wisdom “boys will be boys” ringing in both their ears. Perhaps it is this toxic-masculine competition that drives the brothers apart, or perhaps they just grow into different, unrelated people.
In retrospect, I mutter quietly: where is the mother?
With time to contemplate, Mario’s vision blurs, his home becomes shattered glass, his air unbreathable. He no longer has ground to stand on, the limp UI in each corner his only sense of stability. His mental and physical states no longer align. It becomes a queer or defiant question to ask “what does Mario do if he has no princess to save,” no binary call to action.
He looks to his brother for answers, but there is no one there.
Premiered at the Milan Machinima Festival 2021 and was screened at EXiS 2021 Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul.