Author: Timothy Cuff

The Japanese Demoscene: A Personal & Cultural Voyage

Timothy Cuff | Video Editor and Sound Designer


(Thank you to Satomi for the translation above!)


Okay, I need to let you in on a little secret. I mean, it’s not a secret that’s kept under lock and key or anything, but it’s something that more people need to know about.

In the vast expanse of our world, few subcultures are as niche and, frankly, as cool as the Demoscene. To put it simply, it’s a vast network of underground international artists, programmers and musicians who spend hundreds if not thousands of hours on ‘productions’, as they’re called. These works of dedication and passion are little computer programs that hold within them a dazzling array of sight, sound and a staggering amount of technical genius. This is because these files can be heavily compressed with no loss in perceivable detail and can be as tiny as 4 kilobytes or smaller! To put that in perspective…

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Hi-Score Girl: nostalgia in all kinds and flavours.

Timothy Cuff | Video Editor and Sound Designer

The poster above is taken from the series’ wiki.

A teaser trailer for the show.

Continuing the format of the previous autoethnographic post, I’ll post all the tweets I wrote during the screening of the first six episodes of Hi-Score Girl below in descending order. Then, I’ll follow that up with some extra research I did after the screening:

  • Early on, I mentioned the lack of video arcade places in Australia – most of the ‘arcade’ stuff that does exist here are redemption games, games which reward players for their *ahem* “skill” e.g. crane games, Pachinko etc. – which is surprising, considering a recent study by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association in August 2020 which lists a number of interesting facts including:
    • 2/3 of people in Australia play video games
    • 47% of those who play are female
    • 78% of players are aged 18 and over
    • Average age…

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Cake: Some nice shots, some trope-y sounds and a smattering of cultural oddities

Timothy Cuff | Video Editor and Sound Designer

Poster taken from the film’s IMDB page

Below are all the tweets I made during the screening in descending order (because Twitter is annoying like that). They should give you an idea of my thought process going into the film as well as acting as notes.

Here are some things I found regarding these tweets and thoughts upon further research:

  • When it comes to the multiple languages thing, Pakistan has one of the highest percentages of English-as-a-second-language people in the world, with estimates ranging between one third and around 50% or more.
  • Much of the original soundtrack is made up of songs by a group called The Sketches, which is a Sufi folk rock band from Pakistan. Sufi rock is about combining more modern rock stylings with the traditional Sufi music that is mostly religious and devotional in nature.
  • One of the actors of the film, Sanam Saeed who…

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Furie: Neon-soaked martial artistry in the land of Vietnam

Timothy Cuff | Video Editor and Sound Designer

Below you will find a audio snippet that briefly goes over my first impressions just after watching the film, Furie, a Vietnamese martial arts film following Hai, a single mother and ex-gangster who searches for her daughter after being kidnapped for (initially) unknown reasons.

As I outlined in my thoughts, Furie was decent but not particularly a standout martial arts film in any way as I felt it could be taken and put into any other country without losing too much of what makes the film work action-wise. It seems to take more of its cues from Hollywood films which often cut on ‘hits’ and attacks, with wild shaky-cam shots to cover up the artifice of some of the moves. Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting briefly talks about how Hollywood does this in a video discussing Jackie Chan’s action comedy techniques:

So, Furie seems pretty familiar, in…

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Love for Sale: Trope-y, but with a slight cultural twist

Timothy Cuff | Video Editor and Sound Designer

imdb-loveforsale Love for Sale poster, IMDB

As part of an autoethnographic study for university, I was tasked with watching a film called Love for Sale, an Indonesian romantic comedy focusing on Richard, a so-called ‘bachelor for life’ who, throughout his life, seems to have struggled with finding companionship – in part due to his slobbishness, his rudeness when interacting with others and his general lack of commitment when confronted with a more serious, ‘steady’ romantic relationship (as seen near the start of the film). Eventually, through an agency named Love Inc., he hires a woman named Arini to be his pretend girlfriend for a wedding reception so his friends don’t make fun of him for his long unbroken streak as a bachelor.

As to be expected of most cliched romantic dramas, the two seem to fall in love and Richard begins to get softer, less rude when out in public…

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