A little less than three weeks from the release of the exclusive video game for PS4, which promises to be one of the most interesting as well as the most anticipated of the season for the quality and the colossal production among developers, designers and actors guided by the inventiveness of Hideo Kojima, a master at creating works like the Metal Gear Solid saga.
The original and unusual touch that distinguishes the founder of Kojima Productions is also present in this release, which more than a video game really looks like a brilliant cinematographic work ready to surprise us on November 8th.
It is true that the video game industry has already lost for many years that annoying “social stigma” of being a mere childish pastime, becoming in fact an important and dignified member of the entertainment industry, capable of generating emotions and telling stories with the same intensity as a movie or a tv series.
The possibilities to be explored with these new means are innumerable, and Kojima shows us once again that he is not afraid to explore them all, even the most daring ones; in fact, Death Stranding will also be characterized by the modern technology of motion capture and photogrammetry, which makes it possible to “digitize” the expressions and countenance of the actors who are thus able to interpret within the games.
The realism that this entails, together with the enormous work of the developers and an incredibly well thought out story, makes it a real gem for those who want to enjoy an adventure without limits.
Without going to “spoiler” any details on the recently revealed plot, well concealed from Kojima’s studio for a very long time, along with others characters played by competent and charismatic actors like Mads Mikkelsen (The Pusher Trilogy),the main protagonist, Sam Porter Bridges, will be played by Norman Reedus, which has done nothing but increase the hype.
The actor and photographer Norman Reedus is a completely unique character on his own, and of course it must be him the pillar and the face of this story, which promises emotions and extravagances that will surely amaze us.
For the television scene, many remember him as the lone motorcyclist Daryl Dixon, who, with his reserved, honest, selfless and kindhearted character, conquered everyone on the multi-award-winning TV series The Walking Dead set in an apocalyptic world invaded by “walkers”, which tells the story of the survivors in the new distorted world where the cruelty and inhumanity of which people are capable becomes an even greater danger than the lethal and unstoppable presence of roamers.
His splendid and touching interpretation in the role of Daryl is a clear example of how emotion and introspection are integral parts of him as a person, and this is not only important in interpreting characters but also in the world of art, another of his passions, in particular photography but also painting.
Being able to express yourself with the voice, with the expressions of the face and with the body naturally and genuinely is not at all easy for us in everyday life, let alone for an actor who has to interpret someone else; but this is facilitated when one already possesses that wealth of emotions and the desire to communicate them, and this is precisely the case of Norman.
His inner world that often reveals us in the small gestures and expressions of his interpretations but also in his unique perspective of the world around us, enclosed in his photographs, makes us understand a lot about him and his sensitivity.
His compilation of photographs called “The Sun’s Coming Up … Like a Big Bald Head”, from the song Sharkey’s Day by Laurie Anderson that so much impressed him as a child in one of her concerts, then became the emblem of his image so much that he himself tattooed the Big Bald Head logo on his hand.
As he often says, his desire is to find “beauty in the dark and in the disturbing”.
A seemingly impossible task, if not for someone particularly sensitive and attentive to others and to things to perceive those ephemeral aspects of existence that ordinary people do not grasp.
It is not surprising that it is so well-liked and respected by all; not only is he an authentic artist, even though he does not like to be described as such, probably due to humility or to the somewhat potential connotative of the term, but it is evident that the virtuosity he demonstrates in observing and transmitting the most neglected aspects of life that encloses a hidden enchantment, make it worthy of the title in its purest meaning.
Everyone can only be fascinated by his presence, as casual and affable as few, but above all with a kindness and a simplicity that leaves no one indifferent.
Just see what people closer to Norman say about him, such as his great friend and colleague in the series The Walking Dead Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who supports and respects him as if he were now of the family, congratulating him on his double nomination to the People Choice Awards as Male TV Star of 2019 and in Drama TV Star of 2019 for the series that is already in its tenth season.
As for the new videogame born from the ingenious mind of Hideo Kojima, he himself had no doubt that Norman Reedus had to be part of one of his projects.
As early as 2014, an attempt was made to include the actor as the protagonist in the P.T. demo of the famous horror game Silent Hills, which promised to be a glorious return of the saga that so much terrified many of us, and that even involved collaboration of the famous director and screenwriter Guillermo Del Toro (Pacific Rim, Blade 2, The Hobbit Trilogy to name a few), well known for his unmistakable and fantastically eccentric style. What can I say, the perfect mix of brilliant and capable minds.
Unfortunately, the realization of the game was not possible due to a “creative discrepancy” between Kojima and Konami, one of the most famous video game manufacturers of all time that Kojima’s staff belonged to at that time, burying the project that so much interest had already generated with only the trial version.
Great was the disappointment and regret of us fans and of all the production, which at that moment finally decided to separate from Konami company and form its own independent studio.
But now we can rejoice that that iconic Kojima-Reedus collaboration, and also Del Toro as an actor giving life to another character of the game, was destined to be fulfilled with the release of Death Stranding, which we remember is November 8th, and for those who are more curious to see Norman Reedus in the role of the player will certainly not be disappointed by his character, as the actor revealed that Kojima specifically wanted to insert many of the actor’s curiosities, characteristics and attitudes into Sam’s character who plays, from the tattoo BBH (Big Bald Head) on the hand to many other easter eggs that we will discover once the videogame is officially released.
Between Kojima and Reedus there is mutual artistic respect, one for the brillance and the initiative of the ideas that he carries out with determination, and the other for the emotional sensitivity and authenticity he manages to bring, both as an actor giving a part of himself to the roles he plays, and as a photographer sharing his peculiar window on the world.
The emotional and artistic complexity of Norman Reedus is what makes it so unique in the eyes of those who can appreciate the same beauty that resides in his art and that we will surely find again in Death Stranding.
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