LONDON — At a surprise press conference this morning, acclaimed filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón announced his newest project: a pinball machine based on his 2018 film Roma.
“This is an extremely exciting project, and a dream of mine for a few years now,” the five-time Academy Award-winning director told the press. “Pinball is an underutilized artistic medium. There is much in pinball that reflects the experiences I had growing up in Mexico City, as well as ways in which the game represents motherhood and the struggles of living in poverty. I think it is the perfect medium for exploring the complex themes of my work, perhaps even more so than cinema.”
Cuarón then unveiled a few early sketches for the machine.
“While pinball is typically a game characterized by flashing lights, bright colors, and a cacophony of sounds, I hope to achieve a more subdued, introspective pinball experience with this new machine. Just as Roma was shot in black and white, this pinball machine shall also operate entirely in black and white. I think this should provide a highly stylized pinball experience, with artistry that matches my award-winning cinematography.”
Cuarón emphasized the nature of the pinball itself as representing the film’s central character Cleo. To score points, players will hit pinball targets representing the piles of dog excrement that Cleo is seen repeatedly cleaning throughout the film. The sketches also depicted a ramp, meant to reflect Cleo’s perilous rescue of the drowning children towards the end of the film.
“One of the most exciting features is the multi-ball mode, which we based on the riot scene. A brutal depiction of the violence and chaos that ensues during a shooting on the streets and a furniture store, having to handle multiple balls at once will definitely make players feel like they’re in the midst of the confusion that leaves dozens dead.”
Cuarón hopes to have a version of the pinball machine ready for play soon.
“I still need to figure out how to give losing a pinball the same emotional impact as witnessing the protagonist’s stillbirth. But once I get that sorted, this thing’s gonna be ready for bars across the world.”
As of press time, the Academy of Pinball Arts and Sciences announced that Cuarón’s Roma pinball machine will be eligible for awards despite being created by Netflix, much to the chagrin of various pinball-enthusiasts.
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