CANNON ARM AND THE ARCADE QUEST: New Danish Documentary Follows Gaming Pro Attempting To Claim GYRUSS Record

Attempting to beat the record of playing Gyruss for 56 hours straight, the quest of arcade gaming professional Kim "Cannon Arm" are chronicled in a new documentary called Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest.

Gyruss is a classic arcade game that was initially released in 1983 by Konami. The world record for the retro title for playing the longest without losing is currently known to be 56 hours straight.

However, super-gamer Kim "Cannon Arm" has made it his personal mission to honor his friend that recently passed to chase his dream of beating the record and going for 100. Moreso, a Danish filmmaker, made a documentary chronicling the event.

Mads Hedegaard is the director behind what is aptly titled Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest. However, without a personal love for gaming, Mads admits that it is the characters in the story that intrigued him the most.

"When I first acquainted myself with the world of arcades, I was blown away by the colors, sounds, music, games, and not least the people that inhabit this universe. This left me with a desire to make a film that is just as exuberant as an ABBA song (when they’re at their best) and tells the story in the same way that Truman Capote describes the city of Holcomb and its inhabitants on the first pages of his novel In Cold Blood: with the eyes of the outsider, but with a gaze full of sympathetic insight, admiration, and tenderness. I felt considerable potential in the wonderfully simplistic narrative engine that the 100-hour record attempt provides. But it wasn’t until the characters gradually proved to offer an incredible abundance and generosity that the film and the story began to grow into something special. And the gaze of the outsider transitioned into an active participant. Kim Cannon Arm’s dream to achieve the legendary 100 hours of uninterrupted play on his favorite arcade machine, Gyruss, is the engine of the film – but the characters make up its heart.

At first, I was struck by how the characters in their individual ways reminded me of someone plucked out of The Big Lebowski or the legendary documentary The King of Kong. But as happens with so many acquaintances that become friendships, my opinion of them quickly changed, and they began to come across as nuanced people with interests, passions, and problems. And not least people that I could see myself in. Kim Cannon Arm isn’t much of a talker, and how do you make a film about someone who – just like his friends! – is it so relatively introverted? I’m sure it can be done in many different ways, but I felt that it was important to use myself as a character in the film. Partly because I had by then become part of these friends’ community, partly because I, with a solid twinkle in the eye and with myself as the film’s narrator, could make the characters, their universe, and their various digressions truly unfold. In the same way that we have chosen to build the film around the friends’ (and my own) fondness for patterns and systems, it has been important to me that the music for the film shouldn’t be written by a film composer. Instead, I wanted to use the friends’ favorite music, and the film consequently doesn’t have a classic symphonic score – it is named like Iron Maiden, Bach, Bonnie Tyler, and various retro wave artists that make up the musical landscape of the film.

When it comes to the construction of the film, we have – among other things – found inspiration in Bach’s use of counterpoint in his compositions. With its finely woven system of characters, narration, record attempts, and various digressions, I feel that it has ended up as a warm and touching film that isn’t afraid of being playful. I’m happy about that. And I’m not least happy for the friends’ very positive reaction to my film about them and their community. The friends are devoted to the old games that paved the way for the gigantic eSport tournaments and superstar teams like Astralis or Team Liquid that we see today. And common to the activity of playing games is that it is partly something you do together, partly a way to challenge yourself."

Mads is clearly very passionate about the film, and we'll have our exclusive interview coming your way when the film drops. In the meantime, check out the trailer and synopsis for Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest below!


 

Kim Cannon Arm is not your average grandpa. With killer hand-eye coordination and a mean mullet, he's a legendary fixture at Copenhagen's Bip Bip Bar, and renowned for playing the 80s arcade game Gyruss for 49 hours straight on a single coin. With help from his buddies at the bar, a community of heroic outsiders who support one another no matter what, Kim attempts to obliterate his previous record and play for 100 consecutive hours (four days!).

Dense with nerdy narration and deep thoughts, quantum physics and pattern recognition, this quest follows Kim and the gang as they apply their collective knowledge to the task at hand—leaving their mark on the world and paying tribute to a fallen friend.

In this quirky comedy, filmmaker Mads Hedegaard provides a surprisingly philosophical look at legendary world records, quirky hairdos, the importance of community, and what a real hero looks like.

What do you guys think? Is a record-breaking 100 hour-run achievable? Be sure to share your thoughts in the usual spot!

Fans of video game films will love our chat with martial artist Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange) below, in which we chat about Max Cloud!

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