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Thread: "Bang the Machine"

  1. "Bang the Machine"

    In the new issue of XBN they review a documentary of Street Fighter tournaments called "Bang the Machine."

    By the description given, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tad bit excited about seeing this. Thing is, I haven't a clue about where to find it. Has anyone heard of or seen this? Does anyone know where I can get it?

    I'm thinking some here would love to see it too (I'm looking in Shin Johnpv direction).

  2. Heard of it, haven't seen it. They do have a site, or something, and some small runs in like 1-3 theaters total last year.

  3. There was a bunch of info on this on or awhile back, but that's about all I know. It sounded pretty interesting, and if it's out on DVD or something at this point I'd check it out.

  4. it's all over's forums. They most likely have a story or two on it too. Generally a very good place to find information on Street Fighter.

  5. i thought it was called 'Bang the Machine'..
    MK2 on XBLA plz - let the unfolding of gameplay begin!!

  6. Based on the finds I've been getting on Google, I think you're right.

  7. Bang The Machine is a documentary on the Street Fighter subculture, and most of the footage featured was from's B4 tournament like 2 years ago... The movie was supposed to come out a while ago but they had to re-edit with different footage because the company that produced it (Jab Strong Fierce entertainment) was located in the WTC, and well, we all know what happened there.

    No word yet on if it's coming to DVD, but it has been shown frequently at small film festivals in the southwest united states.

    By the way, I think Bahn had a review of it up somewhere on TNL a while ago.

  8. Thanks CKA!

    As he pointed out, I did an article on it awhile ago. Peter Kang invited me to see the footage before it was officially featured at Evolution SF Championships (among other game and media related events).

    Here is the article as it was originally posted...

    Beyond the Competition
    (A look at "Bang the Machine")

    While some consider Street Fighter to be just a conventional form of entertainment, others acknowledge it to be much more. Throughout the country, from New York’s Chinatown Fair to Sunnyvale’s Golfland Arcade – players can be found diligently competing to win the respect and admiration among their peers. While money is certainly a factor too, (with major tournaments offer as much as $1,000), many remain dedicated to the growing phenomenon simply for the love of the game.

    Speaking of which, there’s also a relative degree of sacrifice. Tamara Katepoo, producer of the new documentary observed that players “save their money from work or their allowances and they’ll travel all over America to compete in these tournaments.” One might wonder as to what fuels this unconditional love; after all – it’s just mashing buttons on a cabinet, right?

    Well, hardly. At least, that’s what the producers aim to convey. Bang the Machine takes a look at several of the top Street Fighter players throughout the country who compete for a chance to battle against the Japanese national team for international respect.

    While the film is based on a videogame, Bang the Machine also captures the relationships among the players, many of which can be likened to the pioneers of the community. The most familiar names include Alex Valle, John Choi, Mike Watson, David Sirlin, Jason “Apoc” Gonzales, and Eddie Lee. The film features a myriad of segments, briefly giving some “screen time” to some of the aforementioned players regarding their gaming roots or merely providing personal insight regarding the scope of competition. On the whole, the film dissects the sub-culture within the community and showcases the lifestyles of the players on and off the arcade. Contrary to what you might believe, they do have other interests in life.

    Bang the Machine shifts back and forth throughout Sunnyvale, California, Las Vegas and finally Tokyo, Japan. Despite the brief smack-talking segment between Joey Cuellar and local Golfland players, the film captures some of the more disheartening aspects within the community.

    “Richard Lowe, the film's co-producer and editor, said, "This intense competition that surrounds the game is involved in constructing this hierarchy amongst the group... they sort of construct this social order, if you will."

    Bang the Machine doesn’t sugar-coat the fact that despite the community being united by a common interest, it’s rife with divisions and social disorder. For example, a scene towards the latter portion of the film shows a debate go down between players respectively from both coasts regarding a player spot for one of the featured games. Fortunately, a compromise is reached as the team makes a resolve to work together and represent their country with the highest integrity they can deliver.

    The film does a solid job at capturing the relationships and among the players in the ever-growing Street Fighter community. Bang the Machine was featured at the South by Southwest Film Festival and most recently – the international SF Championships, Evolution 2002. For more information, visit the following websites:
    As cka mentioned, still no word on the DVD, I will get in touch with Peter to see how things are coming. The last time I spoke with him and Tamara Katepoo (the "hot" director of the film), they were still working on acquiring a publisher. ^_^

  9. Cool. I just read your review before you posted it. The link to the "Bang the Machine" site doesn't work for some reason, though. Actually, it's not the link, but rather their site.


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