Our usual movie companion loves pinball with a burning passion. A burning passion! So all week, it's been like, "When do we get to see the pinball movie? When do we get to see the pinball movie?" Well, yesterday was the day, and our movie companion eagerly dragged us down 16th Street to the homey digs of the Li'l Roxie for DocFest's second showing of .

The Future of Pinball is about how the former top dog in the pinball marketplace bet the future of the game on "Pinball 2000," a combination of video game graphics with classic old-school flipper skills, and lost. The movie's a total labor of love, and we were extremely impressed with the graphics in the movie -- animated patent drawings, pinball-style corporate graphics, the posed photographs along with the text of the script. Subtle, but... wow! Our companion sat through the movie, rapt.

The screening started with the 30-minute short Buffet, about the life cycle of an all-you-can-eat Vegas buffet -- from ingredients to prep to consumption to garbage, and back to ingredients again. We are kind of freaked out that they feed bacon scraps back to pigs at the end of this movie. The filmmaker noted that she was not trying to make a movie mocking buffet eaters, and while the movie isn't unfunny, it's not unrespectful either.

We and our movie companion made an interesting pair coming out of the movie. Your reviewer left the theater and promptly gorged ourself on extremely fried foods at the Pork Store Cafe across the street, while our companion patiently sat there, thumbs twitching in some invisible pinball game playing in the mind.

The Future of Pinball