Special When Lit

Special When Lit


    Friday 9 Oct 16:30


97 mins

Director: Brett Sullivan Country: UK
Writer: Brett Sullivan Original Format: HD
Dir. of Photography: Brett Sullivan Print Source: Brett Sullivan
Producer: Clayton Jacobsen
Cast: Sam Harvey, Rick Stetta, Roger Sharpe

Film Details

UK Premiere

Short Synopsis:

Special When Lit rediscovers the lure of a lost pop icon - pinball. The phenomenon that once swept the world is now a nostalgic footnote...but for some it defines life itself.


Pinball is one of America’s biggest obsessions, and in the years leading to 1970 made more money than the entire film industry in the country. Special When Lit, directed by ex-computer graphics and desktop video expert Brett Sullivan, recounts the history of the game, from its ban by the American government in the 1940s, to its domination of the entertainment industry and its near demise to the new era of video games.

It also recounts the stories of its hardcore fans, pinball addicts with hundreds stashed in their homes.  Masterfully shot, Sullivan brings out something nostalgic in his documentary, intriguing in some ways, also fascinating in others, it seems at time like an emotional and sensitive area, with pinball’s fans describing of the game like a relationship, their faces lighting up as if they were recounting their first kiss.
Special When Lit tells another message, drawing parrells with the consumerist and entertainment systems of today’s youths, often obsessed with Sega, Playstation and Nintendo video games, encapsulated within the less social confines.  Showing an alternative love for a game which brought out a wealth for memories for many generations, Special When Lit is an encapsulating and absorbing watch, retracing the passion of pinball followers, but also the sad dissolution of, what could be described as a certain way of living and playing.