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Saturday, 15 January 2011

Three Dimensions, As Seen Through the Eyes of Cinematic Forethought

Written by Scott Menzies

There will come a time in the future when 3-D film serves a purpose beyond emphasising the tiny specks of dirt that litter the cinema screen, but until then we must either suffer wearing glasses that somewhat restrict our view and lighten our pockets or deal with the embarrassment of informing the box office that we wish to see James Cameron’s ‘Titanic: The Same Movie Again, Just A Bit Closer To Your Eyes’ in a dimension that we have been programmed to appreciate.

Sometimes, the technology used to produce the film far outweighs the validity of the film itself (I reminisce here about how ‘Final Destination’ had me simultaneously clutching the corners of my sofa in anticipation of inevitable death and pondering my own existence as a narrative so involving unfolded meticulously in front of my eyes). ‘The Final Destination’ was a feast for the three dimensional eyes, but my hunger for pixelated screws interrogating the foreground just was not quelled.

In short, 3-D film has fast become a gimmicky selling point to tag onto a film in the hope that it dominates the box office and makes the men at the top a quick buck. I cannot travel back in time and force the younger incarnation of myself to pay attention in science lessons, but I can assume that there are many different ways to produce a 3-D film. If I had to break it down, I would say that Hollywood has two (main and different) ways in which it likes to confuse our eyes: there is the “during filming” way and there is the “post-production” way, there is ‘Avatar’ and there is ‘Piranha’, there is accentuating the magic of the world in which a narrative exists and there is scary Titan man flailing a weapon close to your face without just reason.

1 comment:

  1. People seem to see 3d film much the same way I imagine people saw colour TV back in the 60's - it's new, it's expensive, there's nothing wrong with what we've got even if it's not quite exactly what our eyes see in the real world. But like colour, it'll catch on, not in the gimmicky spears coming out of the screen to impale your face way, but in the glassesless, subtle immersive way that'll be coming with new TV technology this summer. 3D's a big improvement for sports, live music and obviously games, it's only a matter of time before the practical technology arrives to make those improvements available to everyone. Think HD, or DVD etc