why I’m yet to be convinced about 3D movies

I don’t know about you, but I’m yet to be convinced about 3D movies.

I mean I like all the pyrotechnics. I suck in my breath along with everyone else when they do something visually gob-smacking with the new technology.

I guess I even appreciate the realism of seeing characters that look like I could reach out and touch and interact with them.

I recognise the power of its immersive effect. I can see how it might help me suspend my disbelief when I’m watching a romance unfold between giant blue warriors (or whatever).

So … yeah, it’s a great storytelling advice. It can help absorb and entertain me for two or three hours (although Ethan and Joel Coen’s True Grit is a resolutely 2D experience that thoroughly absorbed and entertained me).

But I’m yet to be convinced that it can really help a film move me — whether to tears or laughter or seat-clenching anticipation or fist-pumping exultation.

In the end, I feel that the ‘reality’ promised by 3D technology is overrated. What I want from my movies is not reality but life.

I want movies to live. Rather than being things I simply watch, I want them to be things that get a grip on me: lifting me, shaking me, dropping me, cracking open the world in whole new (and even uncomfortable) ways.

What I want is something a little bit like what the literary critic Eric Auerbach famously says biblical narrative offers (Mimesis, page 15):

Far from seeking … merely to make us forget our reality for a few hours, it seeks to overcome our reality: we are to fit our own life into its world, feel ourselves to be elements in its structure of universal history.

That’s why I’m yet to be convinced about 3D movies.

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One comment

  1. i’m very dubious of the films that are now only in 3D – if they were decent films, they surely wouldn’t need the add-on-extra as standard.

    the new film ‘produced by’ james cameron (ie he and the director once met at a party somewhere) is a case in point – however if it really works, maybe you would share the emotion of feeling like you’re drowning – although the journey (via the story) would surely be stronger?

    anyway – i share your dubiousness. but my only experience was at imax, where i came out with a headache and kept wanting to yell ‘zoom out – pull back – it’s too close’ (it was transformers2)

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