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.

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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