Why 3D Isn’t Needed, Briefly

Days of Heaven Prod Still

Writing for The Guardian in the past week, Dave Eggers ran down the movies of his life and provides some information on how they fit into his make-up. It caught my attention partly owing to our recent autobiographical season on the podcast but also because of one small comment he makes which seems so beautifully to illustrate why I have such an aversion to 3D movie-making.

Talking about Days of Heaven, the elegiac and drop-jaw beautiful Terence Malick film, Eggers writes that Malick’s films ‘are 3D without being actually 3D, if that makes any sense’. That is such a great way of describing why 3D is completely pointless to the artistic process. Not everyone in the world can be Terence Malick, but great films do tend to have a sense of place and time, a texture to them in the way they are film, the juxtaposition of lighting, sound, performance and style. Putting a film into 3 dimensions seems pointless if you have the ability and understanding of how important it is to put films into their spatial context.

Just think about the great films you have seen and how they transport you to a place and time, then consider why on earth any of them would need to be shorn of that extra modicum of imagination.

One response

  1. I disagree to a degree.While I don’t think every film should be 3D, if film makers stop using the 3D element as a gimmick (My Bloody Valentine is a good example of wasting 3d), and more of an accompaniment to telling a story it could become something special.
    Coraline was a good film in 2D or 3D, but a think the 3D version was slightly better, although the piano playing scene was one which could have been left out.
    I think that The Fall is a visually superb film, but imagine a film that looks as vibrant with added visual depth. I also think the ending scene in Ringu would be outstanding in 3d (plus you have the irony of the situation).
    While at the moment 3D technology is still in need of improvement, once it is perfected it can be a great tool (especially in film scenes where the viewer is supposed to be looking through the eyes of the main character)in the film making process.
    Avatar will make or break 3D, it’s been massively hyped, but hopefully it will raise the bar for 3D and hopefully put an end to the current trend of 2D films with tacked on 3D parts in.

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