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3D or 3 Don't ?

Tuesday 22 March 2011, 16:50

Mark Kermode Mark Kermode

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To my horror it was recently announced that Baz Luhrmann would be filming Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby in 3D. In the week that sees Werner Herzog's first foray into the stereoscopic illusion I ask are there some stories that should never ever get the 3D treatment?

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    Comment number 1.

    I think 3D could work well in experimental films, but when you have a narrative, 3D is just distracting, this is why it is only necessary in films where narrative is not a big feature, hence Herzogs porno dictum. Besides, after about 15 minutes the novelty wears off and everything just looks duller and fuzzier.

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    Comment number 2.

    Are some genres suited to 3D and some genres not? Good question.

    The answer that first sprang to my mind (as yours) were kid friendly animations (How to Train Your Dragon, Rio etc) that could also work fine in 2D. After all slapstick and action are slapstick and action. (Rango demonstrates that in 2D.)
    I also do want to see Herzog’s documentary in 3D.

    But then I also thought of Lean’s Oliver Twist, with it’s wonderful sets that have a real sense of depth, that conjured up the Victorian east end; would that be more even more effective in 3D, my answer is possibly ‘yes’.

    As for Gatsby, I’m not a great fan of either the book or film. Gastby hasn’t enough ‘bite’ or anger in it. Remake it by all means but I doubt it’ll have much impact. (It could be studio Oscar bait though.)

    I am surprised there aren’t many films that are exploring the current recession, the greed of the banking industry etc.
    A film that stood up for the little guy against big money (e.g. Trading Places of the 80s) for our times could be a likely box office hit.

    We need a Great Gatsby of and for our own era.

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    Comment number 3.

    3-D is more expensive and offers nothing spectacular anymore - We all saw Avatar, and now 3-D is just boring. It makes more sense to pay cheaper prices to see a film in 2-D.

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    Comment number 4.

    Any that are completely wrong for 3D? How about a holocaust drama? I couldn't think of anything more inappropriate than sitting watching a film based in Auschwitz whilst wearing a pair of stupid glasses.

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    Comment number 5.

    3D is, as the Good Doctor has noted, ideal for trashy horror flicks and porn (isn't the very idea of a gimmick like 3D inherently pornographic?), but it's wrong for action. For a start, fast cutting and frenetic camerawork are an even bigger headache in 3D than 2 dimensions (see all but the last of Avatar's action scenes, though Avatar's use of 3D was generally good). As for dramas, crime thrillers and romcoms I really can't see the point, but one film I saw recently that I actually thoguht would work extemely well and potentionally even more so in 3D was Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void. Psychadelic melodramas like this are few and far between admittedly, but perhaps when 3D technology becomes cheaper and more readily available to more experimental, artistically inclined filmmakers, we may start to tap it's possibilities.

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    Comment number 6.

    mark. . .

    [puts hand on shoulder]

    Let it go.



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    Comment number 7.

    I ask are there some stories that should never ever get the 3D treatment?

    ALL OF THEM!!!!!!

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    Comment number 8.

    You don't need 3D to get immersed in a story all you is a gripping, powerful and engaging storyline. I fail to see the point of it. The most frustrating thing about 3D is paying extra for nothing.

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    Comment number 9.

    You don't need 3D to get immersed in a story all you need is a gripping, powerful and engaging storyline. I fail to see the point of it. The most frustrating thing about 3D is paying extra for nothing.

    Sorry about posting agian.

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    Comment number 10.

    Nature documentaries, plain and simple. Particularly the ones released in IMAX. Because there’s no fictional story or kinetic action sequences to keep up with, the 3D doesn’t distract you from the film, it makes the documentary more immersive.

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    Comment number 11.

    Children's animation work in 3D? I give you Toy Story 3 - wonderful film, of which ther can almost no argument, but utterly pointless in 3D. It didn't annoy me but after a while I remembered it was in 3D and thought "What's the point?" before allowing the film (not the 3D) to entrance me again. 3D does not improve a film; it can at best be non-existant and at worse irritating to the extreme.

    As such, of all the stories that do not 'dimensionalizing', 'Gatsby' would be the last story I'd consider. Apart from the 'beautiful shirts' scene as the good doctor suggested on the show, there is almost nothing that 3D can do to enhance the story, arguably the only thing that it can't get it's hands on. In the end, it can't be used on live action films, where the story and characters, rather than special effects, are crucial. As for animation, well that will always be most susceptible to corruption - doesn't make it right.

    Oh and as for Avatar revolutionizing the use of 3D, I didn't see it in 3D and even if I did, it would still only be a painting of a film that you have to sit and stare at for over 2 hours - an experience that 3D would make even more torturous.

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    Comment number 12.

    Traditional 2D animation refitted into 3D. Imagine PONYO, with it's enormous overlapping waves, literally overlapping each other like a grand, enormous puppet show. That would be a treat.

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    Comment number 13.

    Genres: Drama. There is no reason to shoot a drama in 3D and it would only serve as a negative distraction. For that matter, any film that is trying to deliver 'serious' subject matter. It is just a gimmick, after all. 3D doesn't bring anything to the table that adds to the impact of the storytelling. In saying that, I don't think there are any hard set rules to art, so maybe someone could come up with something at some point to prove to be an exception, but I haven't seen it yet.


    Individual films: The Exorcist. Not that I would not like to see projectile vomit coming right at me, but it WOULD be retrofitted and that might cause Mark to have a coronary. I like listening to the reviews too much.

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    Comment number 14.

    Are there any genres that are inherently suited to 3D..?

    No, absolutely NOT!!

    I hate wearing the glasses, I hate the lack of colour, I hate the pointless 'let's put this shot in because it will look good in 3D' bits even in 2D, I hate pretty much everything about it. Oh, especially when I want to watch something in a 2D version and the local cinema only shows the 2D version at midnight on a Wednesday, and then claims that no one wants to see the 2D version because ticket sales are so low...

    Sorry - rant over.

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    Comment number 15.

    As much as studio executives and directors love to talk about the immersive aspect of 3D I've found the opposite. So any film that works using a subtle building of tension would fail for me in 3D since I'd immediately snap back to reality. Thrillers and horrors that work with suspense and tension strike me as genres where 3D just isn't appropriate.

    Also dramas like the King's Speech. Just unnecessary isn't it?

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    Comment number 16.

    Dr K,

    I simply can't discuss 3D anymore it just upsets me way too much...........;-)

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    Comment number 17.

    3D should to be about movement through space so at first thought, it seems to me that Dance would be a good subject for a 3D film. Dancers moving through space seems a natural. I did see Step-Up 3D, so I'm likely to be wrong about this; but for now I'm still waiting for a good 3D Dance movie. (I heard Wim Wenders is working on a dance documentary in 3D.)

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    Comment number 18.

    If we all promise to agree with you and say that 3D is a massive con, will you promise to do a blog about something else?

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    Comment number 19.

    Let’s hope the 3D version of Caligula will be more interesting than the torturously boring 2D one. I doubt it though.

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    Comment number 20.

    I think you hit on something there Mark when you listed a few fun and entertaining films that would lend themselves to 3D perhaps more than others. The idea that the more daft (but great) horror films like Brain Dead and Evil Dead would (not benefit) but work well in a 3D form because of the gooey projected out of things in the film, and I think that's the difference. In recent 3D films I have seen the director's make complete random things stick out, like people's hands and buildings. But the scene towards the end of The Evil Dead when ashes gf's eyes are exploding, I think that would be fantastic in 3D! It's made to splatter slime and blood towards the camera so surely making it 3D would just take that to a higher level, not making random things like people's arms stick out in 3D but actual effects and funny little tweaks that do fit with the film and the idea itself. I also think that something with a bit more of a fairy-tale edge to it, perhaps Tim Burton's 'Sleepy Hollow' would also look great in 3D? Perhaps 3D is pretty well equipped to create that kind of feel and atmosphere, I'm thinking the strange creepy wood scenes? I'm not sure anyway, it's just like CGI for me, sometimes it helps, sometimes it detracts. Still early days.

    Thanks Mark.

 

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