3D Gatsby

My first thought upon hearing about today’s release of The Great Gatsby starring Leonardo Dicaprio was “oh, come on”. Not a response to casting Dicaprio; he struck me as a reasonable choice to play Gatsby in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic. Not because Hollywood remade the film – my reaction is attributed to these words “in 3D”.

Pondering 3D Gatsby hurts my head.A little research of reviews proved interesting; the usual mixed bag of comments from Rex Reed in the New York Observer – “overwrought, asinine, exaggerated, and boring – about as romantic as a pet rock” to David Denby in The New Yorker – ” Lubrmann’s (director) vulgarity is designed to win over a young audience, and it suggests that he’s less a filmmaker than music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste”, or Lou Lumerick in the New York Post – “Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the first must-see film of Hollywood’s summer season, if for no other reason than the jaw dropping evocation of roaring 20’s New York – in 3D no less” – I wanted to shout “what is wrong with you people”

What happened to the art of film making?  Where did camera angles and lighting go? Why does every new movie released require 3D glasses? What’s next – a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest or The Lady Vanishes in 3D? Holy crap. It’s only a matter of time before Raging Bull manifests itself into a 3D travesty, or 3D Taxi Driver surfaces starring teen angst heart-throb of the moment.

If the decline of human civilization could be captured in one word it would be 3-D. Please Hollywood – muster some self respect; you’re making an ass of yourself. Fill those theater seats with 3-D vampires, zombies, or aliens – knock yourselves out with computer generated trickery, there will always be a place for that. I enjoyed Avatar, and your remake of the A-Team wasn’t half bad.  All I ask is that you remember – film making is an art, not a dog and pony show.

8 thoughts on “3D Gatsby

    • Everything is a business, money makes the world go round. Our trouble is we allow ourselves to be spoon fed rubbish. If we spat it out and said yuck that would be the end of that.

      The problem is – not many of us are left who remember how to call bullshit. 🙂

  1. We’ve come too far and the process is irreversible just like we hear music on youtube nowadays.
    The studios will introduce new gimmicks to pull in the theater-going audience while the new generation wants entertainment on their laptops now ipads.
    Length of a movie except for classics is reduced to 70 odd minutes. We’ll hit 20 minutes in the next decade….

  2. I read this when you wrote it and thought: I MUST RESPOND!

    I was in love with 3D until it became mainstream. The thought that you can recreate something as voluminous as 3D on a flat surface boggles my mind. For the past 20 years I have been experimenting with ways for creating 3D without glasses and that is as simple as hitting “print” on your computer. One day I will have the right idea!

    On the films, yes, I agree that Hollywood hasn’t worked out what to do with 3D yet and I also know the reason. As you point out, the art of photography and film is exactly that: an art. It takes a long time for cineasts to learn how to capture light and depth on a flat screen: how to project 3D onto 2D. Having real 3D makes this challenge so much bigger. How do you project depth when you ‘have’ depth?

    To answer that question I have been experimenting with 4D. I don’t mean shaking seats and waterjets in my face, but the 4th spatial dimension. Huh? Does that exist? Yep – I’ve seen it. And until Hollywood sees that too, their 3D films will be for the under 12’s.

    4D has many angles (duhh) and one of them is the ability to see objects from all sides at once. This is physically possible for humans but in the same way that we can trick our brain in seeing 3D on a flat surface, we can trick our brain into seeing 4D in a 3D space. Add light and colour to this and we have a genuine new art form.

    So, there, I said it. Enjoy 🙂

    • 4D? Interesting, and as you point out it would return film to an art form rather than a gimmick.Great to see my point wasn’t lost on you. 🙂 And I have no doubt 4D is not only possible, but staring us in the face.

      • You experience it every time you move but you don’t realise that. Sometimes when you walk and something catches your attention, there is a good chance that you have seen a 4D view of an object. 4D mesmerizes. One well known phenomena that has people in awe are flocks of starlings. When they make this massive blob in the sky that morphs and stretches and changes. These birds aren’t just following random patterns: they are in a 4D formation that moves through 3D. I don’t think many people know this and certainly the birds are clueless, they are just doing what their little brains are programmed to do.

      • The last few years I’ve devoted a good portion of brain power to understanding the finer points of space and time.All that you describe is all I’ve been trying to understand and open my mind’s eye to.Thank you for the starling visual 🙂

  3. Recently I watched a 3-D movie. The glasses were certainly a huge improvement. When I was a child we had cardboard frames with two different colored lenses. Before this new movie started they had colorful little balls dancing around. Those were wonderful! They nearly jumped into my lap. But, the movie was a huge disappointment. If it were not for the fact that without glasses the screen was a mess, I would not have bothered wearing them. I wanted to go back to the bouncing balls. I won’t waste my money on another 3-D movie. My husband thought there was no story. It was like the producers depended on the 3-D effect to carry the story. That’s like have a book cover tell the entire story. A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but a movie needs a story to go with it.
    Have you been watching Brain Games?

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