I’ve been a fan of 3D movies since the release of Beowulf in 2007. In a 3D cinema I become a happy member of the Society of the Spectacle. I have enjoyed really rubbish movies – which I won’t name and shame – just because they were in 3D. Yesterday I moved the experience up a level and watched ‘Pirates of the Caribbean – on Stranger Tides’ in 3D and IMAX. Over 2 hours of screen- time collapsed into a personal ‘no-time’ while from the comfort of a big leather cinema seat I plunged into 17th century London, forests of lianas, chasms, caves, and the decks of pirate ships where mermaids swam, pirates fought, water dripped upward and all manner of things writhed and wriggled in the ‘no-space’ between me and the walls of the cinema.
I am a fan of fantasy, and 3D movies expand that fantasy experience. They are the closest I get to an embodied experience of a fantasy – by tricking my eyes and my brain into believing that I am ‘inside’ the scene not simply a viewer. The next step beyond this would probably be a kind of Rekall Inc technology. But I remember the problems that that technology caused for Arnold Schwarzenegger in ‘Total Recall’.
Yesterday I was not confused when I left the IMAX for a pizza; spaced and bug-eyed perhaps if I looked like the rest of the audience who left with me. But friends and colleagues need to tell me I’m in trouble if I start claiming that I spent some of this summer on the beach at Whitecap bay collecting mermaids’ tears.
image from stylefrizz.com