Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Mutant Albino Crocodiles!
Tonight my wife and I headed to the Gateway Film Center for not just a film, but an event.
The last time I saw a film in 3-D, my wife was not even born. It was House of Wax, in a re-release. I remember putting on the paper frames with the colored lenses and really not being able to see a thing except a paddle ball flying at me in a blatant film making stunt.
It was not an enjoyable experience, the frames were awkward fitting over my own glasses, the film is not very good either.
I've been reading up on the current trend to make movies in 3-D and not hearing very good reviews of them from friends or reading decent reviews either.
What would it take to get me to plunk down my money, put a questionable pair of plastic frames over my glasses to attempt to see a 3-D movie?
His new documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, shows cave paintings in Southern France. Paintings that were discovered in 1994 and proven to be almost 30,000 years old. These are the oldest paintings, the oldest art, on the planet. It's a wonderful story that Herzog tells with his usual skill and narration.
The amazing thing is the 3-D projection inside the cave. You can practically feel the walls of it. The paintings are pristine, you can see the stalagmite crystals sparkle. The texture of the walls is spectacular. The glasses worked for me most of the time. There were a few moments of rapid camera movement that gave me pause, but these were seldom. I'm not sure if the film seemed darker with the lenses on, or how out of focus the film was because I had two pairs of frames on. All I can say is it did not really bother me
I do not know what people with normal vision got out of the experience, but I think ours were similar at worst. This was an impressive documentary in itself and the 3-D in the hands of Herzog presented the images remarkably. You feel like you're in the cave with them, that's how the depth of field felt.
I'm not sure I'd want to see Hobo with a Shotgun in 3-D, but if another film I was interested in came along, I would not be as fearful. This may not be the future of film making (and I hope it is not) but this is a good commercial to justify the process.
It's not a perfect film, the soundtrack swelled during moments the images should have been given silence and there is a bit of choral padding. Yet, this is essential viewing, enhanced by the technology. This is how 3-D should be used.
Here's the trailer.
Herzog also adds a postscript that is quite random and I really do not want to spoil it, but Ebert did. It's the subject line.
Get in the cave, and see it in 3-D!