Movie of the Day: The Killers
June 9, 2011
365 Days of Sci-Fi #161
June 10, 2011

STEADY LEAK: 3-DUDE

You hate 3-D. I get it. You find it to be the death of creativity. The nadir of cinema. Studios are just trying to jack up ticket prices and force you to see the movie in expensive settings because the 2-D showings are relegated to the shoddy smaller theater houses where the presentation is weaker. Yawn. Get a new position. Your own.

How much real evolution have we seen in multiplexes over the course of medium’s lifetime? We went from hand cranked to automated, black and white to color, and silent to sound. We’ve aspect ratios and apertures change. We’ve seen digital projection go from being an interloper to reducing the human error and creating a more reliable experience without sacrificing that comforting communal experience. 3-D has the potential to bring real evolution. To help make the experiences between the home and multiplex different. We’re often dragged kicking and screaming into new tech. Into new experiences.

While there’s still a nostalgic vinyl listenership (and deservedly so) it’s safe to say that CD’s weren’t the death knell for music. Many folks (myself included) felt that downloading was a horror show. We felt that the processed sound of digital music was dogshit. The death of the purity of music. As if purity has ever factored in either industry. Guess what? We all download music. It’s the preferred way of obtaining it.

3-D is a tool that has been used wantonly and frivolously by many. Studio executives who are motivated by fear have pulled the trigger on 3-D movies no one needed and we’ve all seen the side effects of bad judgment calls. Bad post conversion. Poor marriages of medium and material. Films that were 3-D in name alone.

That’s why the Coen Bros. need to make a 3-D movie. And they should start by releasing a painstaking version of The Big Lebowski in 3-D. If ever a film would benefit from the medium, it’d be The Big Lebowski. Or Moulin Rouge. Or Enter the Void. Or The Shining. People need to be schooled that not only is the tool a perfectly viable one but it’s also a way to get new facets from the familiar. The offer a new sort of revival experience. This isn’t the coloration of seminal B&W films and this isn’t the rape of art. It’s enhancing the experience.

We are a culture who will watch a blu-ray with a mode enabled that breaks the action and offers documentaries behind the scenes. We are a culture who watches movies while kids run past in the living room or on our portable device while being bounced on a train. Let’s not act like it’s still a pure experience. How many have witnessed the processed look some HD television sets showcase with their Trumotion or other software tweaks to “enhance” the experience? Tech moves. It’s alive. So is our favorite art medium.

The Big Lebowski in 3-D. Think about it. Think about seeing that at midnight on a Friday night in a state of the art theater with your favorite people. Think about seeing it in a cinema that sells food and liquor. White Russians and a great movie that has already transcended the medium to an extent. That rug’s patterns, those dream sequences, those human ash remains. The possibilities are limitless. The haters of 3-D are right when they say it’s not being used right. They’re right to hate it if they watch it in a theater with the wrong equipment.

But in the right environment with the right marriage of material and tech it could be legendary.

The Big Lebowski 3-D. It could be a serious catalyst for great things.