By Miriam Ross
3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile reviews questions the typical frameworks used for discussing 3D cinema, realism and spectacle, as a way to absolutely comprehend the embodied and sensory dimensions of 3D cinema's distinct visuality.
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Additional resources for 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences
Building on Stephen Heath and Roland Barthes, Thompson posits that certain material elements of ﬁlm can exceed realistic or compositional systems of motivation by not participating in the creation of narrative or symbolic meaning. In Avatar, the close-ups of Sully’s head offer an example of how excessive components are added through stereoscopic depth. Although the stereoscopic contours of Sully’s head provide perceptual cues and experience to the viewing context, they do not constitute any systematic addition to narrative meaning in the scene.
This frontal mode offers viewers an orientation that is grounded and stable in a way not found in other ﬁlms such as Avatar. Nonetheless, it manages to display a sense of traversable space that operates in a similar way to the stage play’s set design, whereby audiences know that it is only the space in the auditorium, rather than a screen, that separates them from the location of the action. This aspect is made obvious in the ﬁrst few minutes of the ﬁlm, when the cameras follow 32 3D Cinema Margot towards the bedroom as she looks for a piece of paper that she wishes to show Halliday.
In this environment we are sold objects based on their pleasurable tactility and encouraged to desire the objects that most successfully engage our senses, regardless 38 3D Cinema of whether their sensory constitution is necessary for their functioning operation: ‘tapping the subjective sensory preferences of the consumer and creating enticing “interfaces” has come to take precedence over conventional design principles’ (Howes, 2004: 286–287) and ‘everything seems designed to create a state of hyperesthesia in the shopper’ (Howes, 2004: 288).
3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences by Miriam Ross