As pertaining to motion pictures, describes any film that exploits, in its marketing or promotion, the use of stereoscopic (3-dimensional) filmmaking techniques.

This blog is my notepad as I research a nonfiction book spotlighting 3-D genre films of the last century. While the book will focus primarily on films from the 60's, 70's and 80's this blog has no restrictions.

All articles on this blog are copyright 2010-13 of its author,
Jason Pichonsky, unless otherwise stated.

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It’s September and in Toronto that means it’s time for the Toronto International Film Festival. In eleven days TIFF will present around 300 films from around the world. Last year marked the first time a 3 dimensional film screened at the festival, Joe Dante’s The Hole. I was there last year and I’ll give you my biased first person review of the screening later this week.

This year TIFF is presenting another 3-D feature documentary, this time by the enigma that is Werner Herzog. In The Cave of Forgotten Dreams takes us to the Chauvet caves of southern France, which contain the oldest known cave paintings to modern man, over 30,000 years.
I sure hope we won't be watching Herzog's new film through glasses red and blue. Though I did hear that I'll be treated to a mostly french language Goddard Filme Socialism with minimal english subtitles.

Long time 3-D detractor and film critic Roger Ebert (who until recently continued to insist that Hollywood’s 50’s films were viewed through red and blue anaglyph glasses –they weren’t, the glasses had polarized glasses, much like many of our current 3-D spectacles do) had this to say about the film in his otherwise 3-D damning article in Newsweek.

“And my hero, Werner Herzog, is using 3-D to film prehistoric cave paintings in France, to better show off the concavities of the ancient caves. He told me that nothing will “approach” the audience, and his film will stay behind the plane of the screen. In other words, nothing will hurtle at the audience, and 3-D will allow us the illusion of being able to occupy the space with the paintings and look into them, experiencing them as a prehistoric artist standing in the cavern might have.”
-“Why I Hate 3-D (And You Should Too)”
Roger Ebert
Newsweek May 10, 2010

While I think there is a place for hurling objects into the audience, I’m looking forward to the film. Although the use of stereoscopic space in a film is often utilized to show the audience depth and space, it’s ability to also recreate the effect of the confinement in small spaces is equally as compelling and often overlooked by 3-D filmmakers. Here’s hoping that The Cave Of Forgotten Dreams makes ample use its subject’s lack of space in three dimensions.

I’ll give you a report next week sometime after I’ve seen the film, but in the mean time I’ll leave you with this interview clip of Herzog explaining his intention for the film.

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