3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences by Miriam Ross

By Miriam Ross

3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile reports questions the typical frameworks used for discussing 3D cinema, realism and spectacle, on the way to absolutely comprehend the embodied and sensory dimensions of 3D cinema's distinct visuality.

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Extra resources for 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences

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In the 3D version, these overt stereoscopic moments become arresting points that break the linkages. In the flat version, the shots of Sully’s head act as momentary pauses, caesuras or punctuation, whereas in 3D they are crisis-blockages that freeze the action and encourage exploration. The arresting quality of the stereoscopic close-up provides a sense of presence, but its disappearance with the cut activates questions about whether that presence was ever there at all. Although Dial M for Murder has much longer shots and less rapid cutting, there is a similar sense of presence and non-presence in the construction of its overt stereoscopic depth configurations.

While the use of positive parallax placement in this instance suggests a traversable space, there is a perceptible distinction between the traversable empty space of the auditorium between viewer and action when watching the stage play, and the traversable space that is created in the film. Specifically, the grain of the film stock is noticeable when watching Dial M for Murder, particularly on the Warner Brothers 2012 Blu-ray release. When presented stereoscopically, the heavy grain in the image makes it clear that the character’s space is thick and of a different consistency from the seemingly empty space in the real world.

Drawing on Vivian Sobchack, Marks notes that haptic visuality ‘is distinguished from passive, apparently pre-given vision in that the viewer has to work to constitute the image, to bring it forth from latency’ (2000: 13). This factor is engaged by screen images that are frequently unclear, fragmented and blurred and thus rely on active viewing processes to make sense of them. 3 Nonetheless, the extra dimensions in the images often make them overwhelming and it becomes impossible to gain a full perspective on their constitution.

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