By Miriam Ross
3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile stories questions the typical frameworks used for discussing 3D cinema, realism and spectacle, with the intention to totally comprehend the embodied and sensory dimensions of 3D cinema's certain visuality.
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Extra resources for 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences
These droplets, hovering in negative parallax space, provide a contact point between us and Sully that manifests the screen space as full of shared materiality rather than a void between viewer and screen. Similar shots occur throughout the ﬁlm, either of Sam Worthington, who plays Sully, or of the blue face of his character’s avatar when he inhabits the alien Na’vi body. The head’s curves and contours in each instance are enhanced by its three-dimensional grandeur, and the absence of a determined spatial plane on which it rests lends it an alluring quality that suggests the feeling, if not the physical action, of touch.
Much has been made of Avatar’s attention to detail in creating a hypothetical biological and geological habitus with logical systems of operation (Elsaesser, 2012). Numerous shots were constructed in order to showcase Pandora’s ecosystem, and the result is frequent action scenes that depict the characters as only one small part of a richly detailed landscape in which biological formations in the foreground seem perceptively close at the same time as spectacular geography is visible in the background.
In a contemporary education context, Leonard Steinbach calls for greater use of stereoscopic technologies in museum displays. He draws on the tactility of the images highlighted by early pioneer Oliver Wendell Holmes, citing Holmes’ assertion that ‘the mind, as it were, feels round it and gets an idea of its solidity’ (2011: 43). By updating these qualities to moving images, Steinbach suggests, museums can provide a visualisation of objects and concepts that provoke engaged interaction and an increased sensory habitus.
3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences by Miriam Ross