Originally Posted by R11
Saw a preview showing of this in 3D back before it was released. Didn't really have any idea what it was going to be except for the ads I'd seen on TV beforehand. As it turns out it wasn't what I figured it would be, but I liked it quite a bit. Based on the ads I went in thinking it would contain many fantastical elements, and in reality it is really a straight forward story, but a very good one. The other surprise was the basic direction of the movie regarding the history of film making which I thought was great.
I am curious as to what it is that makes you feel that the use of 3D really enhances the story though? I've seen references like this from several reviews and I find them baffling. I'm not a 3D hater by any means, but I will say that it seemed no different than any other 3D movie to me. You either like it or you don't. What exactly is it that made this one different to you?
I was in the same boat as you... went in not knowing what to expect, and I was surprised not only that the story was grounded in reality, but also largely a tribute to real individuals and the magic of movie making.
As for the 3d's role in the story, watch the film again and take note of where M.S. "breaks the rules"... throwing the background out of focus, reducing and increasing the depth of field, bringing elements uncomfortably out of the frame. Despite the visual splendor, this is a character
driven film. When he wants to underscore a sense of our protagonist being overwhelmed by his surroundings, the depth (think the train station scenes) extends almost to infinity. When we are meant to identify with someone, the focal blur comes in and we are forced to focus on the foreground. When we are meant to be intimidated by a character (eg, Sasha B. Cohen, or the dog), the 3d uses extreme negative parallax and the subject's face fills - and sometimes breaks the boundaries of - the frame. And on...
As someone who generally prefers "depth" to "pop", the viewing took some adjusting to; my wife commented that some of it made her feel uncomfortable. I mean, the very first shot
(the Paris flyover) starts off out of focus; for a moment I thought something was wrong with the projector!
And of course, the 3d is an allegory for the creative process in early film making, when there were no real "rules". It is also an attempt to recreate the sense of wonder early audiences must have felt when first viewing moving pictures (think of the train in the cinema scene). Scorcese even blatantly taunts us with this, to the point of risking breaking the fourth wall, when he has Melies state that happy endings only happen in the movies. He must have felt confident enough in the process that the audience would feel immersed enough to not be taken out of the story.