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February 1995, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 24 Feb 1995 16:38:49 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
Leo Bankerson writes:
"Could it be that the 'off screen stereo' has something in common
with other curious effects like Sensurround or 3-D?
Those effects were all (probably) meant to heighten the feeling
of realism of a movie, yet they never became a generally applied
technique. By leaving the screen and (so to speak) invading the
theater they are indeed very realistically present, but they are
equally distracting from the story-telling that is going on.
I feel it shows that story-telling (isn't that what film is
mostly about?) is something quite different from just imitating
In the first place: by following the story we are tuned to a
single source of information (the screen). Everyting that falls
out of the source, falls out of the story."
Personally, I would agree with the above, but surround sound seems to b e
accepted (or overlooked) in a way that the other devices mentioned were
not.  In other words, audiences seem to accept it (or am I wrong?).
In regard to 3-D, there's a new OmniMax film out which is trying to revive
the practice and I continually hear rumors of advances in holography and
the like that may yet revive the practice.  There *can* be potential for
#-D beyond the shock effects that it was typically used for, though.  I
was lucky enough once to see a 3-D presentation of Hitchcock's DIAL M FOR
MURDER, usually considered one of his "minor" works.  But in 3-D, it takes
on a new "dimension" both literally and figuratively.  Not only are there
typical -make-the-audience-feel-helpless-and-guilty flourishes (like the
scissors jutting out of the would-be killer's back), but even in conversational
scenes, the somewhat-artificial separation of planes enhanced by 3-D creates
a physical and emotional separation of characters worthy of Antonioni!
--Don Larsson, Mankato State U., MN