Sunday, November 8, 2015

Freed Eye Mentions

I've went to the pictures recently to see an animated film about a young supergenius who builds astonishingly advanced robots after an hour or so doodling on some A4 despite not attending school. Everyone can relate to this person, who finds creating independent automatons easy, as we all have a similar talent that will enable us to shine and succeed without having to put much effort in, be it possessing superpowers, being a magical princess or developing handily useful mutations where you get super sharp claws but not a massive tumour. I am still waiting for my skill at making origami boxes out of Post-It notes to win me accolades and financial reward.

It being an animation, I located my young children in the woods where they were wasting their time building dens and using their imaginations and forced them to come with me so it didn't look weird. I also needed them to complete my "Wookie With Cubs" costume ensemble.

There was a choice of display for the film. Whether in 3D, for an agonisingly high price, or in conventional 2D, for just a shockingly high price. I chose the 2D version.

But NOT, I might point out, because of the financial implications. I was already vibrating with righteous indignation over the cost ("I could buy four DVDs for that!"), but because of my track history with three dimensional fillums.

Let me take you back.

It was a more innocent time, less cynical, and this was epitomised in the embryonic industry they called, charmingly, "The Movies".

Of course, back then it was all all stop motion, arty projects that relied on suspension of disbelief by the audience as much as special effects. Hooee yessir, you'd find it awfully quaint compared to modern blockbusters like Alvin and the Chipmunks, but we were still excited by the prospect because it was all so new, so shiny, so futuristic!

If I remember correctly, and you will forgive me because it was a time or two ago, but I dimly recall attending the cinema (or seizure palaces as we used to call them) to view an early foray into the primeval soup of three dimensional displays in an amateur production called 'Avatar'.

Avatar was a funny old film about race relations and plantation ownership, with a David versus Goliath theme in which a pitifully few hardy immigrants relying on clever defensive devices went up against an entire planetary ecosystem including well-armed giants, city-sized weeds and ferocious creatures determined to stop them making viable use of valuable minerals. I don't want to spoil it for you but there was a twist, in that the film ignored the standard feel good finale ‎and instead the plucky entrepreneurs ended up losing with most getting killed or deported. Until they presumably returned with a spaceship full of bombs anyway.

The hype over the film's three dimensionals were significant, and myself and a friend succumbed to the pressure and attended, excitedly making our way to the entrance, tickets clutched in donnies as if they were flimsy predictions of things to come.

Firstly, we were given glasses!

That felt a bit daft. I'd put contact lenses in, so the last thing I wanted when out and about was to revert to four-eyediness. I glanced around and saw everyone wearing them so I did as well, reasoning that if we didn't embrace new technology we'd never have experienced poptarts.

Then, we sat in the dark and suffered the half a god damn hour of utter advertising crap that all cinemas must throw at us before every film, making us promise to ourselves that we will come 25 minutes later next time. But, eventually, the movie itself began!

A logo appeared!

It was a bit of a ball, bulging slightly in the screen.

My mate Phil, turned to me, all agog, and nodded, smiling widely. "Whoa!" he said.

"Er?" I replied, succinctly.

We watched the film which, despite being obvious, clich├ęd, gung-ho, pseudo-religious bunkum, was really very enjoyable. I liked it. But . . .

Ah, but.

But indeed.

Throughout the film, Phil would occasionally nudge me, breathlessly muttering "Wow!" or "Look at that!" or "It's all around!"or "Crivens, lawks-a-mercy guvnor!" because he's from Canada.

I nodded and agreed that, yes the dialogue was indeed very good, that I did enjoy ten feet tall, blue mostly naked ladies with hairy tails, and that the scariest machine in the film was a giant lawn-mower, but I wasn't getting the special effects bit. It was essentially a normal film but the screen looked slightly lumpy.

"No way, brah!" exclaimed Phil in his classical questioning intonation. "The ashes from the fire were practically falling on our shoulders!"

"Um, no they weren't." I retaliated aggressively.

"What!" Phil reciprolocutated in disbelief. "You could see the vegetation all around you! It was like being in the super space copter! You could practically motorboat the giant lady smurf!"

"Really?" I thought about the occasional bit of leaf that popped out of the screen by a few inches, or a big gilled lizardbirdhorse swooping forwards like a pike trying to breach the surface meniscus of a particularly calm pond, but not actually making it.

Turns out I'm in that small minority of folk who can't see films in 3D.

Twelve bloody quid well spent there then.

I have since revisited this scenario, wearing normal glasses and trying out 3D tellies, but all to no avail, and if you ask doctor Google, it informs you that the most likely cause is cancer or physical deformity.

I've checked and I've got the requisite number of eyes (between 1 and 7) pointing in roughly the right direction, and the bit of brain that processes imagery appears to be functioning because I can see both of my glass of scotch, so this rather confuses me.

Since that day, I have eschewed  3D fillums, and have occasionally wondered if I'm missing out. After cogitation, I have come to the conclusion that it is not, in fact, anything to do with me. It's a massive con! Admit it! You are all pretending to see amazing three dimensional pictures, but it's a big ruse isn't it? Like the Emperor's Nude Clothes, sudoku or pretending grapefruits are edible.

I know that may sound a tad paranoid, but I'm not crazy you know (I've got a special sane dance to prove it). It's got precedent, this sort of thing. I will never believe there are really pictures in those Magic Eye pages, no matter what anybody tells me.

So don't be surprised if you see me, forlonrly traipsing into the the lonely two dimensional screen at the back of the multiplex, the one next to cupboard where they store the floor sweepings before using them to top up the pales of popcorn, where they have mushrooms on the seats and straw on the floor, where smoking is still allowed as long as you share. Maybe you'll spare a thought for me, as I huddle down next to the other outcasts, watching tales of strange super beings who can actually see three dimensional films.