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Demand It: Which Filmmaker Needs to Make a 3D Movie? Godard? Gilliam? Lynch?

By Christopher Campbell | Spout May 11, 2011 at 4:15AM

There are plenty of filmmakers who will never give 3D a chance. Walter Murch isn't going to return to Oz with a 3D follow-up (if he ever even directs a second feature), for instance. And there are plenty of critics who will continue to dismiss the format even after making at least one exception (see Roger Ebert and Murch united here), because many viewers who accept the historical and artistic significance of Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" still can't buy into the effort as a whole. Even I, while thinking it a masterpiece, am irritated by some of the blurry motion in the exterior shots. I'm definitely fine with Herzog not making more 3D films if there is no similar need for spatial perception the way there is with the documentary record of the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc.
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There are plenty of filmmakers who will never give 3D a chance. Walter Murch isn't going to return to Oz with a 3D follow-up (if he ever even directs a second feature), for instance. And there are plenty of critics who will continue to dismiss the format even after making at least one exception (see Roger Ebert and Murch united here), because many viewers who accept the historical and artistic significance of Werner Herzog's "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" still can't buy into the effort as a whole. Even I, while thinking it a masterpiece, am irritated by some of the blurry motion in the exterior shots. I'm definitely fine with Herzog not making more 3D films if there is no similar need for spatial perception the way there is with the documentary record of the Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc.

Following the opening of "Thor," Scott Weinberg (at Movies.com) is calling for another death to 3D, because in many recent entries "someone’s art, that they took some real pride in, is made a lot less interesting … because of simple, stupid greed." But sometimes the art is in the 3D (see this great discussion on arthouse 3D films). And with it killed, we won't see what other great films can come out of the format, like Herzog's, and like Wim Wenders' "Pina" (pictured above), which I hear is an even more magnificent use of the technology. We may soon be amazed with what directors Martin Scorsese ("Hugo Cabret"), Takashi Miike ("Hara-Kari: Death of a Samurai") and maybe Baz Luhrman ("The Great Gatsby") show us in three dimensions. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are also entering the fold with the "Tintin" films. And now Bernardo Bertolucci is reportedly doing a single-setting 3D drama -- titled "Io e te" ("Me and You") -- which he's currently talking up at Cannes before shooting this fall.

Who could be next? Jean-Luc Godard?

A month ago in London, Bertolucci expressed his own curiosity about a 3D Godard film, and who could deny a similar desire to just see what that would look like? I expect we'll never know, any more than we'll ever know what a Stanley Kubrick 3D movie would have looked like (though I expect Hollywood will convert "2001: A Space Odyssey" eventually). Who else would be at least interesting to see try 3D? Terrence Malick? Pedro Almodóvar? Terry Gilliam (who has proposed a "Time Bandits" conversion)? David Lynch (who has at least promoted alioscopy 3D)?

Really, any of the great living filmmakers should give a little taste of their take on 3D. But some might not have the financial resources or a strong enough interest or faith to do a feature. So here's an idea: a 3D omnibus movie featuring a collection of shorts from master filmmakers. Something similar to the made-for-Cannes "To Each His Own Cinema" or the tribute compilation "Lumiere and Company" (it'd kind of be like an antithesis to this). I recommend that the Venice Film Festival sponsor the effort since they're already recognizing and championing the artistic possibilities of the format through the Persol 3D Award.

So, let's say there are ten segments to this anthology (unlike "To Each His Own"'s 34 and "Lumiere and Company"'s 41). Who would you choose to contribute?

Here are mine (I left out people I think are already working on 3D projects, such as Gaspar Noé):

1. David Lynch
2. Peter Greenaway
3. Terry Gilliam
4. Zhang Yimou
5. Michael Haneke
6. Jean-Luc Godard
7. Lars von Trier
8. Pedro Almodóvar
9. Hou Hsiao-hsien
10. Tom Tykwer

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