Christopher Nolan Still Doesn't Like 3D; Neil Blomkamp Says 48fps Has An "Alien Quality" To It

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by Charlie Schmidlin
July 19, 2012 11:25 AM
8 Comments
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With studios looking for more and more ways to razzle/dazzle audiences, and get a higher ticket price at the same time, directors are taking up the challenge. Guys like Peter Jackson and James Cameron are pushing things forward with “The Hobbit” due later this year in select cinemas in 48fps and “Avatar” breaking in the blockbuster 3D era. They both regard the technology as progress, but as two other prominent directors have recently demonstrated, there are still quite a few helmers devoted to a more classic style of cinema.

During a press conference for his sophomore sci-fi effort, “Elysium,” Neill Blomkamp fielded a question about both 3D and higher frame rates in film -- likely meant to bait him into trashing his former mentor Jackson -- and whether he'd integrate the technology into future projects. Blomkamp understood that, “If you were to show a child who's six months now a 48fps movie, when they're sixty, it'll be as familiar to them as 24fps are for us now. But there may be an alien quality from 48fps; it has kind of a hyper-realism that takes away the cinema of it. I don't actually like 48fps. I prefer 24fps.” By no means a complete dismissal, as he also expressed a preference for 2D over 3D, saying that there are other directors like Cameron, Jackson, and Martin Scorsese who know how to effectively use it, but he's not convinced of its superiority.

Keeping nicely in line with that perspective, Christopher Nolan has long been an advocate of 35mm and 2D, but has now taken his point up a notch by simply stating his social circles feel the same way. “The question of 3-D is a very straightforward one,” Nolan said in a recent interview. “I never meet anybody who actually likes the format, and it's always a source of great concern to me when you're charging a higher price for something that nobody seems to really say they have any great love for.” Nolan has obviously put the legwork into backing up that point as well, since the director basically lifted the IMAX format out of nature documentary waters and into a distinctive draw for narrative studio filmmaking.

Of course, the unfettered support from WB to allow Nolan the budget for IMAX -- as well as follow the director's demands that “The Dark Knight Rises” be projected on IMAX film projectors in around 100 locations -- allows the format decision to remain simple. However, Nolan is keener on 3D these days, brought on by films like “Hugo,” but also more delightfully Baz Luhrmann's wonky extravaganza “The Great Gatsby.” He plans to buy a ticket because the 3D promises “you're going to be in Baz's head,” but dialed back a little, saying, “I'm fascinated to see what he's going to do, but I don't want any filmmaker to be pushed into doing something they don't want to.” That situation where every filmmaker has the creative choice to tackle 3D or 48fps may not be entirely here yet, but audiences can sure play an essential part in deciding where they put their ticket dollars on a Friday night. [SlashFilm/Salon]

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8 Comments

  • James | July 29, 2012 8:45 AMReply

    For those of you ho don't know 48fps is closer to what they use to shoot television shows. Television shows uses higher frame rates, so films shot with 48fps may risk looking like a television shows. In my opinion, they should just steer clear of high frame rates & 3d films.

    "48fps is.... tech nerds jerking off or something, I don't know about that one." - Keep it to yourself you ignorant moron.

  • Ugh | July 20, 2012 12:45 AMReply

    I've never watched a movie & MISSED the 3D. OR felt that it ADDED anything to the storytelling expeirence. Seriously, tell me how you use 3D to naturally tell a story. What? The most important character in the scene is ALWAYS going to be projected out the most towards the audience?
    I love Scorsese's HUGO (the best use of 3D to date with an equal use of gimmicks & immersion) BUT I've watched the film a couple times since on Bluray & never once have I said "Gee... I missh the 3D".
    Take color & audio away & you start to lose elements needed to actually TELL THE STORY.

    3D is a joke.

    48fps is.... tech nerds jerking off or something, I don't know about that one.

  • starway2001 | July 19, 2012 5:55 PMReply

    Yeah, they all made the same arguments about "talkies".... and color film stock.... and....

  • Tom | July 19, 2012 4:43 PMReply

    2D, 35mm and 24fps has worked for cinema for nearly a century (not including silent cinema when frame rates weren't standard). If it ain't broke . . .

  • Chris | July 23, 2012 10:01 PM

    Horses worked for centuries. Cars are stupid. If it ain't broke...

  • Glass | July 19, 2012 1:52 PMReply

    This whole IMAX trend since TDK really feels like a big going-away party for film now. It's been said in multiple articles breaking down the pixel resolution of film that IMAX is a little less than 18k (blu-ray being 2k) - I wonder if IMAX devotees will like those Monstro 29k cameras, or if they'll start saying they have TOO high a resolution, and IMAX had it perfect.

  • starway2001 | July 19, 2012 1:01 PMReply

    Ok! We get it! You guys don't like anything other than 35mm film and 24fps. Enough already with the flogging of anything remotely "new".

  • rodie | July 19, 2012 12:28 PMReply

    Nolan is right. 3D is essentially a scam to get more money out of moviegoers. 3D adds nothing to the movie experience, unless your under the age of 10.

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