Monday, January 10, 2011

The Great Gatsby... in 3D?

I just read this article and I am appalled. I am a fan of Baz Luhrmann, his decadent, surrealist style usually works quite well and the man is not afraid of a metaphor or two. The idea of him directing the jazz age tragedy that has recently become one of my favorite novels could be an intriguing one. It could really be a great fit.
Then I found out that he is planning to do it in 3-D.
My issue with 3-D movies is that has it become a cheap gimmick to make audiences pay more without really adding to the quality or thematic messages of the film. By breaking that fourth wall it doesn't make the movie more real to the audience, it emphasizes the un-reality of the event. The movie points out its own artificiality (and not in a poignant post modern way). Besides that, those stupid glasses give me a headache.
I just don't see how making The Great Gatsby in 3-D will add anything to the story or characters. Ideally, an audience's investment in the characters, the movement of the plot, and the effect of the theme should be why people watch movies, not just to see when something pops out at them next. For kid's movies and such, sure it can be fun, but ultimately it can dumb down the movie and muddle a fantastic story. Gatsby is compelling enough, it doesn't need flimsy tricks. Fitzgerald would not approve.
In a way, it's ironic because I feel like one of the main messages of Gatsby is how meaningless decadence and cheap modern window dressing are- life, and in my argument, film needs a solid foundation of something other than spectacle to make it worthwhile. I'm sorry if you like 3-D movies, to each their own, but in this case, it feels wildly inappropriate.


  1. I totally agree about 3D. Don't really see the point. With a big adventure style film, maybe it'll be cool (haven't seen one, so don't actually know) but Gatsby isn't exactly high-octane stuff. What next, Pride and Prejudice in 3D? Actually no, my bet would rather be Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, as both are due out this year. Both would be completely unnecessary as 3D. "Wow, I can really see the dresses poke out of the screen!"

  2. Huh, that's sad. But there's probably going to be a 2D version of it, too, right?

    I've seen two 3D movies ('Journey to the Center of the Earth' and 'Coraline'). Even though I can understand that those stories might have benefited from the 3D technique, it really didn't do anything for me. My eyes just got tired wearing the special glasses and it lessened my enjoyment of the movies.

  3. Unfortunately the local theatres don't always offer a screening of the movie in 2D because it's about three dollars more to watch it in 3D and they want that extra money.
    It's just kind of absurd and I can't support this "artistic" decision in the least.

  4. i don't really anxious about 3D issues because there's always a chance for the movie makers to create a good film with good score, story, acting, script, yet with 3D (I hope The Hobbit will be like that!). But i agree 3D has nothing to do with The Great Gatsby at all. To be honest, Leonardo DiCaprio isn't Gatsby in my mind.