There’s a scene early in Ang Lee’s majestic Life of Pi film in which the main character watches everything he loves die. Pi is floating in a vast, murky sea as the ship carrying his family and their zoo animals recedes into the distance and sinks. His arms are stretched out wide and his whole body seems to reach for them as they slip away.
This is the moment when I forgot I was wearing 3-D glasses and felt as if I was in the water with Pi, losing everything I love. I’m not sure I would have reacted as viscerally as I did to the scene if it had not been produced in 3-D. As it was, I sat in my seat and wept.
It was, I believe, my first experience watching a feature film in 3-D, so it took some adjustment for me to take the film seriously. At first, the effect seemed hokey and contrived. Pi is a young boy exploring and embracing some of the world’s great religions—Christianity, Hinduism, Islam—while his father tries to convince him that reason is superior to any one of them and that to believe in them simultaneously is actually to believe in nothing at all.
God vs. Science in 3-D. You get the picture. [Read more…]