Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vintage Viewing

So, my boyfriend came down to visit me last weekend over the long weekend. Against my better judgment we went to go see a horror movie. In 3-D. Yes, we saw My Bloody Valentine 3-D. As is the case with all scary movies, I can only appreciate their storylines after the fact. During the film, I’m usually hiding my face in a pillow or the nearest object large enough to cover my face. So, guns are pointed seemingly 2 inches from our faces, mining axes are being thrown from the screen in our direction, and blood splatters close enough to touch. And what is the next thing that comes out of my boyfriend’s mouth? “This is so COOL.”

 I agree that objects popping out of a screen are cool, but I think I enjoyed it more at the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids show at Disneyworld. This reminded me of the Vintage Cool we discussed in class. 3D vision isn’t a 21st century invention. It’s been around since 1922. 3D effects really gained momentum again in the 1950s, but once again faded into obscurity. And now they are back. Why do we see the 3D effect as “cool”? I think we do have a sense of novelty with it. 3D used to be “cool” back in the ‘50s, so now it’s like an antique of sorts. The introduction of high definition and the transition to digital filming processes doesn’t hurt either. 

But movies are the only material embracing 3D effects. Remember those Magic Eye books? I think I always found them in the dentist’s office, but they fascinated me. After you get the knack of crossing and uncrossing your eyes, the hidden images seem to emerge off the page. I was always disappointed when I reached the end of the book; I wanted more. As FJohn said, cool is marketable. These 3D books are not marketable cool in the sense of buying something in the hopes of becoming part of a “cool” group. This is how department stores make a profit. Customers come in desiring to buy the latest fashions so that they may be hip, modern, cool. The 3D Magic Eye books are marketable cool because they are completely different from every other book that are only bound pages of black and white ink. The Magic Eye books give the reader an image to look into, not just look at. It’s a fact that rebellion is cool. The Magic Eye book is the rebel of all books. 

Image from (Accessed 1/24/09)


  1. I can't believe you went to that movie! The trailer is scary enough for me. And 3D none the less! Yikes! Not for me.

    You bring up a very good point about the idea of 3D. I never thought about it, but it really isn't a new thing. It is true that more and more movies are becoming 3D, but most of them are for little kids, if I remember correctly. Why hasn't 3D become more cool than it is? Images popping off of your screen seem so futuristic, like the next step to projecting yourself into the movie...You'd have thought the public would have jumped on the idea and every movie would be 3D by now.

  2. I agree with you both about the 3D concept. It's hard to believe it hasn't become a commonality in films today. I worked at a theater this summer, and when the movie "Journey to the Center of the Earth" came out in 3D you would not believe the hype we got over that movie. It was advertised everywhere as being 3D, but apparently no one noticed the fine print that said, "In select theaters only." We had so many angry people storm out of our theater because they wanted 3D and we didn't have it. Honestly, by the reactions I got from some people you'd have thought I told them their car was being towed from the parking lot or their pet had died, not something so simple as that they'd have to watch a regular movie rather than a 3D one. Apparently those people all thought 3D was the ultimate in cool. So by those reactions, why aren't more movies in 3D? People will obviously pay to have objects jumping out at them and to feel like they're in the movie, so why not give it to them more often? It doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm sure there's a reason. Perhaps 3D is like most things, and once you get too much of it it's just not cool anymore.

  3. If what HayleyAnn says is true, when will there be a backlash against 3D?

  4. I think that the 3D movies are based on a certain type of cool that may not be appealing to everyone. I also think that the producers realize this. They release 3D versions where the highest concentration of the group they want to reach is located. While yes, those who enjoy technology and are perhaps a little more knowledgable will appreciate 3D movies, I do not think 3D is for everyone...yet. Maybe 3D just has to wait a little longer.

  5. 3D is an excellent topic, and I'm very glad to see you do your research for the reader. I think anything that works toward a greater immersion will be defined as "cool." Video games are cool because they place a person in control and work towards total immersion. Good books are still cool (Oh yes, Harry Potter, no one has forgotten about you). Things that take us with them on weird and awesome journeys will always be cool because we can't help but be swept up by them. Do you agree?

    Good entry!

  6. I completely agree with your statement that "things that take us with them on weird and awesome journey will always be cool because we can't help but be swept up by them." I remember (here comes the nerdy-ness) back in elementary school I was in love with the Redwall series by Brian Jacques, basically because it took me into this completely different world of talking animals and forest wars. It was the coolest thing ever.