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Life of Pi. 3.1415D

Clevver Movies via YouTube

Westerners are always suckers for anything oriental. This year, Ang Lee tries for another Oscar as he follows Danny Boyle’s formula of exotic vistas plus heavily-accented Indian actors. Although the film promises deep spiritual stuff, “a story that would make me believe in God,” it fell short. The Academy, however, has only one slot in its spiritual/New Age category, and between Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas, the nomination had to go to the former, as the latter was a bit difficult to digest, even for heavy psychedelics users.

At least this film had animals.

Since I don’t have anything else to say about the film, I’ll talk about 3D instead.

Here’s something I learned about 3D movies: just because a film is shot in 3D doesn't mean it’s good 3D. Only a great stereographer can give great 3D. In this film, Graham Clark is credited as the “head of stereography”, with around a dozen stereographers under him. In case you didn’t know, anyone who works with stereographic images, whether physically with cameras or digitally with computers, is a stereographer. The head of stereography is the one who decides stuff like the interocular distance (the separation between lenses), and the composition of elements on the 3D plane, among others.

"All right, how do we frame this without it
looking like Titanic?"

Graham Clark is no rookie; he’s headed stereography for lots of films, most recently Hansel & Gretel. Sadly, Clark’s work does not maximize its stereo potential. What I’m saying, basically, is that this film could have had mind-blowing 3D. But it fell short. Just like its plot.

This. 3D.

Life of Pi. USA/Taiwan. 2012.

Original rating: 7.0 / 10
Beautiful dissolves in 3D: + 0.1
Excellent cinematography: + 0.2
Underutilizing Irfan Khan's acting: - 0.1
Gerard Depardieu's negligible role: - 0.1
Final rating: 7.1 / 10

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