#film

Jordan Kushins:

I was asked to sit down, and was given a pair of Oculus HD goggles that were hanging from a cord suspended from the ceiling. I was handed a pair of headphones. At this point, everything was black and completely silent. I was only slightly anxious. And then they pressed play.

Immediately I was standing directly in the middle of a skate park. The sun was shining. There was a guy going back and forth over the shallow peaks and valleys directly to my right. There was no break in the scene as I looked left, and up, and all the way around behind me, and the sound remained true to the direction of his wheels along the concrete. This was a very real—like, shockingly real—3D transportation. It was a mouth agape, I-can’t-stop-giggling-out-of-pure-incredulity kind of leap.

Seems like a pretty great way to describe the first-time experience using Oculus. It’s the kind of description that makes $2 billion sound cheap.

As is this:

Can you imagine seeing a version of Gravity where the action wasn’t just taking place on a screen in front of you, but in every single direction? Where you could view the same footage an infinite number of times and still catch details you’d never seen before, simply because you turned your head ever-so-slightly—or all the way around, or up, or down—and shifted your perspective? No one will ever view the exact same cut of the exact same footage; it is completely personalized based on where you look at any given moment. That and it’s totally immersive. It’s a revolutionary idea, but not without its challenges.

Such technology, if nailed, would fundamentally alter the experience of watching a movie. 3D is a shitty coat of paint, this is the real deal. 

Alexandra Cheney on Christopher Nolan:

A huge proponent of IMAX, Nolan says he shot more of “Interstellar” on IMAX cameras than ever before but that he used spatial interiors and “real environments,” in effect shooting the film and the actor’s responses to action “like a documentary.”

Although he’s all in favor of new technologies, he’s hesitant to adapt or use anything before it’s time tested – in a theater for certain and ideally in front of audiences.

New technology “has to cede what comes before that, and it hasn’t done that yet,” he said.

I cannot wait for Interstellar even though I know basically nothing about it. But in Nolan I trust, given this:

On the subject of 3D, Nolan praised Baz Luhrmann for “The Great Gatsby” but said that as far as the technology, “Just as stadium seating isn’t the best thing for a comedy, 3D isn’t the best for a shared audience.”

Well aware of his audience – a packed house of exhibitors – Nolan defended seeing films on the big screen and lobbied for more re-releases of films. He cited “Citizen Kane” and “The Odyssey” for their non-linear structure and advocated for shooting on 35 mm.

We’ve entered what, year five of 3D (post-Avatar). And for the vast majority of films, it’s still incredibly stupid and gimmicky.

The saga of the hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto gets more and more bizarre/interesting. For those following along at home:

Dorian Nakamoto, who now goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto but is saying he’s not the Satoshi Nakamoto, also happens to have a neighbor in his small town who is a crypto expert, Hal Finney. Finney is also saying he’s not Satoshi Nakamoto, but incidentally was on the receiving end of the first Bitcoin transaction.

Finney also has old correspondence with the real Satoshi to prove he’s not the creator of Bitcoin. But for the past few years, he’s been suffering from ALS, which makes it very hard for him to communicate. Yet his old writing style is similar to that of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Does anyone else get the feeling that this is starting to play out a bit too close to the plot of The Usual Suspects?