By Miriam Ross

3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile studies questions the typical frameworks used for discussing 3D cinema, realism and spectacle, that allows you to totally comprehend the embodied and sensory dimensions of 3D cinema's designated visuality.

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Additional resources for 3D Cinema: Optical Illusions and Tactile Experiences

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As this chapter will demonstrate, stereoscopy complicates any clear binary between the two. On the one hand, the tendency to create extended illusionistic depth in commercial stereoscopic films couples with a dismantling of the screen plane so that the planar skin of the film is no longer discernible. In this way, the presentation of distinct forms in deep space occurs and an optical visuality is encouraged. The potential for separation from the film’s body is then further encouraged by the majority of stereoscopic display systems that ask viewers to use glasses, often with polarised filters that diminish the intensity of light reaching the eyes.

He draws on the tactility of the images highlighted by early pioneer Oliver Wendell Holmes, citing Holmes’ assertion that ‘the mind, as it were, feels round it and gets an idea of its solidity’ (2011: 43). By updating these qualities to moving images, Steinbach suggests, museums can provide a visualisation of objects and concepts that provoke engaged interaction and an increased sensory habitus. Hyper-haptic In 3D cinema, films from across the lengthy history of stereoscopic moving images demonstrate how tactility, palpable objects, tangible sensations, and other qualities central to haptic are recurrently evident.

After his co-worker Grace appears and throws him an indigenous fruit, Sully takes obvious sensual pleasure in eating the object. While the viewer cannot fully taste it, sense memories are activated and the mouth can salivate at the prospect of the food on the tongue. At the same time as we are only able to imitate this sensory experience, we are aware of the doubled nature by which Sully is, like us, not fully present in the scene but also displaced from his normal sensorium. Avatar’s narrative focus on body displacement calls attention to this process, but stereoscopy heightens it further.

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