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Title: Images in depth : spectacle, narrative and meaning construction in contemporary 3D cinema
Author: Weetch, Owen
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis analyses individual 3D texts to explore how stereography inflects the representational strategies synonymous with the various modes of cinema to which it suggests that those films are indebted. It argues that the stereoscopic spectacles of emergence and deep stereospace can be integrated into a narrative. The thesis represents an original contribution to knowledge in demonstrating that stereography can be understood as another element of mise-en-scène contributing to meaning construction in those specific films studied. The literature review considers film theory’s understanding of how the spectator’s ‘participation’ has been inflected by previous technological alterations to the cinematic image’s width and depth and the extent to which 3D has been read as an expressive element. Four case studies, each of a different contemporary stereoscopic film belonging to a different cinematic tradition, then demonstrate how that tradition is stereographically re-inflected towards expressive ends. Avatar (James Cameron, 2009) demonstrates that 3D works alongside the continuity style of the contemporary spectacular blockbuster, renegotiating its relationship to the spectator, encouraging engagement with narrative themes. Jackass 3D’s (Jeff Tremaine, 2010) stereography accentuates the ‘vaudeville aesthetic’ discernible in slapstick comedy and emphasises an exploitation of the frame similar to that found in the cinema of Buster Keaton. It argues that 3D enables an inclusion of the spectator within a carnivalesque narrative of camaraderie. Step Up 3D (Jon M. Chu) demonstrates how 3D reinforces the utopian participation of the audience typical of the Hollywood musical, to which it is indebted. The Hole in 3D (Joe Dante, 2009), re-inflects representational strategies synonymous with horror cinema to articulate a narrative about violence whose meaning construction is dependent upon a stereographically-embodied spectator. This thesis, then, argues for a more sensitive understanding of 3D’s expressive potential than has largely been the case by demonstrating how that understanding might be reached.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN1993 Motion Pictures