In previous films, you have worked within the conventions of specific genres (science-fiction, thriller, war film, etc.). Were you attracted to The Shining because it gave you the opportunity to explore the laws of a new genre in your career?
Stanley Kubrick: About the only law that I think relates to the genre is that you should not try to explain, to find neat explanations for what happens, and that the object of the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully expressed in art than in life, which I found very illuminating; it didn’t help writing the screenplay, but I think it’s an interesting insight into the genre. And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft where he said that you should never attempt to explain what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people’s imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn’t, within itself, have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. I think also that the ingeniousness of a story like this is something which the audience ultimately enjoy; they obviously wonder as the story goes on what’s going to happen, and there’s a great satisfaction when it’s all over not having been able to have anticipated the major developments of the story, and yet at the end not to feel that you have been fooled or swindled.


Amazing advice from Kubrick (of course) on working within the horror genre.

In previous films, you have worked within the conventions of specific genres (science-fiction, thriller, war film, etc.). Were you attracted to The Shining because it gave you the opportunity to explore the laws of a new genre in your career?

Stanley Kubrick: About the only law that I think relates to the genre is that you should not try to explain, to find neat explanations for what happens, and that the object of the thing is to produce a sense of the uncanny. Freud in his essay on the uncanny wrote that the sense of the uncanny is the only emotion which is more powerfully expressed in art than in life, which I found very illuminating; it didn’t help writing the screenplay, but I think it’s an interesting insight into the genre. And I read an essay by the great master H.P. Lovecraft where he said that you should never attempt to explain what happens, as long as what happens stimulates people’s imagination, their sense of the uncanny, their sense of anxiety and fear. And as long as it doesn’t, within itself, have any obvious inner contradictions, it is just a matter of, as it were, building on the imagination (imaginary ideas, surprises, etc.), working in this area of feeling. I think also that the ingeniousness of a story like this is something which the audience ultimately enjoy; they obviously wonder as the story goes on what’s going to happen, and there’s a great satisfaction when it’s all over not having been able to have anticipated the major developments of the story, and yet at the end not to feel that you have been fooled or swindled.

Amazing advice from Kubrick (of course) on working within the horror genre.

QUORA QUESTION

Who are the greatest Film Editors?

MY ANSWER

Five of my favorite editors:

  • Walter Murch
    No explanation needed, but here are the fundamentals. Wrote the definitive book on editing, In The Blink Of An Eye. Invented the field of sound-design, and cut sound for Gimme Shelter, American Graffiti, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, and The Godfather: Part II. Picture edited Apocalypse Now, Ghost, The English Patient, and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

  • Anne V. Coates
    Ms. Coates was a credited motion picture editor for almost sixty years. She edited Lawrence of Arabia, The Elephant Man, What About Bob?, and Out of Sight. Talk about range!

  • Sam O’Steen
    He had a long career and was nominated for three Oscars. It’s crazy that he never won. Some of his credits: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Cool Hand Luke, The Graduate, Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown, Silkwood. He was the main editor for Mike Nichols and Roman Polanski at the height of their careers.

  • Ralph Rosenblum
    In my opinion, the two great books on editing are Walter Murch’s In The Blink Of An Eye and Ralph Rosenblum’s When The Shooting Stops… The Cutting Begins. Some of Ralph’s credits include Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Pawnbroker, A Thousand Clowns, The Producers, and Annie Hall. With regards to editing, The Pawnbroker and Annie Hall were both groundbreaking films when they were released.

  • Susan E. Morse
    Susan took over as Woody Allen’s editor after Ralph Rosenblum. She cut most of Woody Allen’s classics including Manhattan, Zelig, and Hannah and Her Sisters. Before she started working with Woody Allen, Susan E. Morse cut The Warriors and now she’s cutting the TV show Louie.

(If you want to read more of my Quora answers, you can follow me on Quora.)

In case I haven’t already made it clear, Louis C.K. is my hero. Everything in this interview is worth reading, but one simple sentence really stood out to me.

I don’t like when I’m prevented from doing things the way I think they should be done.

The more I think about it, I realize that this statement from Louis C.K. the driving force of my life. I am an incredibly opinionated person when it comes to subjects that I care about. I think there are right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things. I may not be correct all the time, but I want to try to do things the way I think they should be done.

This is why I was drawn to producing films independently rather than at studios. This is why I feel frustrated when we finish a film hand it over to a distribution company, and they don’t listen to what we have to say about the release of the film. Even if they pay us well for the right to distribute a film (which unfortunately is not the most common case), it still frustrates me that we lose control over that part of the process. And then it’s just insulting in cases where we lose all control and the distributor is only risking a small fraction of what we risked to actually make the film. The system as it currently stands is overvaluing distribution and undervaluing creation. Things have to change.

[via Marco.org]

Tear Down These Walls

In the entertainment business, we’re living in very interesting times. There’s a wave of momentum pushing forward a powerful new relationship between artist and fan.

At its most basic, there are only two important parties in the world of art and entertainment: the artist and the fan. However, over time, a wide variety of industries have set up shop between the artist and the fan. These middle-man entities took control of helping artists fund their art, helping artists market and distribute their art, helping fans discover and consume the art, and helping fans build a semblance of a relationship with artists they admire.

These industries used to serve incredibly important purposes. It was very expensive to make a lot of modern art forms such as music, Broadway, or film. It was very expensive to create and administer a distribution network that had to get vinyl records into thousands of stores or to manufacture and ship heavy 35mm film prints to hundreds of theaters. It was very expensive to market art to the public. And while some of these expenses are still here, the need for most of them have started to drop or disappear over the last few years.

Unfortunately as these expenses have started to disappear, the middle-man system has clutched harder and harder at the control it maintains over the creation and distribution of creative content. Studio executives wield creative power with a stronger fist than any time in the last few decades.

But over the last few years, the reality is that these middle-man positions have become less and less important. First the web and now the social-web (mostly Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr) have removed communication barriers between artists and fans. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo make it possible for artists to fund their work through a direct relationship with fans. Amazon, iTunes, Steam, and other initiatives make it simpler for artists to make their work available directly to millions of potential customers. Google and Facebook both have advertising systems that are incredibly powerful and user-friendly.

It’s possible today for artist and fan to have a direct relationship in terms of content consumption, communication, and commerce.

From my position as an independent film producer, it looks like we’re at a turning point. If you are creating content that appeals to an online-savvy audience, all of the tools you need for creation, distribution, and marketing are accessible and affordable. And clearly I’m not the only person to see this. There are success stories across all popular forms of art and entertainment:

This is something Patton Oswalt recently discussed in his keynote address at Montreal’s Just For Laughs 2012. Patton puts it incredibly well:

Our careers don’t hinge on somebody in a plush office deciding to aim a little luck in our direction. There are no gates. They’re gone.

The old gates are gone, and new gates don’t try to control the content. Kickstarter, iTunes, and Twitter don’t try to fiddle with what an artist wants to create. They don’t try to own the content. They don’t try to insert themselves into a position of power in the artist/fan relationship. They have business models based on facilitating artist/fan relationships, not based on controlling the content of those relationships.

I believe that comedians and video-games are the best early-adopters for this new model, and that’s why we’re currently seeing the most success in these areas.

Comedians have been building direct artist/fan relationships for years, based on touring. This is what lets Louis CK reach his fans directly. This is what led to Kevin Hart’s huge success with his theatrically self-released standup special. As artists in other fields build these direct artist/fan relationships, they can start using the same powerful direct-distribution and communication models that are being pioneered by comedians. I suspect that music will come next, and then finally film.

In terms of potential business models, video-games are the most interesting example. The current state of video-game distribution gives a sense of where all entertainment distribution will go over the next few years. Video-games are ahead on this timeline compared to other forms of entertainment for a variety of reasons:

  1. Video-games appeal to people who are already online-savvy.
  2. The people in control of video-game production are already online-savvy.
  3. Video-game players are already conditioned to experience the content on the same platform where they discover and purchase content.

All three of these things will happen to other forms of entertainment over the next few years. So let’s see what interesting models we see in the world of video-games…

  • Steam is a hugely successful distribution platform for independent games.
  • Kickstarter has had multiple video-game projects funded for over $1m, proving the power of a direct artist/fan relationship.
  • Humble Bundle provide a powerful promotional and sales platform for independent games. They package multiple video-games into a limited time sale where people can pay whatever they want for the games. A business model like this would be laughed out of most board rooms a decade ago, but the last Humble Bundle video-game bundle grossed over $5,000,000.

Right now Humble Bundle are selling their first non-video-game bundle. The Humble Music Bundle includes geek-friendly releases by OK Go, MC Frontalot, They Might Be Giants, Christopher Tin, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Jonathan Coulton. There are ten days left in the bundle, and they’ve already sold $300,000 worth. That’s a pretty significant chunk of change for a limited-time sale where people are allowed to pay whatever they want.

So I sit here in 2012, looking around myself as an independent film producer stuck in the traditional world of film marketing and distribution. Like Patton Oswalt, I have benefited and failed based in large part on the whims of people in a plush office deciding to aim a little luck in my direction. And I’m stuck in this position despite the fact that I usually only show up in the plush offices with completely finished and releasable films. I could get into specifics, but there’s no real advantage to throwing people and companies under the bus. But I sit here looking at the film-industry around me right now, and I don’t like what I see.

I look over the fence at Louis CK, Amanda Palmer, and Double Fine. It’s not just that their grass is greener than my grass. It’s that their grass is growing, and my grass is dying. I want to be on the side of the fence where the grass is growing.

So I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I recently invested in VHX, a platform for artists and filmmakers to distribute video content directly to fans. I am a vocal supporter of Kickstarter, and have backed over 30 projects on their platform. I’m looking to support new platforms that will help build direct relationships between artists and fans.

And yes, my plan over the next year is to jump over that fence myself. I’m sick of relying on somebody in a plush office deciding to aim a little luck in my direction. I want to live at the intersection of artist and fan. I want to help tear down the broken system so we can build something better in its place.

[You might also want to read my follow up post: “But They’re Already Famous…”]

I’m a big fan of the website Quora (specifically a place for asking and answering questions, and generally a fantastic resource for information). I’ve been answering questions there this year, and I’ve decided to start cross-promoting some of my popular answers here on my personal blog.

QUORA QUESTION

Why do IMAX 3D glasses use linear polarizers whereas most other 3D glasses use circular polarizers?

MY ANSWER

There’s a lot of noise out there with regards to stereoscopic 3D systems, and I assume it comes from a mix of competing companies wanting to tout their technological choices and a basic lack of understanding of the technology and science behind stereoscopic 3D from most of the film press.

I have tried to sort through the noise and figure out what’s going on, but there’s always a chance I have some details wrong. If you catch an error, please let me know, as I don’t want to compound the 3D misinformation that keeps spreading online.

There are a few reasons why IMAX chooses linear polarization over circular polarization, and the choice has a range of benefits and downfalls.

Benefits of Linear Polarization

  1. Linear polarization glasses are cheaper to produce and purchase than circular polarization glasses. I assume this is a big driving factor in the decision.

  2. The process of linear polarization allows for lower light-loss than the process of circular polarization. Simply put, all things being equal with bulb brightness, screen, and throw distance, IMAX 3D is brighter than circular-polarization 3D systems. The brightness of image for a 3D film is a common complaint and almost all 3D system suffer from significant light loss compared to 2D projection. I think this is an important factor for IMAX, as they aim for premium audiovisual presentation. (Another drawback with Real-D is that they use a single projector for 3D, which results in compounding the light-loss problem.)

  3. I haven’t seen convincing hard facts to support this, but a lot of people say that a properly calibrated linear-polarization system will have less “cross talk” than a properly calibrated circular-polarization system. That means that if your head is straight with your eyes in a horizontal line, there will be less leaking of right-eye image into left-eye through the polarization. In other words, for normal usage the linear-polarized 3D should separate the left-eye and right-eye images better than circular-polarization would.

Benefits of Circular Polarization

  1. If you tilt your head at all, linear-polarization cross-talk will drastically increase. You’ll start to see combined images in each eye, ruining the 3D effect and potentially giving you a headache. The same problem occurs with circular-polarization, but at a much lesser degree. Supporters of linear-polarization believe that most people will immediately get that something is wrong when they tilt their head, and will adjust back to an optimal viewing position. However, this makes a big assumption about how viewers will react to a suboptimal image and also places restrictions on the viewer that might lead to physical discomfort while watching a long film.

  2. This isn’t necessarily a benefit of circular polarization, but the Real-D 3D system uses a single projector and the IMAX 3D system uses dual projectors. A big problem with using dual projectors is that if dust, hair, or dirt gets in a projector it will show up only in one eye’s image, and that by using two projectors you are effectively doubling the likelihood of visible particles showing up. I can say that anecdotally I have noticed this every single time I’ve seen a film on IMAX 3D, but I’ve never had it bother me at a Real-D 3D presentation.

Personally, I prefer the presentation of IMAX 3D over Real-D 3D, but I don’t have a problem with keeping my head straight while watching a movie. If I wanted to slouch in my seat or lean at an angle, I would definitely opt for a circular-polarization system like Real-D.

On a side note, one of the downfalls of stereoscopic 3D in general is how subjective and personal the effectiveness of the technology is. The process of stereoscopic 3D is to essentially trick our brains into thinking it is receiving legitimate 3D information and the response can vary differently between people. This isn’t the same with persistence of vision, the trick that allows for film to work. There are very few people for whom persistence of vision doesn’t work on a 24fps image.

In my opinion, the biggest problem with stereoscopic 3D is that the process of viewing stereoscopic 3D involves our eyes doing something that nothing else in our lives asks them to do. Imagine this example. You are looking at a screen that is ten feet away from your eyes. On this screen is a stereoscopic 3D image where a foreground object is perceived to come 3 feet out of the screen, and a background object is perceived to exist 3 feet behind the screen. As you look at the foreground object, your eyes cross slightly as they would in real life if you were looking at an object that is 7 feet away from you. However, the individual eyes have to focus at 10 feet away because that’s where the plane of the screen actually exists. In essence you are asking your binocular vision to focus at seven feet and for your individual eyes to focus at ten feet. There is literally nothing (I can think of) in the real world that would ask our eyes to do this.

I believe this is why stereoscopic films generally minimize how far objects appear to extend from the screen-plane, and why the best 3D films will use “in your face” 3D sparingly. If they stick out too much or go back too much for long periods of time, it’s just more than our bodies are used to doing.

I also believe this is why children seem to respond better to stereoscopic imagery. They aren’t overcoming decades of muscle memory and experience when they are watching stereoscopic imagery. (Obviously these last few points are pure conjecture on my part, but I do believe that I’m right on this.)

(If you want to read more of my Quora answers, you can follow me on Quora.)

I’m a big fan of the website Quora (specifically a place for asking and answering questions, and generally a fantastic resource for information). I’ve been answering questions there this year, and I’ve decided to start cross-promoting some of my popular answers here on my personal blog.

QUORA QUESTION

Which movie scenes absolutely infuriate you?

MY ANSWER

I am mostly infuriated by bad dramatic storytelling, and I think the of two biggest crimes that you’ll see are the following…

  1. Characters making decisions that not only feel wrong for that character, but feel wrong for any human being. They are doing something only because the writer needs them to do that thing.

  2. Scenes that have no dramatic purpose in the story, thus ruining the momentum of the film and causing you to worry that you’re going to be in unsure storytelling hands for the rest of the film.

Some recent examples of these storytelling crimes (from memory, so I might have some details wrong).

Snow White and the Huntsman is full of scenes that serve no dramatic purpose in the story. I believe this is what led to many people finding the movie to be boring, despite many striking visual moments. For example, there is the scene where Charlize Theron’s character takes a bath in a white liquid that appears to be milk. The milk also spills out of the bath, draining down from her tower to a bunch of poor kids who drink her second hand milk. Charlize going in and out of the milk bath is a stunning visual that was well used in the trailer, but the scene serves no dramatic purpose in the story. The plot doesn’t advance at all. We already know that the Queen attains eternal youth by magically stealing beauty from young girls in the kingdom, so the purpose of the bath is totally unclear. We already know that she is a terrible Queen, so it’s not like seeing starving kids is really necessary at this point. In essence we are wasting screen-time with a dramatically pointless scene just to get a shot of Charlize Theron entering into and emerging from a milk bath.

Prometheus is full of scenes where characters make decisions that are in direct opposition to their established character and are in direct opposition to anything that I would consider to be human. A simple example would be when two scientists decide to pet an alien snake creature. These scientists previously made clear that they had no interest in taking unnecessary risks or interacting with alien life while on this planet. On top of that, they were just trapped in an alien structure against their wishes during a storm. And now suddenly they decide to investigate and actually pet a scary-looking alien snake creature. This is in direct opposition to something we just learned about the characters. It’s also in direct opposition with any action I believe a normal person would take in that situation. These guys are both rightfully scared at that point in time, and there is no way I believe they would start petting an alien creature. Obviously the creature kills them.

These two types of storytelling flaws are interwoven throughout Prometheus and Snow White and the Huntsman, making them interesting to study for the impact of these storytelling decisions on a finished work. Obviously these problems don’t bother all people to the same degree, as there are people who love both of these films.

But I do think that if SWATH had well constructed dramatic scenes as well as striking visuals then the film would have pleased everyone to a larger degree. I believe that if Prometheus had the same exquisite attention to detail applied to character decisions that was applied to visual texture, then the film wouldn’t be plagued by complaints regarding confusion and weak characterization.

It’s incredibly hard to make a good movie, and every storytelling decision you make has to balance multiple positive and negative ramifications on how the audience experiences your film. Unfortunately, I believe that the two types of storytelling flaws I point out above are becoming more and more common as the business of the film industry changes. Primarily this is because the success of big-budget movies these days is based more and more on opening weekend economics.

If a big-budget film does well enough on opening weekend, then the rest of its revenue follows a predictable pattern and the film will be profitable. If a big-budget film doesn’t do well enough on opening weekend, then it’s incredibly unlikely that word-of-mouth will boost the revenue across its entire release. That is the basic nature of the film industry today, and I believe it leads to some frustrating problems for the quality of these films.

Because a film’s success is primarily driven by its opening weekend, the overall quality of the film becomes a less and less important factor in the success of the film. Audiences make their decisions to see a film based on information that is extrapolated from the film, but are not necessarily related to the film itself. Decisions to see a film are usually made based on marketing materials, elements associated with the film, and the level of exposure to these two things.

Marketing materials primarily consist of trailer, television ads, and key-art. The stronger these materials sell an appealing experience, the more likely an audience will want to see the film. Now of course the question remains of what makes a film seem appealing. I would argue it’s a mix of comfortable familiarity (this film is going to be like other films that I know I like) and visceral uniqueness (this film is going to show me something I’ve never seen before, but getting a peek at it in the trailer excited me). Both SWATH and Prometheus benefited heavily from this. The overall quality of a film can sneak into the marketing materials, but it can’t really drive them.

So let’s say you’re constructing the story for a big-budget film and you are approaching the creative decisions required for a film. You have a bunch of different ideas of what could happen in this scene, and you get out your storytelling scale to balance out the impact of the various creative decisions you can make. One type of decision will have the characters make sense and the story advance, but doesn’t really lead to a striking visual moment that will help sell the film. Another type of decision leads to a fantastic striking visual moment, but it’s almost impossible to also have that moment advance the story and be consistent with character. Which do you choose? If the marketplace rewarded the overall quality of the film, then the system would encourage you to choose the former. If the marketplace rewards the strongest marketing materials, then you are encouraged to choose the latter. Of course the ideal solution would be something that serves both story and marketing, but films are generally made under strict time pressure. You don’t have the luxury of saying we haven’t figured out a way to do everything perfectly, and you’re forced to choose from amongst the ideas you have at hand (the time pressure of filmmaking is another big problem, but way beyond the scope of this answer).

It’s a bit disingenuous to say that each creative person sits there and makes a calculated decision like this. In truth, I believe that artists such as directors and screenwriters have a voice and an approach to filmmaking that is natural to them. Most filmmakers won’t just make decisions based on whether they think it will make the film more marketable. However, there is a bit of market selection going on here. The filmmakers who naturally would choose to sacrifice story quality for strong marketing moments are more likely to have their films made and are more likely to have the films be rewarded by a system that values opening-weekend box-office grosses. The filmmakers who are driven by story and character decisions and don’t come up with the strong marketable moments will have fewer films greenlit and those films will probably underperform in a system that’s designed around opening-weekend success. This is how the system encourages choosing marketing quality over film quality.

But back to the other piece of the puzzle for how people decide what movie to watch. When I say the “elements associated with the film” I generally mean the title, the concept, the genre, the director, the stars, and the property. These are the things that an audience knows about a film without seeing it. An audience doesn’t really know the storytelling quality of the film, except via out-of-context snippets presented in a trailer. It’s a rare film and a rare trailer that can express storytelling quality well, but it’s easy to tell people that Johnny Depp is in the movie and Tim Burton directed it. So when a film is made, the decision is usually driven by these elements and by the perceived ability to make strong marketing materials from the screenplay. Of course the quality of the script and the storytelling is a factor, but it’s not really a primary factor because what really matters commercially is can you get people to the theater on opening weekend, and that audience decision is driven by marketing.

So as an audience member and as a filmmaker, it frustrates me when I see scenes that exhibit sloppy storytelling in favor of moments that can work well in a trailer or TV commercial. In part these moments frustrate me because they are bad, but mostly they frustrate me because they are symptoms of a short-term thinking approach to filmmaking that I think is undermining the art form and undermining the audience’s goodwill towards movies. There are only so many times you can fool someone into watching a bad movie with good marketing before they decide to just stop watching movies and find an art form that they can enjoy and trust.

(If you want to read more of my Quora answers, you can follow me on Quora.)

Some Thoughts On 3D

rcjohnso:

The “debate” over 3D has become a polarized polemic, a one-dimensional (sorry) and mind numbingly boring exchange of “3D sucks” “no you suck” back and forths.  It gives “film vs. digital” a good run for the title of “discussion I’d most rather chew my own foot off than get sucked into on twitter.”  So why am I writing about it?  Because even as the debate has (sorry again) flattened, my feelings about stereoscopic photography have grown more complex and nuanced.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this.  I’m hardly an expert on the topic, technically or otherwise, but I’m setting down my current thoughts just to get them in order, and posting them for anyone who’s interested.  If even one foot chewing incident is prevented or delayed, I’ll be happy.

Read More

I highly recommend reading Rian Johnson’s thoughts on 3D. As someone who often instigates debates with Rian on Twitter about “2D vs. 3D” and “film vs. digital” I took special delight in reading a longform exploration of his views.

A few years ago, I think that Rian and I had diametrically opposed opinions with regards to stereoscopic 3D. I was a strong believer in the format, and I pushed for BATTLE FOR TERRA to be rendered and released in stereoscopic 3D.

So here’s the funny thing… Even though Rian and I each started with directly opposed opinions on stereoscopic 3D, we have ended up in almost exactly the same place. As Rian has been seduced by the potential of a future real 3D cinema, I have been let down by the fundamental problems in the current incarnation of 3D filmmaking.

At first I thought the problems of stereoscopic 3D were minor technical hurdles that could easily been polished away. I now realize that these hurdles are actually insurmountable roadblocks.

The simplest reason is that stereoscopic 3D asks our eyes to do something they have never been intended to do. We are asked to focus our individual eyes at one distance while our binocular vision is asked to converge on a different distance. To put this simply, if we are sitting 20 feet from the screen then our eyes will focus at 20 feet to keep the picture in focus. If something appears to come 5 feet out of the screen, then our binocular vision converges as if we’re looking at something 15 feet from us but our individual eyes still need to focus on the plane 20 feet away from us. This is something that we literally never ask our eyes to do at any other point of our lives.

So now, like Rian, I go out of my way to find 2D showings are for big 3D tentpole hits. I check out the occasional stereoscopic 3D film, but mostly out of technical curiosity. At this point, I know I’m much more likely to be absorbed by a movie if it’s on a big bright screen with loud sound, and the only glasses on my face are the ones with my prescription.

I believe in the potential of 3D filmmaking. I just think the optical illusion of stereoscopic 3D isn’t the way to get there. There is more to dimensionality than presenting each eye with a flat rendered image designed to fake stereopsis. There are just too many aspects of how we perceive and interact with dimension that can’t be fooled by the process we call stereoscopic 3D.

[Edited to add: @prairie_oysters let me know that Walter Murch made the same observation a few months ago in a letter to Roger Ebert. Of course, he words it better than I do.]