Monday, March 30, 2015
The 3D Film Archive--Keeping 3D Movie History Alive
For 3D film fans like me, the last few years have provided a mixture of good news and bad news. The good news is that 3D technology has become so commonplace that watching high-quality, on-demand 3D content on TV is possible. The bad news is that most of the 3D movies that were made prior to the recent 3D boom--namely, 3D films that were made between the 1950s and '80s--are not available on Blu-ray. Thankfully, a group known as the 3D Film Archive is working to change that by restoring and releasing 3D films from yesteryear for your home viewing pleasure.
The 3D Film Archive itself has been around for quite some time, but it has only recently entered the Blu-ray business. It was founded back in 1990 by 3D film fanatic Bob Furmanek, who has spent decades tracking down studio files, laboratory records and film prints of both popular and obscure 3D films. To date, the 3D Film Archive played a vital role in ensuring the release of older 3D films on Blu-ray, films such as Dragonfly Squadron (1954), The Bubble (1966), and Kiss Me Kate (1953). Upcoming releases include Gog (1954), The Mask (1961) and 3D Rarities, an extensive compilation of obscure 3D film shorts that date back as far as 1922.
Of course, not all of the older 3D films are classics. I recently watched The Bubble and while its 3D effects are amazing, the film itself is very weak. It appeared that the film's limited budget went almost exclusively to its 3D photography; as such, it felt jarring to watch such astonishing 3D effects in such a hokey movie, especially after watching so many newer 3D films that had blockbuster production budgets. Regardless, I'm thankful that the 3D Film Archive is doing what it can to show film buffs the evolution of 3D cinema--warts and all--during the 20th century.
Click here to check out the 3D Film Archive and its detailed articles about the golden age of 3D entertainment.