Sunday, January 6, 2013

Highest Definition

I recently saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), by Peter Jackson, who shot the movie at 48 frames per second rather than the typical 24.

High Definition. Crystal Clear.  Focus so sharp, it cuts.

It seems that more and more, the public is wanting to view movies, television, and video in the highest definition possible.

We gain a lot by viewing things in HD: vibrancy, clarity, beauty.

But there is something in me that is bothered by this idea that cleaner and clearer is automatically better.

I want to know what it was like before eyeglasses were invented, when you had to do the best you could with the eyes you had.  How much ambiguity was in the world back then?

Our eyes are limited in the kind of information they can provide us.

But isn't that what makes us human? Limitations?

I question how far we should go to make our art transcend the human body it originates from.

When I go to a movie, I want to be enveloped in the story like I was there with the characters when it was shot.  I want to have a shared experience with the film.

If the film looks better than how I see things in the real world, there is a disconnect.

Is it possible for a picture to be too perfect, too slick, overproduced?

When I paint, sometimes I want to hide the brushstrokes.  To make it smooth.  Then I realize that if I don't want to see brushstrokes, I shouldn't be painting with a brush.

Our hands can only do so much with the tools they are given. 

But isn't that what makes us human?


1 comment:

  1. I've heard people say animals submit to limitations and what makes us human and not animal is our ability to overcome limitations. I'm not saying I agree, just a differing opinion. I personally need to feel that disconnect with film [i.e. seeing the artifice of film whether it be 24fps or stylized color or black and white or bad acting]. The fact that film provides and alternate reality or respite from our "Real world" is what makes its power so potent. In an alternate reality we can let our mind wander past the limitations our world allows us. But perhaps the fact that film is more visually and auditorally clear and sharp than our own real world today...perhaps that could be the new exposed artifice, the brush stroke so to speak, future generations will look to and realize they have left reality.

    -rob fatal