Friday, 18 February 2011

3-D and censorship (sorry, classification)

Just wanted to recommend a blog written by my fellow UEA colleague Daithí Mac Síthigh about the BBFC's problems with classifying 2-D and 3-D versions of the same film (you can find the original blog here:

It reminded me of a similar problem in the 1950s, when the Breen Office in America (and the BBFC in Britain) held meetings about the new technology, because what was apparently acceptable in 2-D might be 'highly revealing when seen in depth.' Their main issue appeared to be the representation of female figures and monstrous creatures in the 3-D films... and some of the same arguments appear to be coming round again now...

No 3-D for the Royal Wedding

The recent announcement that there would be no Sky 3-D cameras in Westminster Abbey for the royal wedding was met with absolutely no gnashing or wailing of teeth. Perhaps Sky had hoped the nation would rise up with one voice and demand to see the wedding bouquet thrown in full stereoscopic effect... but it didn't happen. There was barely a ripple of discontent, even from the most royal-loving of newspapers.

In one sense, however, it is a bit of a shame. Buckingham Palace should have reflected on their history of stereoscopic achievements:
1. Queen Victoria was one of the first stars of stereoscopic photographs (demonstrated at the Great Exhibition of 1851; Victoria was also one of the best-selling stereoscopic images through the 1860s and beyond);
2. Queen Elizabeth (the current one, so I or II, depending on whether you are Scottish or not) had her coronation filmed in 3-D, as well as a variety of 1953 visits (to the Derby for a flutter, to Edinburgh, and to the City of London) - released as Royal Review in 1953.
3. Princess Margaret had her own special 3-D glasses made for her ('American-style with gold frames, adjustable plastic nose-pads, and decorative slender ear-pieces' according to the Daily Mirror) when she went to see Kiss Me Kate in February 1954
4. The Queen's private cinema on board the royal yacht Britannia, was specially built so it could be converted to show 3-D films.

Sky may have been hoping for a similar embracing of 3-D technology in 2011, but it wasn't to be...