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Posted at 3:32 PM ET, 01/10/2011

The Great Gatsby in 3D? Yes, please!

By Alexandra Petri

There are rumors that Baz Luhrmann is thinking of filming his movie version of the Fitzgerald classic The Great Gatsby -- starring Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Tobey Maguire -- in 3D!

This is a great idea!

I want to feel like that green light is not on the end of Daisy's dock, but physically in the theater with me. If I don't feel like the Roaring Twenties are roaring at me, I will not have gotten my money's worth. I want to be able to literally feel those beautiful shirts. I want to feel like I am there with those beautiful shirts.

I want to be able to reach out and touch those boats against the current being borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Sitting in English class reading The Great Gatsby, the lack of 3D always struck me as the biggest problem with the book. "I just feel like the characters aren't three-dimensional," I would complain. "I mean, they are very real and I understand them well as people, but I don't feel like they are about to leap out of the screen and attack me. I feel the same about the Cherry Orchard."

I just hope the other dimension is "wistfulness."

Still, seeing Great Gatsby in 3D would be like auditing a cocktail party. Do you want to feel like you're at a great party? Really, actually, literally there? Try making some actual friends.

This is like making Waiting for Godot in 3D so you can actually feel Godot's absence. Or doing The Sound and the Fury in 3D, so you can feel like you might be hit by a golf ball or the spectre of the Lost Cause at any minute. Or doing Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time in smell-o-vision so you can get a whiff of the madeleines. Or maybe the Scarlet Letter, and the extra dimension is shame.

I would say that this is as bad an idea as making an adaptation of Gulliver's Travels starring Jack Black, but apparently this has actually happened.

So I can picture the reviews now: "The 3D was so fabulous, I felt like Nick accidentally poked me in the eye with a cigarette holder." "The 3D was so good, I felt the vague sexual tension between the narrator and Gatsby like it was IN the ROOM with me." "Meyer Wolfsheim literally hit me with one of his molar cufflinks."

But they actually have a point.

Usually, 3D is reserved for things that I don't actively want to experience. Visiting an alien planet in the body of Sam Worthington? I'd rather not. Interacting with giant toys and dinosaurs? I'll pass. Living the high life in fabulous 1920's East Egg? Sign me up!

Maybe they should do it in CGI, while they're at it. After all, everything is supposed to be sort of hollow and lifeless. And they'd better put some 3D glasses on Dr. Eckleburg's eyes.

By Alexandra Petri  | January 10, 2011; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  Petri, That's awkward, Worst Things Ever  | Tags:  art, books, bow ties, oops  
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Comments

Thank you! When I learned that Baz was directing Gatsby I thought it could either go the way of Romeo + Juliet (fantastic) or Moulin Rouge (horrid). With each new development, it seems to be going in the direction of Moulin Rouge. I grow more fearful every day.

(Moulin Rouge lovers come and get me.)

Posted by: AimeeLaFountain | January 10, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Thank you! When I learned that Baz was directing Gatsby I thought it could either go the way of Romeo + Juliet (fantastic) or Moulin Rouge (horrid). With each new development, it seems to be going in the direction of Moulin Rouge. I grow more fearful every day.

(Moulin Rouge lovers come and get me.)

Posted by: AimeeLaFountain | January 10, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

What thoroughness! What realism!

Posted by: josephgildred | January 10, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

3D Gatsby? I say don't try it till you knock it.

Like any special effect, 3D may take some time for film makers to learn how to use it. The tendency is to overdo new effects at first. But I'm reserving judgment until I actually see more movies in 3D.

A large part of the back of our brains is devoted to decoding spatial information. In fact, we have 2 eyes facing forward so we can judge distances. Why waste all this brain and eye power by watching flat movies?

I like the future. I'm in it. Join me!

Posted by: divtune | January 10, 2011 7:09 PM | Report abuse

no

Posted by: josephgildred | January 10, 2011 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Stop trolling, James Cameron!

Posted by: josephgildred | January 10, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

josephgildred wrote: "no" - "Stop trolling, James Cameron!"
===
Oops, you caught me, Andy Rooney!

James

Posted by: divtune | January 10, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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