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What 3D movies really need are more dance numbers.

What 3D movies really need are more dance numbers. (photo)

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Good news, technology boosters and fans of progressive cinema: the UK has finally stopped paying attention to trifling matters like who’s in charge of the country and gotten around to producing their first 3D film.

If even the title “Streetdance 3D” sounds suspiciously like the upcoming “Step Up 3-D,” well… watching the trailer below won’t disabuse you from that notion. They just got the number in on the first try. (Another original American music product co-opted by our villainous ex-colonial masters!)

It’s not terribly surprising that the British film industry — which doesn’t have nearly as much money to throw around as Hollywood — would take this long to produce a 3D film. 3D is fast becoming the industrial standard for mega-expensive blockbusters — something confirmed by the bizarre fact that a Tim Burton film has now made $1 billion — but the UK isn’t in the business of producing such films.

Putting aside ’70s porno novelties like “Disco Dolls in Hot Skin”, there were basically three main 3D waves, the latest of those three being the one we’re currently in the middle of. In the ’50s, like now, 3D films were attempted both by the respectable, like Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder,” and the not-so-much, like “Bwana Devil” with Robert Stack:

Eventually it stalled out. In the ’80s, by contrast, it was always and forever a gimmick, which is why it didn’t prosper; a gimmick is a novelty until it’s not. The stakes were lower, the budgets and revenues not so extreme.

An effort like “Streetdance 3D” owes more to a ’50s 3D musical like “Kiss Me Kate” than anything — it acknowledges that 3D is excellent for stuff that’s kinetic and distracting otherwise, no matter what James Cameron has to say about it.

05282010_rampling.jpgSo far, the best 3D efforts have been the ones that acknowledge that you don’t really need all that space and depth unless you are a) in balletic motion of some kind (“Avatar”) b) showcasing the artificial depth and details of a world conceived with 3D in mind (“Coraline” and “Avatar” again, the two best of the bunch thus far).

Until someone makes history with a stellar 3D narrative in which the visuals are inextricable from the story, each 3D movie will have to find its own visual rationale. Something like the UK’s “first 3D movie” is just another blip on the radar, though our gimmicky dance/3D movies don’t generally include thespians the caliber of Charlotte Rampling, one of “Streetdance 3D”‘s stars. Paging Julia Stiles.

[Photos: “Streetdance 3D,” Vertigo Films, 2010]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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