Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. France/Portugal, 2013. Fundação Cidade de Guimarães. Screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard, Peter Greenaway, Edgar Pera. Cinematography by Luis Branquinho, Reinier van rummelen. Produced by Rodrigo Areias. Production Design by Ricardo Preto. Costume Design by Susana Abreu. Film Editing by Raphael Lefevre, Elmer Leupen.
Three short films by three filmmakers making their way into the world of 3D storytelling, commissioned by a Portuguese arts council and resulting in three very different experiences. The first and best, Just In Time, is by Peter Greenaway, a triptych through Portuguese cultural history that employs gorgeous imagery and maxes out the possibilities of the technology for an eye-popping experience. The pictures are amplified by on-screen text for a mind-boggling virtual reality museum tour that you can barely keep up with, but it’s dazzling to enjoy. Following that is the worst of the three, Edgar Pera’s Cinemasapiens, an overdrawn caprice on the nature of dedicated cineastes that uses unintelligent visuals and is too long in delivering its message. Jean-Luc Godard’s The Three Disasters provides the conclusion with, what else, a collage of imagery involving his own films, other classics and some new footage that switches back and forth between three and two dimensions and, in his familiar self-referential way, makes the 3D camera the star of the show. The whole thing barely crosses the hour mark and so can’t feel like a waste of time at so short a length, but the effect of the three films combined is undeniably uneven.