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rare female film critic | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Can a movie look “too real”?

Hobbit An Unexpected Journey Martin Freeman

By now, perhaps, many of you have seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey… and perhaps some of you have seen it in the 48 frames-per-second version (also known as HFR, or high frame rate). There have been complaints that HFR — which delivers a far crisper image than we’ve ever seen in cinema before — makes everything look “too real”: it certainly does lend the impression, in places, that you’re looking not at a simulated image but through a window into a place that actually exists. But is this a problem?
Can a movie look “too real”? Does this matter more when the movie setting is a purely fantastical, invented one? Or is there an overall essence to the idea of The Movies, even if the setting isn’t fantastical, that demands a feeling of unreality?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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