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How Jean-Luc Godard Broke 3D

LACMA's "3D: Double Vision" is a sprawling mix of art, technology, pop culture, and film. With so many moving parts, it's easy to miss the most radically innovative work in the show: a short sequence from Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language (2014).

Even if you don't care for French New Wave auteurs, you need to experience this, a 3D effect beyond all Hollywood imagineering. As film critic E. Oliver Whitney put it, "The moment is so innovative and unusual that Godard and his cinematographer, Fabrice Aragno, didn’t even have a name for it (Aragno has referred to the shot as “separation,” for lack of a better term)."

At LACMA the audience, already primed with the monuments of normcore 3D, were gobsmacked. There was a titter of nervous laughter—a gasp of awe. What the fuck just happened???

The Godard clip is part of a continuously running, greatest-hits reel of cinematic 3D effects, presented in a darkened gallery/theater. Thus you have to put on pol…

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