While James Cameron can be credited with bringing 3D back to the multiplex in a big way, leave it to guys like Martin Scorsese and Wim Wenders to truly push the boundaries of the format in 2011, proving that it can do more than just make expensive, special effects blockbusters look good. For Scorsese, "Hugo" was arguably far more immersive than anything in "Avatar," with every inch of each frame a wonder to look at. Meanwhile, Wenders used 3D as a dimension to capture the energy and power of dance in a way that has never been done before, and the director is heading back to the format for a brand new project that also promises to offer more than meets than eye.
With "Pina" hitting theaters this weekend, Wenders recently talked to the Documentary Channel and revealed he's already at work on a new non-fiction film. "I have actually already started a long-term project, another documentary in 3D. It will take several years, but it’s going to be about architecture," Wenders said. "I have always wanted to do a film about architecture, and I have a lot of architect friends. But that is another subject I never really knew how to approach with film. I realized through 'Pina' that architecture is something that could have a real affinity to this medium. We started shooting already, but it’s at the very, very beginning. That’s going to be my next documentary project in 3D, but I would definitely also do a narrative film in the future in 3D as well."
If this sounds vaguely familiar, you might remember that back in 2010 Wenders hit the Venice Architecture Biennale with the short 3D video installed "If These Walls Could Talk…" an exploration of the Rolex Learning Center in Switzerland pictured above (you can watch a shitty bootleg of that video below). But it's probably a safe guess that the short is a leaping-off point for this project in which Wenders hopes to further investigate modern architecture and how we interact with it.
"Most architects build this stuff and they already have 3D representation. They can enter a building before they even build it. But I think especially with modern architecture, to make a film that really deals with the sense of place and how it changes the way people use buildings and are shaped by cities and buildings, that could not really have been done before," Wenders explains. "To feel what the room does to you, that is something that you could describe almost better in words than in a two-dimensional film. It is really about a sense of place. That’s a feeling that many architects share with filmmakers and that’s a common thing the two professions have. I’m really excited to have this tool now that gives this sense of place, and so I am quite excited about my architecture project."
However, if Wenders will direct any other movie in the interim as he works on his architecture doc remains to be seen. His film project "Everything Will Be Fine" is still in development and has been for a while. It's a drama penned by Bjørn Olaf Johannessen about a man who hits a child while driving around after having an argument at home, and repercussions of that event on his life over the next twelve years. Wenders had also been attached to direct an adapation of Ryu Murakami's novel "In The Miso Soup" — about Japanese man giving an American a tour of the strip bars and sex clubs of Tokyo only to realize the man might be a murderer — but that seems to have fallen off the radar. It was originally planned to shoot in the spring of this year, but obviously, that didn't happen.
Still, we're fascinated to see where Wenders will take his camera for this untitled doc and architecture really is a great subject for 3D, so we're eager to see what he does with it now that he's already got one movie in the format under his belt (though we're not quite sure whatever happened to his 3D short film "Flight" starring Ben Gazzara).