Roger Ebert's Proof 3D TV 'Doesn't Work With Our Brains'

Roger Ebert's Proof 3D TV 'Doesn't Work With Our Brains'

In a new blog post written for the for the Chicago Sun-Times, film critic Roger Ebert, who has railed against 3D movies and television, offers up what he says is proof that the technology "doesn't work with our brains and it never will."

Ebert came to this conclusion after reading a personal letter from Academy Award-winning film editor and sound designer Walter Murch, another critic of 3D technology. Murch's letter argues that the problem with 3D is evolutionary. Our eyes and our brain, he writes, simply cannot keep up.

From Murch's letter:

The biggest problem with 3D [...] is the "convergence/focus" issue. [...] [T]he audience must focus their eyes at the plane of the screen -- say it is 80 feet away. This is constant no matter what.[...] But their eyes must converge at perhaps 10 feet away, then 60 feet, then 120 feet, and so on, depending on what the illusion is. So 3D films require us to focus at one distance and converge at another. And 600 million years of evolution has never presented this problem before. All living things with eyes have always focussed and converged at the same point.

So the "CPU" of our perceptual brain has to work extra hard, which is why after 20 minutes or so [of watching a 3D movie] many people get headaches. They are doing something that 600 million years of evolution never prepared them for. This is a deep problem, which no amount of technical tweaking can fix. Nothing will fix it short of producing true "holographic" images.

In Ebert's opinion, Murch's letter proves that 3D is a failed experiment. "It doesn't work with our brains and it never will," Ebert concluded after reading the letter. "The notion that we are asked to pay a premium to witness an inferior and inherently brain-confusing image is outrageous. The case is closed."

Ebert's harsh stance against 3D films is well documented. Last year, he posted a tweet calling the technology "a distracting, annoying, anti-realistic, juvenile abomination to use as an excuse for higher prices." Two months later, he penned a Newsweek op-ed entitled "Why I Hate 3D (And You Should Too)."

To read Ebert's entire blog post, including Walter Murch's complete letter, visit the Chicago Sun-Times.

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