Recently Flicker Alley and the 3D Film Archive teamed up to release a rather unique collection of clips, trailers, and film shorts of really old and really rare 3D footage. Some of it going back as far as 1922!
3D Rarities is a two and a half hour collection of rare 3D footage that’s a treat for fans of history, film buffs, and/or those who just dig 3D. There’s a ton of clips starting with some footage from 1922, to the 1940 World’s Fair, to some trailers and shorts from the 1950s.
Overall the quality of these 3D images are pretty amazing and a lot of effort went into preservation and restoration of the images and it was well worth it. There are a few issues with the 3D at times, but it couldn’t be helped because it was due to damaged film. Overall, the depth and immersion of many of the images is simply fantastic and much better than what passes as most 3D these days. This old footage goes to show that simply having a real 3D camera doing the work is the best way to film 3D.
3D Rarities comes with a booklet that explains what each clip is as well as offering further details like trivia and noting at times when the footage was acquired. It’s a really great companion for the blu ray.
The best footage includes the stop motion building of a Plymouth car (remember them?) from 1940 and it’s a lot more fun than it sounds. There’s a Casper the Ghost cartoon that kind of looks like a pop up book in animated form. One of the surprising bits is a burlesque act featuring two comedians who are pretty funny in a bawdy way and it makes this disc fairly not safe for kids. Another interesting film short is about the testing of an atomic bomb and it’s very possible it was suppressed at the time, because it’s pretty anti-atomic bomb testing.
Another great clip is a commercial for a 3D camera lens for 16mm movie cameras. It features footage from around the world at the time, underwater footage, and even some pretty women. According to the book the camera cost over a thousand dollars at the time, so it makes sense why there isn’t an overabundance of home movie footage from the 40s in 3D.
One of the best things is some pages from 3D comics that are included in the bonus section. If you’ve ever seen a 3D comic they kind of suck since they use the blue/red glasses. The makers of this disc converted them for a modern 3D TV and they look amazing. I’m really hoping that more of these things become available.
There are a few bits here and there that I wasn’t entirely interested in, however everything included is worthwhile from a historical perspective.
The Final Judgement
This is a great disc for fans of film history and it’s even better for 3D fans. If you have a 3D TV and are interested in film history, you really have to pick up 3D Rarities.