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In January of 2010 I was employed in some form of management at a New Zealand movie theatre and had all sorts of (painfully) hilarious interactions with the movie-going public.  It was the time of Avatar, if you cast your mind back, and in trolling through The Crypt I discovered this gem of a post:   

 
Why Customers Are Always Wrong Part 1001

"You know, only here would Avatar in 3D be big news. Because back in America they're showing it right, the way it was meant to be. In 4D. All screenings of Avatar there are in 4D."

 

In order to show a movie in 4D you would have to somehow harness the ability to add an extra spatial dimension to the projected image on a screen in a theatre housed in a 3D world.  I am not a physicist or scientist by any means but let me remind you all that we live in a 3D world.  Life: now in 3D!  And you don't even need special glasses to experience it.  And yet a filmed image of what amounts to 3D actors in a 3D fantasy will somehow be able to achieve more dimensionality than reality?

Certain films are marketed as 4D because Hollywood is nothing if not completely rational and over-fond of hyperbole.  These so-called 4D films add an 'extra dimension' to your viewing experience by splashing rain on you during rainy scenes or shaking your seat during earthquake-y scenes.  You know, like those rides you go on where you watch a 3D movie while the entire theatre bucks and dives and wafts scent over you with Smell-O-Vision.  But that's a Hollywood thing, my friends, and not a realistic representation of what an actual spatial fourth dimension would be like.  It would, I imagine, be a lot more like The Twilight Zone and a lot less like canned water and artificial floral scent being thrown at you on command.

Upon further reading through The Crypt I discovered that the above post was more or less the direct inverse of this post:

Customer: Is Avatar in 3D here?
Manager: No. It's in 2D.
Customer: What's 2D?
Manager: 2D is a normal film.
Customer: Okay. So can I ask you something I've always wondered?
Manager: Sure.
Customer: If 3D is the glasses and 2D is normal, what's 1D?
Manager: /pause/ There is no 1D.
 

Full confession: the role of 'Manager' was played by me.

The person genuinely wanted to know, in an additional conversation, why we didn't ever show films in 1D.  A single dimension can exist - it's like a single bead on a fixed span of string; it can move forward and back but you only need one measurement to figure out where the bead is located, length.  I can't imagine how films would be shown in a single dimension, however.  Or be filmed at all in a single dimension.  Especially considering that the life being filmed is necessarily in three dimensions.  Well, there is only one dimension of time.  So in theory a film that contained no actual film or image but consumed time might be considered a 1D film?  The mind - it boggles!

As a side note, may I suggest that if you want to learn more about 1D you don't just type that into Google?  Don't say I didn't warn you. 

And now that I have dragged you down the rabbithole of nostalgic dimensionality we finally come to the conclusion that I have no point.  This is a post without purpose.  In effect, this post is one dimension.  (That dimension being time - do try to keep up.)

"I've just sucked one year of your life away. I might one day go as high as five, but I really don't know what that would do to you. So, let's just start with what we have. What did this do to you? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?"

Don't try to fight it.  I control the horizontal and the vertical, man. 

 

- Corinne Simpson