Martin Scorsese's Hugo
Martin Scorsese's Hugo

Yet all four films, excluding perhaps Pina at times, function just fine in two dimensions, making what came of the technology less crucial than what the technology inspired (which can't be said for, say, Shark Night 3D). Each film feels like a reboot, like an unlikely renewal. Each is motivated by possibility, by wonder, by forms and effects unknown; each is a kind of adventure film. With the movie business as conservative and risk-averse as ever (or at least since 3-D was last a thing), it's gratifying to see these four directors — decorated vets who could easily rest on their good names or retire — spend Hollywood coin on passion projects. Even as the industry wrestles with anxieties old and new, they show how film can still revive itself and take us somewhere new.

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