Let us then suppose that a director had the know-how to add the third dimension to Citizen Kane. Imagine this way, as three-dimensional, the imposing introduction of the film featuring views of the Kane Castle, let us imagine the scenes from his childhood years, or of his journalism years, and all the other, to the end, to the recording of his assets and the seal of his secret into the flames that suggest as a tragedy every human life. What a life all of that would gain! Where we had just an illustrated surface, suddenly there appears a deep vivid reality, and we come to get our own position right there, rather than being divided by the distance of our seats.
If cinema does not want to represent or reconstruct or even create out of nothing the reality as such, except to the extent that realilty would be useful to art, in order for art to explore and (under whatever conditions) communicate the meaning of reality, then the three dimensions are an obstacle precisely to the degree that give to artificial existence a plausibility comparable to the physical existence. When I see the glass sphere, where the house of Kane is adorned with the white openness of his childhood, the absence of the third dimension removes distractions from my thinking allowing me to concentrate on meaning. The intensity of even the most basic realities prevents the three-dimensional display from functioning symbolically.
What appears and is a weakness, when we ask for a share in reality, to be here and the events far away, as objects to our observation, that same thing is a strength for a cinema that serves meaning. Of course, the living existence is assumed before everything, but the art of meaning relies upon our personal life, it does not unnecessarily doubles this life, but it wants to unite it symbolically and interpret it. If we were able only for immediacy, we would exist like animals, with small memory, without comparing, without overlays, without purposes, without ideals, without remorse and repentance, without hope, teaching, reduction… Precisely because the living existence drags us forcefully, we have in art a selfrestraint and circumspection.
Ancient Greeks, who were obliged in their theater to use the third dimension, because there was no way for them to remove it, took care with the masks to turn the eye away from the third dimension and close to the meaning itself, which is one among the reasons that our theater never exceeded their achievements, left, as it was created, in the third dimension. For the same reason the nature of existence will be better understood in a painting and not in a statue, as is evident by the Byzantine icon, but also by the superiority, from this aspect, of modern painting compared to the (newer or ancient) sculpture. For these reasons, I say that the future of cinema as an art of meaning is not in the three-dimensional technique, but only (perhaps) the future of cinema as entertainment or documentary.