The New York Times has produced a special VR-based video package as part of its annual Great Performers series. In addition to showcasing stellar performances from the likes of Ruth Negga, Don Cheadle, and Trevante Rhodes, it has a greater gift to bear. You, too, can know what it feels like to be dumped by Natalie Portman.
The collection, which includes nine film noir-themed shorts, is helmed by filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees, Love & Basketball). Filmed from the first-person perspective, each short gives its viewer a unique role — you are the fiancé, cheating husband, killer, and so on. Although The New York Times dubs it a VR experience, you can also watch in a browser. The camera offers a 360 view of the room, so you can slide your perspective in real-time to watch the bite-sized stories play out.
In the past, the Great Performers series has given viewers stage-set ways to see their favorite actors, like last year’s “Take Flight” theme, which saw performers floating away or flying through the air, or 2014’s smooch heavy videos, “Kisses.” Perhaps the best thing about this latest series is how much it involves the viewer, inviting them into each scene in a way the series hasn’t in the past.
As for my friend Natalie: I think a simple “It’s not working out” would have gotten the message across, instead of all that talk about there being no happy ending for us, but at least she was kinder than Kristen Stewart. Strong choice on that murder angle, Kristen.