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Brood with Hollywood's finest in VR film noir

Heartbreak, murder, and shady deals galore.
Nick Summers, @nisummers
December 9, 2016
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As part of a magazine celebrating this year's best actors, the New York Times has put together a murky, monochromatic set of film noir vignettes. The kicker? They were all shot in 360 degrees, giving you complete freedom over the camera angle. You're also a participant of sorts -- a mute character, watching as Hollywood's brightest stars talk to you in flowery, cryptic tones. (The conversations are rather one-sided, of course.) In each video, you take on a different role -- a bartender, a reporter, or a cheating husband, for instance -- and get just a couple of minutes to piece together what's been happening. They're all short, but powerful scenes.

You can watch all nine videos online or in virtual reality using the New York Times "NYT VR" app. They're definitely worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of the newspaper's chosen actors. Over the course of the series you'll pour a drink for Don Cheadle, be dumped by Natalie Portman and take a bullet from Ruth Negga. My favorite scene, however, is a tense shootout between Kristen Stewart and some police officers. She bursts through the bar door like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, while you're left on the floor, watching the scene play out helplessly. Gripping stuff.

If you like the project, I also recommend watching this behind the scenes video. It delves deeper into the set and thought process behind each piece.

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