By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
I’ve said it before. Even though IMAX is impressive, 70mm is my all time favorite film format. There’s just something about the color, the grain, and the sound. So when I heard that Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK was going to be released nation wide in 70mm, I got totally stoked.
If you’re not privy to the true story that Nolan’s Dunkirk is based on, it’s the story of the British Expeditionary Force who was trapped in the Belgian city of Dunkirk with their backs to the sea while the German blitzkrieg was bearing down on them. With nearly a half million troops stranded on the beaches with no where to fun, and short on ammunition to defend themselves, they were trapped. Then came help from Great Britain from an unlikely source, thousands of small boats from civilian boatsmen who volunteered for a rescue operation. It’s a thrilling tale that I can wait to see on the large screen.
Ironically, director Christopher Nolan and his cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema, shot about three quarters of the film on IMAX thanks to their 65mm camera and Panavision large format lenses. But that’s OK because it’s close enough for me. And It apparently has come out so well, that the studio has decided to release it in 70mm in 125 theaters across the US, which makes it the widest release in the film format in over 25 years.
But while Nolan wanted to go wide in scope, he was also cognizant of the reality that being a war film, much of the action scenes would be shot handheld to give it a more kinetic feel. So Hotema did something that few cinematographers would even try … he shot many of the scenes hand-held with that huge IMAX 65mm camera.
“Hoyte hand-held the [IMAX] camera for a few sections of Interstellar very effectively,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly, “and then on this, I had to break the news to him that he was going to be doing it for a massive amount of the film. We could get on a small boat with a number of characters and just shoot IMAX as if we were shooting with a GoPro.”
Dunkirk’s Format Guide, courtesy of Warner Bros
The last feature to go big for it’s presentation was Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which he shot on Panavision 70mm cameras and some extremely vintage anamorphic lenses. With the huge format, and the nature of shooting 2.76-1, Tarantino would have to find theaters that could accommodate the format. Even going so far as convincing theaters to spend upwards of $8 million to put 70mm projectors in so they could show it.
So Nolan’s Dunkirk can take advantage of that with a huge nation wide release, and Warner Brothers is putting their considerable clout in making sure people can see it as Nolan envisioned it. But where can you see it and how?
Fortunately, Warner Bros has created a comprehensive list of the theaters all around the country which will carry the film and in it’s various formats, which include IMAX, straight 70mm, and Wide Screen DCP.
You can find a 70mm theater near you by going to Dunkirk’s official website here.
I can’t wait.