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Anamorphic Weekend in London

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Mark Lyndon. Photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 01.08.2017
A very friendly, welcoming and generous gentleman, in the person of Gyuri Blaskovics, a great ambassador for the Odeon organisation

Only four cinemas in Europe are exhibiting Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" in IMAX 70mm. Only the IMAX 70mm system in full 1.43 aspect ratio does full justice to Nolan's mighty masterpiece in our time. The composition of the imagery of Dunkirk is in the league of the greatest Works of Art depicting the most appalling and destructive of all human activities. Witness Goya's Defenders of Madrid and Picasso's Guernica. The resolution and definition offered by 70mm IMAX film is way beyond any other means of exhibition. Nothing comes close. Moreover, multiple viewings are very important to gain a full appreciation and understanding of the Chef d'Oeuvre that is Dunkirk.

And so the Pilgrim returns, oftentimes to travel great distances to bear witness to what is surely a great spiritual as well as artistic experience. One such Pilgrim was our own editor, Thomas Hauerslev, who traveled from Copenhagen to London to bear witness. As a pilgrim, albeit one residing within ten minutes walk of The BFI IMAX, it was a pleasure to host a fellow pilgrim. Like Chaucer's pilgrims before us, we were based in Southwark. We were sustained throughout by my dear wife Margaret's culinary skills. The Full Maestro Breakfast, a delicious repast inspired by Maestro Carl Davis, which consisted of organic jumbo oats, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and prunes kept us regular as clockwork. We squeezed as much as we could into those few days - an Anamorphic Weekend, as it were.
More in 70mm reading:

A Brief History of Wartime

Gallery: "Dunkirk" in London, 29th, July 2017

"Dunkirk" Production Notes

"Dunkirk" in the splendour of 7OMM

Interstellaring in London

Internet link:

The BFI London IMAX projectionists Michael Ford (left) and Caesar, who kindly offered tea.

First, we walked all the way to The Odeon Leicester Square, the most prestigious cinema venue in theatreland. There we met a very friendly, welcoming and generous gentleman, in the person of Gyuri Blaskovics, a great ambassador for the Odeon organisation. He gave us both a much sought after souvenir, in the form of a strip of "Dunkirk" in 70mm, naturally.

Next a tour of bookshop land, nearby, then back across the Thames, where we were royally received in the the projection room of The BFI London IMAX by projectionists Michael Ford and Caesar, and offered tea. They are very enthusiastic and warmly welcome fellow enthusiasts. A former projectionist and his wife were fellow visitors. Again, we did not leave empty handed with gifts of clips of IMAX 70mm film, as rare as hen's teeth. The BFI IMAX screen is the greatest in the land measuring 20 by 26 metres, a great canvas for the greatness to come.

Then in the IMAX auditorium, we experienced Dunkirk
We were the luckiest 70mm aficionados alive in being hosted by yet another generous chief projectionist in Matthew Raymond at the Science Museum.

The London Science Museum IMAX is one of the big four in Europe to screen "Dunkirk" in its full glory. We were the luckiest 70mm aficionados alive in being hosted by yet another generous chief projectionist in Matthew Raymond. IMAX projectionists work incredibly hard as well as being wonderful hosts. Again, we left with a very precious gift, another clip of IMAX film.

Having walked what seemed like a thousand miles, it was back to our Southwark base for a gala dinner of steak and salad. And so to bed. A genius, according to the German philosopher Schopenhauer, is one who can hit targets that other people cannot see. The race against time has been a staple of feature films from the earliest beginnings of cinema. With "Inception", "Interstellar" and "Dunkirk", Nolan has taken it to heights undreamt before.

Following our Full Maestro on Sunday morning, we were up against our own race against time. Thomas attended the 10:00 BFI IMAX 70mm screening and I attended the screening at 3:30 that afternoon. It was well worth it. The miracle of Christopher Nolan's "DUNKIRK" is that it becomes even more miraculous with each subsequent viewing.

• Gallery: "Dunkirk" in London, 29th, July 2017
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Updated 07-01-23