"Dunkirk" in 70mm IMAX at the Langley theater
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|Written by: Scott Pickering,
70mm film. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev
"Dunkirk" in 70mm IMAX at the Langley theater here in BC Canada. This theater left its
70mm projector installed, on
rails, so it could be used whenever needed. The digital projector is usually
what they use, as the IMAX 70mm projector hasn’t been run since 2012. So its
been 5 years since they’ve shown a film print in this theater.
That said when it started, they showed a few previews of films that were mainly
shot on digital. I was hoping to see Branagh’s new release preview, but not in
this case did they show it. A quick IMAX logo was shown. Nothing to say this was
a 70mm release or anything as such. Not like digital where every time you watch
a movie, they have to exclaim you are watching digital projection. I thought
IMAX could of done some advertising here to proudly exclaim this was a 70mm
special showing. Nope.
On to the movie. I could tell right off the bat this was a film print we were
watching, because I noticed a few scratches on the print and flicker from
projection. Yup this was real film here. I notice flicker more now because
digital lacks that when shown.
I forgot how smooth IMAX film is on screen. And the detail mixed in with that.
Shots from air showing the water and beach areas for example were very detailed.
I didn’t care much for the hand held work in the film, as it was too jarring to
watch. But I understood why they shot it that way. IMAX works better when the
image is steady so you can actually see the detail in the shots.
Switching between 5 perf and 15 perf was more noticable, as the color and
contrast changed between formats. The 5 perf was contrastier and maybe a bit
darker then the 15 perf. I wonder if it was because of the extra optical dupes
between the two formats when showing 5 perf? I could see grain in the 5 perf
shots too. Funny as in days past when I’d watch 5 perf movies, I never notice
grain. But when "The
Hateful Eight" came out, all of a sudden I could see grain in 70mm
prints. I'm thinking its because they used 250D as their slowest film. 50D would
not do this.
Focus was also noticable, because of the shallow depth of field. A lot of shots
the DOF was so shallow, people went in and out of focus often. I understand why
as I get this when using my Pentax 6x7 film camera at times too. Such a large
format, its hard to retain DOF.
The movie itself was simple, yet good. It was over before you knew it. I applaud
Nolan for doing most of the movie in IMAX, as I don’t think any other directors
out there would shoot so much of their movie in the format. I would, but then
again I don’t make Hollywood movies. I wonder what Nolan has up his sleeve for
his next movie?
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