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Watch the Upcoming WWII Movie 'Dunkirk' on 70mm Film

Posted on Thursday, July 6th, 2017 2:48 PM

Movie Artwork

Director Christopher Nolan is bringing the World War II movie, Dunkirk, to theaters on July 21, 2017, and moviegoers in select areas will have the chance to see the movie on 70mm film instead of via Digital Cinema Projection systems, which are now commonplace in the industry.

The movie was created using large-format 70mm IMAX and 65mm film cameras, of which Nolan is a big fan. He has previously created portions of previous movies with the cameras, such as The Dark Knight, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises, and Interstellar, and he's a big proponent of showing movies with film instead of digital projectors.

“I have been a longtime proponent of film – particularly the IMAX film format – as a storytelling medium,” said Christopher Nolan. “The immersive quality of the image is second to none, drawing the audience into the action in the most intense way possible.”

As such, each of the movies he's made with the format has enjoyed at least a limited release on 70mm or IMAX film. (IMAX is converting all its cinemas to digital equipment, so the benefits of 70mm are no longer guaranteed when you attend an IMAX presentation) According to the press release issued recently by Warner Bros. Pictures, this release of Dunkirk in 70mm will be the widest release of a movie in 70mm in 25 years (that was Far and Away).

Why This is Important

Why is this a big deal? It comes down to picture quality.

Assuming that both formats are presented to the best of their potential, a 70mm film presentation is going to have better quality than even the best digital presentation. Whereas the best digital presentation (4K) has a resolution of 4096 × 2160 (2,160 lines), the effective resolution of 70mm film is somewhere between 12,000 and 18,000 lines. There are many factors which make a precise apples-to-apples comparison difficult, but rest assured that 70mm film is capable of a much better picture, which allows it to be shown on much larger screens as well. Bringing that quality to the screen is up to the theater, though, so choose wisely (and ask questions if you have multiple theaters from which to choose)!

Showtimes and Tickets

Electronic Ticketing GraphicBecause of the limited nature of this release, you're going to want to buy your tickets in advance. Click the links below to go to the Showtimes page for opening day and find a theater near you!

Dunkirk is the story of the legendary evacuation of a northern French city during WWII. The movie opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in. It stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, and Fionn Whitehead.

For more information about the movie, take a look at the Movie Information page for Dunkirk, as well as the Trailers & Videos page, where you can get a good impression of the movie.

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