Dunkirk

Dunkirk ★★★★★

ROUND 2 - IMAX 70mm

Even better a second time. Have a lot of thoughts on this one - the benefit of watching it a second time is that knowing the story, you can pay more attention to the technicals. And the key thing really is - what's the difference between seeing it on a regular screen and then on full height 1.43:1 IMAX?

The IMAX - obviously it goes without saying, for me it was the superior experience. But truth is, if anything they are *different* experiences. With IMAX you get what's essentially the 'missing piece' which is the viscerality of it all. Every shot, every shelling, every tick, every wave crash, every explosion - you feel it here. Dialogue is harder to hear - obviously intentional, given the regular 70mm DTS mix has it clearer and more pronounced - but that's in service to the viscerality.

Which then brings me to - what do you then lose, exactly in a regular theatre presentation (be it 70mm, 35mm or DCP)? Truth is, you don't lose anything at all. It's impressive looking back how the 2.20 crop was achieved on IMAX footage that uses way more of the actual height of the frame than Nolan's previous films, yet in the crop you don't lose vital info. The only thing you lose is that viscerality I mentioned. Whether or not this is vital to your experience of the film is down to you. For people who didn't connect with the story structure/lack of fleshed out characters, this may be the missing piece because it puts *you* into it. To expand on Nolan's VR analogy - IMAX 70mm is essentially wearing the headset, the 2.20 version is that YouTube 360 video you watch on your browser. You're watching the events through a window in 2.20, in 1.43 on a giant IMAX you're all but physically there. Now, and I should emphasize this, it's still a fantastic film when viewed in non IMAX formats. I connected to everything Nolan was trying to attempt. The structure, the story, comes under more scrutiny without that visceral factor and not everyone in the general audience will connect to it as some reactions I see suggest. But more nuanced viewers likely won't need the IMAX to enjoy and be blown away by this.

The score - I'm now even more curious how the album will handle it. I listened to Supermarine a fair number of times after last week, so I had it fairly fresh in mind...but the sound editors don't present anything as you hear on the album. Take Supermarine - that 8 minute track is sped up, slowed down, chopped and pasted all throughout the entire runtime. Listening to it on its own is probably like - an an analogy - watching The Air sections of the film as one without intercutting to The Mole and The Sea. I'd imagine the rest of the score is similar in this way in terms of how the album will present it. All in all, @Yourfavoratemusic is gonna have a hell of a job putting together a 'film version' mix when the time comes!

The projection - there's a reason those IMAX GT 70mm projectors are the best. On a beautifully fresh print, the *stability*, the colours, the detail. It's like watching digital if digital was 18K - zero qualms with the presentation. Regular 70mm offers a bit of unpredictability - the colours are a tad different, there's a bit more judder....it's more romantic, if that makes sense. I sensed it when seeing Interstellar in the format (and The Lost City Of Z in 35mm) and was kinda blown away by how 'imperfect' it was, and those imperfections have a charm. But IMAX 70mm - Solid. As. A. Rock. It's film projection at its absolute finest.

Now, bring on round 3 (again in IMAX 70mm) on Friday morning, where I just sit back and take it all in as is...