Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’, which follows the theoretical physicist who oversaw the development of first atomic bomb during World War II and stars Cillian Murphy, Emily Blunt, Robert Downey, Jr., Matt Damon, Rami Malek, and Florence Pugh has been released.
Shot on large format film stock on IMAX and Panavision 65mm film cameras, which are among the highest resolution film movie cameras that exist, the film is projected in 70mm and scenes shot with IMAX film cameras will expand vertically to fill the entire screen. ‘Oppenheimer’ also marks the first time someone has shot IMAX film in black-and-white, which Kodak made and Fotokem developed. But what is the best way to watch ‘Oppenheimer’ in theatres?
Though being shown in a variety of formats, for Nolan, the best way to see the film in theaters is the IMAX 70mm film presentations. However, these are among the rarest, with only 30 theaters globally set to be playing ‘Oppenheimer’ in 15 perf/70mm film. These include the AMC Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles, the AMC Lincoln Square in New York, as well as the BFI in London and the Melbourne Museum in Australia.
Nolan said regarding his choice of film, ‘The sharpness and the clarity and the depth of the image is unparalleled. The headline, for me, is by shooting on IMAX 70mm film, you’re really letting the screen disappear. You’re getting a feeling of 3D without the glasses. You’ve got a huge screen and you’re filling the peripheral vision of the audience. You’re immersing them in the world of the film.’
The IMAX film resolution is almost 10 times more than a 35mm projector, with each frame having 18,000 pixels of resolution. In comparison, a home HD screen has 1,920 pixels. Nolan told Associated Press, ‘We put a lot of effort into shooting the film in a way that we can get it out on these large format screens. It really is just a great way of giving people an experience that they can’t possibly get in the home.’
Cillian Murphy in Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’. Credit: Universal Pictures.If you can’t catch it on IMAX, however, there are other options including 35mm, Dolby Cinema, and 4K Digital Cinema. The 35mm option is a cropped version which uses a projector and is said to preserve the rich analog color of the original 65mm photography. The Dolby Cinema and 4K Digital Cinema options will offer a top-quality digital option.
On TikTok, Nolan demonstrated the work that goes into preparing theaters for handling the film in the limited format, with the reel measuring around 11 miles in length and weighing over 600lbs. Over 40,000 collectible film strips of the movie will be given away to fans at some IMAX 70mm locations.
The film, along with the other highly anticipated film that also happens to come out on 21 July, Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’, has been widely talked about on social media, with people wondering all the way up to both films’ release which they’ll see first, commenting on the films’ starkly different visual styles, and even making trailers and memes for a mashup of both movies, ‘Barbenheimer’.
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