What's round, sexy, and weighs in at over 600 lbs? The 49 reels of 70mm film that make up Christopher Nolan's latest IMAX extravaganza Interstellar.
Nolan's film about a group of explorers searching for a new habitable planet has finally hit theaters, and if you've been waiting to see this cosmic spectacle and are heading out to your local multiplex to experience it -- you might want to rethink that decision. No, we're not suggesting that you shouldn't go see the movie, but maybe you should try first to see it the way the filmmakers and IMAX want you to see it -- in all of its ginormous galactic glory -- at a 70mm screening.
Nolan and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema decided to shoot Interstellar on 70mm film, which not only provided them with gorgeous imagery and unmatched detail, but also with ample opportunities to overcome a range of challenges, like going handheld with a hulking IMAX camera that weighs as much as a small child. Nolan, DP Hoyte van Hoytema, and IMAX talk about the film in the short video For the Love of Film, revealingly the lengthy, complicated, and labor intensive process of getting the film ready to be screened -- 169 minutes, 49 reels of 70mm film, over 600 lbs. Check out the video below:
And here are a couple of videos that give you a sneak peek at the actual preparation process of projectionists:
Believe me, I understand that digital projection is great for a bunch of reasons (it saves the environment, limits waste, etc.). However, I know I'm not alone when I say that seeing a screening of a movie on its original 35mm film is a special experience, which is probably why Interstellar opened in film-only theaters two days early.
If you can, it'd definitely be worth it to see Interstellar the way the filmmakers intended for it to be seen -- screened in an IMAX theater on a 70mm projector. Knowing that'll be a challenge for a great many of moviegoers (myself included), IMAX has compiled a list of theaters that will use a 70mm projector to screen the film. You can check it out here to see if your city's on the list -- or maybe if there's one within, I don't know, six hours of your house.