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Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk may open early in 35mm and IMAX

Dunkirk (Photo: Warner Bros.)

There are three things everyone should by now know about Christopher Nolan: he’s red-green colorblind, most of his characters have dead wives, and he’s a digital skeptic. (Also, his older brother once tried to escape from Chicago’s futuristic, wedge-shaped downtown correctional center by tying together a bunch of bed sheets, so make that four things.) Nolan is the kind of director who likes to work with what he can see and touch, hence the lack of reds, overwhelming preference for practical effects, and general avoidance of anything that has to happen in digital space.

Quite a few directors still prefer to shoot celluloid, but Nolan doesn’t even do digital intermediates. His films are the only ones at their budget level to have all the color and contrast be the result of photochemical lab work. And he’s made no secret of the fact that he prefers for his movies to be seen on film, something that’s becoming harder and harder to do every year.


Nolan’s much anticipated World War II film Dunkirk—itself shot on 65mm—may open in IMAX and 35mm venues two days early, according to “a source with knowledge of the release“ quoted by Indie Revolver. The film is currently set to open on July 21, 2017 in the United States. The news doesn’t exactly come as a shock, given that Nolan did the exact same thing with his last film, Interstellar.

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