I really wanted to feature Godfrey Reggio’s beloved avant-garde documentary Koyaanisqatsi on this countdown, but its sister film Baraka, directed by Koyaanisqatsi cinematographer Ron Fricke, is undoubtedly better suited for the IMAX format. Both are visual tone poems depicting the wonders and challenges facing modern society, but Baraka has even greater visuals than its predecessor, largely thanks to Fricke’s employment of 70mm photography.
70mm is extremely high-resolution film stock, and when discussing IMAX, it’s something to look out for, as IMAX employs its own version of 70mm (distinguished by its large 15/70 perforations). Baraka would therefore be perfectly suited for IMAX re-release, and though I see almost no chance of it ever happening, few films deserve the IMAX treatment quite as much as this one.
7. Lawrence of Arabia
Like Baraka, this one is a very simple equation: Lawrence of Arabia is hailed as one of the most gorgeously photographed films of all time, partially for its innovative use of 70mm film stock. Fans of the film still agree 70mm is the best way to see the film, so much so that the film is still routinely screened in the format. And IMAX, as I have just noted, is the best and biggest of the 70mm formats, one that is much more easily accessible to most viewers than standard 70mm projection systems.
Lawrence of Arabia was practically born for IMAX, and given that it has just undergone an extensive restoration for the upcoming Blu-Ray release, now would be the perfect time to strike some massive 70mm IMAX prints and release the revered masterpiece once more.
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