Christopher Nolan: Dunkirk In IMAX Is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Seen Before


Ever the advocate of the IMAX format, Christopher Nolan approached Dunkirk with only one strategy in mind: to film as much of his wartime epic in the large-screen format as possible.

Tapping into his IMAX experiences on The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, Nolan is prepped and ready to project his star-studded rendition of Operation Dynamo onto the biggest canvas imaginable. The result is an IMAX experience the likes of which we’ve never seen before, according to the filmmaker himself, who told Fandango that the mission is to “give the audience the most visceral experiential two hours that they can hope for.”

Bold words indeed, but when asked specifically about his method of approach, the illustrious filmmaker touched on Dunkirk‘s IMAX sequences, and why the “image quality speaks for itself.”

“Very few people have ever done that before, and no one has ever shot as much IMAX as we’re doing. Most of the film is IMAX. With every film we’ve learned more and more how to maximize our ability to use those cameras, and we found ways to get those cameras into very unusual places for a camera that size, but the image quality speaks for itself. I think it’s going to be an extremely exciting presentation, particularly in those IMAX theaters.”

Considering that Dunkirk will document the historic rescue mission across land, sea, and air – a narrative structure that aligns with the triptych storytelling template – news that the film crams in more IMAX sequences than any other Christopher Nolan movie before it is exciting in and of itself. Story-wise, the director capped off his assessment by drawing attention to the visual aspect of Dunkirk, and why his WWII thriller favors a ‘show, don’t tell’ type of storytelling.

“It’s the kind of film where the visual aspect of the film is dominant right from the get-go. There’s dialogue in the film, but we really tried to approach the storytelling very much from a visual point of view, and an action and suspense point of view. Trying to create suspense visually — a visceral sense of what it would be like to be confronted by this awful paradoxical situation.”

On July 21st, Christopher Nolan will recount the story of Operation Dynamo in truly epic fashion. All signs point to Dunkirk delivering on all fronts, but can the director’s latest creative venture really live up to the hype? We’ll find out very soon indeed.