How Christopher Nolan is Saving Film (Stock and Projection)

By Will Ashton

There are more than a few ways in which writer/director Christopher Nolan (the Dark Knight trilogy, Inception) has stood out against his fellow blockbuster-making peers. For one, when 3D was being called the future of cinema, Nolan was instead stressing the importance of IMAX theaters in modern theaters. Additionally, where most blockbusters seem to be gettting bigger and—depending on who you ask—dumber, Nolan has always stressed upon character-driven narratives with thoughtful storylines besides big action and nifty special effects.

But the most notable way in which Nolan firmly states his status in Hollywood is his constant, unflinching reliance to shoot all his movies on film. Which not only has failed to cripple his career, but has actually made his movies even more successful. As his explorations in furthering IMAX film presentations have helped bring droves to the enlarged theaters during the past decade. Now, it appears that for his newest movie, Interstellar, he’s changing a prestige theater in a big way: by having them install a 70mm film projector into TCL Chinese Theater’s IMAX screening room.

As Slashfilm reports, the theater is specifically installing a 15 pref/70mm film projection system for the new blockbuster, set to hit theaters on November 7. As this is where the movie is reportedly having its premiere, however, moviegoers visiting the theater will get to see this new projection system before this.

While the theater typically displays their IMAX films on a digital projector, Nolan wanted to have the movie premiere on an IMAX film projector. While it has not been officially disclosed that this is where the movie is having its world premiere, it seems that these reports confirm the speculation. It should also be noted that it was revealed earlier today by Film Stage that the movie’s official running time is 169 minutes. Just 11 minutes shy of three hours and Nolan’s longest film to date.

In addition to Nolan’s contributions to continue producing 35mm film stock, this is just one of the ways that Nolan pushes the envelope and keeps film going in a digital business. What are your thoughts on Interstellar and Nolan’s contributions to film? Write them in the comments below.

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