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Nolan's 'Interstellar' Will Show on Film on 50 IMAX Screens Globally

by
June 23, 2014
Source: Collider

Interstellar IMAX

We're still five months out from the opening of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar, however early plans are being put in place for the global release which will take over big screens everywhere. Thanks to reports over the last year, we know that Interstellar will have scenes shot in IMAX, and that Nolan somehow convinced Warner Bros/Paramount to distribute this as one of the last movies still going out on film (Paramount has already stopped, but will make an exception for this). In an interview with Collider, IMAX Entertainment President Greg Foster confirmed that Interstellar will still show on film on 50 IMAX screens this November.

"It's very important to Chris Nolan, and Chris Nolan is very important to us," Foster reiterated. A complete theater list hasn't been revealed, but he says it will be in "around" 50 IMAX screens on film this November when it hits theaters. It won't be showing in 3D, as far as we know, as Nolan sticks to 2D and shot most of the this on film anyway. Foster also reminds us that releasing on film was always "part of the arrangement", which connects back to the story we published in January about Interstellar getting released on film as part of its unique global distribution deal between two separate movie studios - Warner Bros and Paramount.

As we continue to move closer to the release of Interstellar in November, we'll be sure to keep you informed on exact theater listings and additional release arrangements for this sci-fi epic. Watch the second trailer here or visit IMAX.com for additional news. Mankind was born on Earth. It was never meant to die here.

Interstellar is directed by British filmmaker Christopher Nolan, of the films Doodlebug, Following, Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, Inception and The Dark Knight Rises. The screenplay is written by Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan, based on scientific theories by Caltech astrophysicist Kip Thorne and follows a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage. Matthew McConaughey stars in the film which Paramount/Warner Bros opens on November 7th.

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Reader Feedback - 13 Comments

1

Seeing this IMAX film projection and knowing it may be the last thing Nolan can show in that format will be a bittersweet experience.

Benjamin Hunter on Jun 23, 2014

2

Praise this man.

Marcus on Jun 23, 2014

3

I respect Nolan for sticking to his convictions/stance on things. But this Digital vs Film war is over, and Digital has won. And for those that try to argue that the best 35mm film image is still superior than the best digital image that can be shot today, and argue that 'it isn't over'. Just know that every year it is more and more evident. When the best digital camera shot 2K, sure, 35mm is quite clearly superior to that. 4K is so close that the vast majority of common viewers do not notice a difference. Well, I think the Red Dragon(or whatever it is called) shoots at 6K. Practically every year the technology is advancing. The resolution is getting higher, the dynamic range is getting better, the color spectrum is improving. Meanwhile, the photo-chemical process has pretty much gone as far as it can go. Sure, if they started shooting entire films on 65mm film stock, or on the IMAX 70mm variant, those images would be superior to a 4K or 6K digital image. But filming with those cameras/larger film stocks is more expensive. And that is the heart of it all. Cost. The cost of physical film and the entire process is more expensive than it is to simply shoot digitally. Maybe not by an absurd amount, but in a world where you want to cut costs wherever you can, filming digitally vs on film is a clear place to do it. Film is also a petro-chemical, and so shooting digitally is a bit better for the environment...which is always a positive. I respect that champions of film were vocal when digital clearly wasn't on the film level. But we are practically there now, and if we aren't, digital 'getting there' is 100% certain, and every year we get closer and closer to digital definitively surpassing film. Aesthetic things like 'grain structure' and 'texture' simply are irrelevant in the eyes of most. In fact, most prefer to not see grain on a film, everyone wants the crystal-clear, sharp image these days. This train is only heading in one direction, and it isn't slowing down.

Chris Groves on Jun 23, 2014

4

Well, you've harped on this for a long time, Chris...and you do it quite well. However...much of it is just your opinion and personal preference...which should be noted. I won't argue with you because I loved Valhalla Rising; it is one of my top five films of all time. Besides loving what the movie was about I really loved the look of the film. The photography was beautiful...and to my amazement it was shot digital with the Red equipment. So be it. I cannot imagine that movie could look any better if it was shot on film. So I've accepted that digital was well used on that movie. As I've never and never intend to fall into the category of what most prefer I still, aesthetically, prefer film because I can tell. Usually...lol... Valhalla Rising fooled me...oh well... Just because most can't tell has no effect on my aesthetic pleasures. The ordinary ruck can't chew gum and walk at the same time. What possible reason would I care what said ruck can perceive or not? Sure, the ordinary ruck drives what studios make these days so I will have to suffer the result of that and do with all the dumb movies made for them. But you're right that digital is here to stay and film has seen its day. Pity, but then much of life is pitiful...so there you have it.

Bo on Jun 23, 2014

5

See, this is inherently something that confuses me. You couldn't tell Valhalla Rising was shot digitally, you loved the look of the film...but you are still saying "I like film better, just because". If it has hit a point where you can't tell, then what is the point of still trumpeting film over digital? Other than just 'to do it because it is what die hard movie fans do' Also, I tried very hard to keep my opinion out of it. In my opinion. the best 35mm image today vs the best digital image today....35mm probably edges it. But it is a FACT that digital shooting is cheaper, quicker, and better for the environment. That isn't an opinion. The resolution, dynamic range, and various measurable aspects of digital imagery IS improving every year. That is also a FACT. We've gone from the typical digital movie camera being at 2K, to 4K, and now we are reaching 6K, and one day it will be 10, 15, or even 20-30K. What will the '18K equivalent' of IMAX do against a 25-30K digital image? My opinion of digital quickly and inevitably surpassing film is simple fact, science, technology. It is happening. Digital resolution and quality is only going to improve at a rapid rate. That isn't an opinion, unlike all of this "Well the mood and feel of film is just so much better" stuff, that's just entirely subjective.

Chris Groves on Jun 24, 2014

6

Okay, Chris. Well written and intelligent response. I appreciate that, so thanks. I've got no argument with you. However...to clear up some of your 'inherent confusion' regarding my perceptions of Valhalla Rising and being unable to tell it was digital. Hey...I'm changing...okay? I'm an old dog who's worked on some pretty big films and love the look of film...still do and probably always will. I had problems with the look of Prisoners shot by the great Roger Deakins because I could really tell it was shot digitally. Same with Fincher's take on Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I hated the look of that movie vs. the look of the original Swedish version film which was shot on film!! So, sure...if Refn was able to shoot Valhalla Rising digitally and it looked that great then I'm forced to agree with your views on digital. I shall attempt to not 'trumpet' film over digital just for the sake of being a 'die hard movie fan'...lol..I hope you are correct that digital will one day match the look of films such as Lawrence of Arabia or what I watched last night, the beautifully shot The Thin Red Line and then Mann's Last of the Mohicans...I could go on and on...we'll see and it seems you are knowledgeable with regards to the possible advancements of digital. I apologize if I was, and apparently I was, incorrect regarding your opinions as I agree with you, in fact most emphatically, that today, today, the best 35 mm film is much better than the best digital...but I concede...it's getting close...a la Valhalla Rising. So...thanks for the interesting discussion. Perhaps I hold on to my love of the look of film a bit much; but are you, as it sometimes seems to me, a bit over eager to replace film with digital? Just because digital is cheaper, faster and better for the environment, which is all true, hardly matters to me...in that I worry about the quality of artists and their work when being influenced dramatically by issues of time and money...but that's just me. In ending, I don't know about this 'mood and feeling of film is much better' stuff...that's a bit silly to me. It's in the discussion of digital being a 'cold' medium and all that. I don't know...I didn't get any cold distancing, etc. from my multiple viewings of the gritty and dark Valhalla Rising. Know what I mean? Thanks again, Chris. I appreciate your knowledge and excitement with digital movie making. Just give some of us old dogs a break letting film making go...and perhaps respect the history or tradition of all the really great, great films that have been shot of film...eh?...lol...

Bo on Jun 24, 2014

7

Then please explain to me why 98% of films shot digitally look like muck compared to films shot on 35mm (Im thinking of when trailers come up in the cinema, the digital films look awful) ? You're forgetting about the most important qualities of the filmic image; the mood, atmosphere and feel of the image, which 35mm destroys digital in. Feel free to email me directly at 2john.redmond@gmail.com

John Redmond on Jun 23, 2014

8

Those are rather arbitrary traits 'mood, atmosphere, feel of the image'...those are entirely subjective. You can't measure "mood". In regards to qualities you CAN measure, Digital is quickly catching up and will surpass film. And again, saying that digitally shot movies 'look like muck' compared to 35mm, again, is subjective. You show me a movie like Avatar, Life of Pi, Pacific Rim, The Avengers, and they look just as good visually as movies shot on 35mm like the Dark Knight trilogy or Man of Steel. In fact, Snyder goes for heavy grain structures with his films, which honestly, is kind of distracting, and I'll take the crisp, clear look of The Avengers over that any day of the week.

Chris Groves on Jun 24, 2014

9

Actually, I agree that digital films look like muck. Avatar was made in a computer, so that doesn't count (plus, I hated that movie). But Pacific Rim and The Avengers pale in comparison to the visual quality of something like the Dark Knight trilogy. I don't actually enjoy viewing the image on the screen when it's shot digitally. It's just hard on the eyes to me. Regardless of what they say, digital images cannot be graded to look like film. They respond to color differently. That's science, not subjectivity. No matter what you do, it will not look exactly the same. In fact, see this guy's color grade test: http://www.timparkin.co.uk/2012/08/why-you-cant-make-digital-look-like-velvia-50/ Another good one: http://120studio.com/film-vs-d800.htm And as for the environment, manufacturing all those hard drives, producing all the electricity, and manufacturing the cameras with all those rare earth metals is not exactly good for the environment. Don't make the mistake of thinking that something is better for the environment just because you can't see the pollution. And on a final note, digital imaging is not new. It's been around since like the 70's, and the sensors have a physical limit to the dynamic range they can achieve, which has been reached. They just use software now to reduce noise and magically produce higher dynamic range. Film has had like 30 years to surpass film, and it's still not there, yet everyone says technology is supposed to advance so rapidly... The two mediums are different, and one won't ever replace the other completely.

Patrick on Jul 7, 2014

10

We are still using paper goods such as currencies, books, newspapers, magazines,and receipts;etc. Not everything will be converted to digital. Why stop using film stock? Will students at film schools be updating to digital medium?

Mike Zarquon on Jun 23, 2014

11

Unfortunately it's hard to compare manufacturing motion picture film to anything else. The sheer quantities that used to be involved in striking release prints alone used to be gargantuan, but with all the theaters converting to digital, coupled with the nearly-overnight switch of television to digital, labs and film plants have been closing down like dominoes. The dwindling demand for film stock as an acquisition format, as well as the processing of it, is simply not enough for that market to remain viable much longer. Fuji doesn't even make motion film anymore, and Kodak only offers a fraction of the stocks they used to. The only major lab left in LA is Fotokem. The rest have all closed in the past year or so. Most film schools have already made the complete switch, with the exception of places like AFI and Chapman and maybe NYU. I might be mistaken, but I think USC's total conversion over to digital was one of the stipulations of George Lucas' huge endowment. At Chapman we are welcome to shoot super 16mm on cycles and 35mm on theses, they'll even pay for stock, processing, and the school has a friggin' datacine, but nevertheless we are *very* strongly encouraged at every turn by the faculty to learn and shoot digital since it is obviously the future. Last year not a single graduate thesis shot on 35mm. I'd like to if I still can. It's sad. The end of an era I suppose.

Chris Purdy on Jun 23, 2014

12

I really, really hope that INTERSTELLAR will be fantastic. This gives me more hope.

DAVIDPD on Jun 23, 2014

13

Pacific Rim and The Avengers may not look QUITE as good as something like The Dark Knight. But to say they pale in comparison is ridiculous. Nobody outside of more astute film observers would even be able to tell you a difference. Digital has come so close to film that the general audiences don't notice it enough to even think about it. Now, back in the 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico' days, digital had a very obvious and "Mucky" look, but we aren't there yet. Considering that film has been around for over a century, digital imaging only having 30 or so years and yet still getting so close to matching film should put the writing on the way even more bluntly. Computer/digital technology is always improving, it is never going to hit a mark where it simply cannot get any better. Conversely, the photo-chemical process CAN only go so far, and unless the industry wants to start shelling out the extra money to shoot everything on 65mm, then 35mm does have a ceiling. But there is no reason to believe that the quality of digital cameras will plateau. They didn't stop improving at 2K, they haven't stopped improving at 4K, and they won't stop improving at 6K either. When digital cameras are filming at 10-20K, is a slight disadvantage in dynamic range going to matter to anyone except the most uptight film fanatic? Nope, it hardly matters to anyone but fanatics NOW while we are only at 4K. Also, aesthetically, in this HD world, most pretty prefer a pristine, clear HD image that you get with something like The Avengers to a movie with a clear(some would say distracting) grain structure. In 5-10 years, we won't even be having these conversations. I'm not against film or anything, but digital is quickly catching up and will swiftly surpass film as a cheaper but just as effective alternative. Although honestly, it wouldn't shock me if a small contingent of filmmakers set out to alter the standards, demanding/requesting to devote an extra portion of their budget to shooting on 65mm film, in order to get THAT much more of a premium quality image.

Chris Groves on Jul 8, 2014

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