For some time now 70 mm has been making a grand return to the big screen. A director's favourite between the 50s and 70s, the format was used on some of the greatest movies ever made, from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Lawrence of Arabia.
More recently, it was Quentin Tarantino's format of choice for The Hateful Eight and Christopher Nolan's on Interstellar, shot both in 35 mm and 70 mm. Today Nolan's latest project, WWII drama Dunkirk, will be projected on 70mm in 125 theatres, making it the widest 70mm release in 25 years.
But what exactly does that mean? As Decider explains:
"In essence, a 70mm (or 65mm) print of film is a higher resolution format and twice the size of a standard 35mm print. Instead of adhering to the commonly used aspect ratios of 1.375:1 (Academy) or 1.85:1 (standard widescreen; familiarly 16:9), it stretches the image to a much wider ratio of 2.20:1 to 2.28:1."
But further to that, the movie will also be projected in classic IMAX – where the film runs through the projector sideways for a higher-resolution image and 1.43:1 aspect ratio – and IMAX Digital.
If your local cinema has IMAX's new laser-projection system, you'll be in for the highest quality presentation in terms of colour brightness and range. According to sources, Dunkirk is set to feature over 100 minutes of IMAX material, meaning around 75% of the film compared to just a few scenes of Interstellar.
There's only one problem: the 70mm IMAX presentations are kind of hard to come across with just one projection set for release in the UK. Otherwise, the movie is also being screened in traditional digital projection and on 35mm film and is set to hit screens nationwide on June 20.
You can catch Dunkirk's 70mm IMAX projection at London's Odeon Leicester Square on July 21. For other 70mm IMAX screenings around the world, check out this list.
To help you make up your mind, Dunkirk has also dropped this handy movie format guide – and here's a Reddit thread to help you decipher it.