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“The Dark Knight” was a certified game changer when it exploded onto screens 10 years ago: It made Hollywood take comic-book adaptations seriously, heralded Christopher Nolan as one of Hollywood’s most bankable directors, and even sparked a change in the Oscar’s best picture nominations — but the movie’s biggest talking point was its use of Imax, the first time the format had ever been used on a feature film.
With Warner Bros. re-releasing the movie on Imax screens to mark the 10-year-anniversary, the time is ripe to explore the significance of Nolan’s achievement with the format, and the battle to keep this unique big-screen cinematographic approach in use over the years.
Format - Film - Amount - Perforations - Documentaries
The format, which utilizes 70mm film with a greater amount of perforations, had been limited to documentaries for its first few decades until features began to be formatted to be shown on the gargantuan Imax screens, which reach over 100 feet at their tallest. Film series like “The Lord Of The Rings” and “The Matrix” earned great success via the grain-reducing “DMR” (Digital Media Remastering) process, paving the way for more widespread adoption. The most important example of this was “Batman Begins,” and large-format lover Nolan pushed to take things to the next level with “The Dark Knight,” since the success of “Begins” granted him the freedom to shoot select scenes with Imax cameras.
“The Dark Knight”
Imax - Larger-than-life - Hyperreal - Images - Nolan
Imax’s larger-than-life; almost hyperreal images fit Nolan’s desire to create a more believable comic-book setting, and played a big role in its spectacular visual design, with “true” Imax images filling the entirety of the screen with an aspect ratio of close to 4:3 rather than the cropped 2:35:1 “widescreen” images. It created a convincing scale for the monolithic Gotham City, evident right from the opening shot.
Rave reviews followed, with the common consensus being “see it in...
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