Dune and No Time To Die arrive at the London Science Museum IMAX in Ultimate 1.43 format
If you’re a fan of amazing film shows and live in the London area – or are willing to travel – you’ll want to head to the London Science Museum to see Dunes and no time to diewhich are presented in a rare 1.43:1 full-frame IMAX ratio for a limited release in early March.
no time to die director Cary Joji Fukunaga and Dune director Denis Villeneuve both used IMAX cameras to film some footage from their recent blockbusters, released in the second half of 2021. Fukunaga’s cinematographer Linus Sandgren shot directly on the IMAX film, and 40 minutes of the 163-minute James Bond film was screened to the format, while Villeneuve cinematographer Greig Fraser filmed over an hour of Dune in the format. To create the unique look they wanted, Dune was filmed digitally on “Made For IMAX” Alexa LF and Mini LF digital cameras, before being transferred to 35mm film, then back to digital before being released. be mastered for IMAX.
The IMAX 1.43:1 aspect ratio is special because it offers images on a scale unmatched in cinema. To show films in the IMAX 1.43:1 format, several elements must be aligned. First, the film must be captured either on IMAX film or a Made For IMAX digital camera. Then it must either be distributed as an IMAX 15/70 film (very rare these days) and shown in an IMAX theater with an IMAX film camera (both very rare) or be shown digitally on an IMAX screen equipped with an IMAX GT dual laser system – on a 1.43:1 aspect ratio screen.
There are only two screens in the UK that meet these criteria – the Vue IMAX at the Printworks in Manchester and the London Science Museum. The Cineworld Leicester Square IMAX has a dual laser projector but not a 1.43:1 aspect ratio screen so is limited to 1.90:1, while the BFI IMAX in Waterloo “only” has a projector of 15/70mm film, which means it can only fill its huge 1.43:1 screen when a film is distributed as an IMAX film – which these days is pretty much limited to Christopher Nolan movies. As Dune and No Time To Die were only distributed digitally, this meant Manchester Printworks was the only screen in the UK that could show these films as their makers intended.
The Science Museum in London was refurbished last year and, excitingly, is equipped with both an IMAX film and dual laser projection. However, after it reopened in November 2020, the scourge of Covid prevented it from showing commercial films – which is why it’s so great it’s now bringing Dunes and no time to die to the big – or should it be “huge” – screen.
As of this writing, there are still seats available for both movies, so even though the conveniently located seats in the theater have been taken, it’s still worth going if possible. As I explained in my review of Tenet at the BFI IMAX, getting the chance to see footage at this scale and quality is something not to be missed, so take a chance if you can. I’m already booked for my third viewing of Dunes and I can’t wait to see it as it really should be seen.