Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk had a great run at the Academy Awards this year. While the Best Director award still eludes the auteur, Dunkirk bagged a total of 8 Award Nominations, winning three. Now, the filmmaker is set to bring some of that magic to India in his confirmed visit to the nation on March 29. The acclaimed director will be here for 3 days and one of the primary reasons for his visit is to promote the preservation of film as an art form, which threatens to become extinct and replaced by digital in the coming few years.
Nolan is set to hold a talk at Mumbai’s NCPA theater on the continuing debate of film v/s digital. The event, titled Reframing the Future of Film will also feature visual artist Tacita Dean and the founder of the Film Heritage Foundation Shivendra Singh Durgapur engaging in talks with Nolan on the importance of film in an era where digital has taken over. The city of Mumbai may also witness a 70 mm screening of Dunkirk with film prints being exported and theaters being fitted with special projectors for this purpose. Nolan is also set to meet a host of celebrities from the Indian film industry, which include some well known nation-wide directors such as Farhan Akhtar, Anurag Kashyap and Mani Ratnam as well as actors like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Interestingly, the trip was a proactive proposal from Nolan’s agencies who approached the city officials themselves instead of the other way around.
India has such wonderful cinema and rich history of art that everything needs to be done not only to promote its proper preservation for future generations, but also to reintroduce the film medium to younger artistes and filmmakers in the country.
– Christopher Nolan to Bombay Times
Nolan has been a strong proponent of film over digital, preferring not just the look it lends to movies but also the technicalities of film. Time and again, he has stressed that film has a much higher resolution than digital; while digital tends to max out at 4K (4096 x 2048), even the basic film resolution tends to hover around 6K with 65 mm / 70 mm IMAX capable of 18K resolution. That’s an insane amount of data and enhances the quality and clarity of images significantly. There have been several arguments against Nolan’s regressive attitude toward film such as the visual effects pipeline necessitating the conversion to digital anyway and the relatively inexpensive costs of shooting in digital memory v/s film stock. But none of those seem to have deterred the veteran filmmaker in his pursuit to expand upon film.
Nolan will be arriving with his wife and co-producer Emma Thomas for the three day visit. Aside from the April 1 event, he will also be attending a private dinner hosted to honor him. Nolan had previously shot a short sequence in The Dark Knight Rises in Jodhpur. After the event, he plans to continue his exploration of India. Meanwhile, as fans, we can hope that he drops some hint as to what he’s working on next.