It made sense for “Interstellar,” but how will Christopher Nolan’s World War II drama, “Dunkirk,” handle war footage in IMAX? As always, the “Dark Knight” auteur pushed himself by filming much of his latest in a handheld fashion — with a 54-pound camera. But the real burden landed on his longtime cinematographer, Hoyte Van Hoytema (“Interstellar,” “Let the Right One In”).
“Hoyte hand-held the [IMAX] camera for a few sections of ‘Interstellar’ very effectively, and then on this I had to break the news to him that he was going to be doing it for a massive amount of the film,” Nolan told Entertainment Weekly. “We definitely bought him a lot of massages along the way.” The unorthodox style afforded Nolan much more freedom with the normally unwieldy equipment. “We could get on a small boat with a number of characters and just shoot IMAX as if we were shooting with a GoPro camera.”
“Dunkirk” is about he 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, France, when more than 300,000 cornered Allied soldiers evacuated safely across the English Channel during a pivotal battle in World War II. “I kept coming back to the firsthand accounts, with people describing the sights and sounds of being on that beach, or being up in a plane above that beach, or being on a boat coming across to help the situation,” Nolan said. “I think the confusion, not knowing what’s really going on, was one of the most frightening and disturbing things for people.”