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70mm showings of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk have proven to be very popular at the Irish Film Institute, just one factor in making the historical epic a major hit at the Irish box office. As part of the IFI’s commitment to exhibit, preserve and educate, they’re no strangers to showing films in a variety of formats, with authentic prints of films like The Right Stuff being regular features of IFI programming. The most recently announced example is upcoming screenings of a new 70mm print of David Lean’s classic Lawrence of Arabia, which will be showing at the cinema from Oct 20 – 22. But what exactly is the difference between 70mm and the more modern digital? How do great films go from the booth behind you to the screen in front of you? It’s hardly just a matter of pushing play on a DVD, as the IFI’s projectionist Paul Markey explains. Film In Dublin spoke to Paul about the work that he does, different film formats and more.

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Director: Christopher Nolan Starring: Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan Running Time: 107 minutes

There is something perfect about Christopher Nolan directing a war film. Christopher Nolan, often brilliant, sometimes befuddling, always big. The man who turned superhero vs cartoon villains stories into post-9/11 think pieces and insisted that dreams have very strict rules. The man who directed Anne Hathaway monologuing among the stars about the meaning of love with all the tender feeling of an alien looking in at her through the window. Nolan has made his name with meticulous filmmaking and technical prowess rather than emotional depth and his 10th and possibly best film puts him at his greatest distance; he’s a general surveying a map moving tiny pieces across it, planning explosions not speeches. Nolan’s telling of the evacuation of British forces from Northern France after the disastrous battle of Dunkirk certainly has the emotions there if you want them – this actually happened, people actually lived or died as a consequence of what’s depicted here – but only Kenneth Branagh as a Commander overseeing the events, has much time for teary-eyed bluster for the homeland. Everyone else is too busy scrambling for survival.

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