Once mostly used for nature and history documentaries, the IMAX format has made the leap to the multiplex with Christopher Nolan bringing it boldly to his Batman franchise, Brad Bird using it to frame Ethan Hunt on his latest globe trotting adventure and J.J. Abrams considering sending the Enterprise through outer space on massive big screen size. And while it’s too soon to tell if the industry will embrace the format the way they have 3D (granted, there are a few technological hurdles that need to be cleared before that can happen), one filmmaker isn’t yet convinced of the merits of IMAX.
Speaking with MTV (via TechRadar) the always candid David Fincher talked about his reservations with the format. “They’re going to have the digital equivalent of IMAX very shortly. I don’t like the idea of changing fidelity in the middle of a movie just to say, ‘Here comes some big shit!’ ” he said. “Whatever Brad Bird or Chris do is fine by me. I normally think in terms of homogenisation. I want to be able to count on a kind of resolution and depth of field. I never saw ‘The Dark Knight‘ in IMAX. I could definitely see a difference in fidelity of the IMAX sequences. But to each his own.”
Uh, zing? It would probably help up his opinion on the format to see Nolan’s film in IMAX (those sequences are pretty impressive and immersive), but Fincher’s criticisms from a technical standpoint aren’t too surprising. The director is a major gearhead, and probably one of the smartest technical directors working today, and really, his difference of opinion comes down to an aesthetic choice (albeit one that we can’t imagine any regular filmgoer would ever notice in a zillion years). He also wants his films to have a unified vision and a sudden switch in aspect ratio and size (if not done right) can easily take you out of the film, so we get where he’s coming from. So, if you’re holding out for “The Girl Who Played With Fire” in IMAX or something, you might want to start wishing for something else.