Shot on 35mm, Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, Licorice Pizza, has been converted to 70mm film at the director’s request. The most nostalgic moviegoers will be able to enjoy a traditional analog projection with a magnificent image quality, in the few cinemas in the world that offer it…
Like Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson is a big fan of the 70mm cinema format popularized by the IMAX Corporation in the late 60s. Wider and taller than 35mm film, IMAX film offers a larger exposure area and therefore better image resolution. This is not the first time that the American director has used this format. The movies Inherent Vice (2014) and Phantom Thread (2017) also benefited from a 70mm conversion when they were released in theaters.
How can you watch Licorice Pizza in 70mm? Few movie theaters in the world have the appropriate equipment. However, you can attend analog screenings of this film in a few rare theaters in Los Angeles and New York, or even at Picturehouse Central in London. In France, one of the rare theaters still equipped with a 70mm projector, the cinema L’Arlequin, 76 Rue de Rennes in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, offers several screenings to enjoy this movie in exceptional projection conditions.
On his Twitter news feed, Eric Jolivalt, programmer of L’Arlequin, recounts with great enthusiasm the vtrials and tribulations he went through to be able to show this movie in analog and concludes: “what amazes me the most is the pastel colors of the 70s. I wasn’t interested in them at all in the digital format but here, it’s obvious. It’s all the light of the ‘70s materializing before our eyes”.
Despite the development of digital technology, tradition analog cinema will always delight cinephiles as long as there are enthusiasts to keep it alive… And for all those who aren’t lucky enough to enjoy a 70mm theater screening, let’s hope for a 4K Blu-ray release in IMAX Enhanced!