experimental movies

*Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin sitting down at lunch*

Gryffindor: My Ravenclaw is so freakishly intelligent! She has four masters and a PhD! She’s also a humanitarian, it’s so cute!

Hufflepuff: My Ravenclaw is such a romantic! He knows a soliloquy for that and knows what to say when I’m feeling blue! Swoon!

Slytherin: My Ravenclaw must be broken…

Gryffindor: Why do you say that?

Slytherin: He’s weird as fuck! All he talks about is serial killer movies and experimental medical treatments. Then, starts verbally sparring about food…

Hufflepuff: Food is good!

Slytherin: Not when it involves arsenic…

Gryffindor: So, when are you two taking over the world?

Slytherin: … After the honeymoon…

Christopher Nolan interview about Dunkirk in Premiere (translated by YFR3)

The popular filmmaker, inventor of crazy concepts, who reigns on global entertainment for ten years, is back. But this time, Nolan is naked : without his magic tricks or his theoretical scrolls. Farewell the world of dreams of Inception, the upside down editing of Memento or the black holes of Interstellar. Dunkirk tells the story of a handful of routed soldiers (Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles …) stuck on a beach, between the Channel’s gray and angry sea and the Germans who fire. A real, brutal, anxiety-provoking and authentic war film. Really ?

Naturally, as always with him, it’s a little more complicated than that … “I guarantee you there’s no SF,” he laughs, welcoming us into the editing room. For its hardcore fans who rewatch frame by frame the two available trailers, to see when the film can twist. No: “Dunkerque will be faithful to events, the reality of history and the reality of places. ”

Perhaps this is where the most “Nolanian” aspect of the project nests. Some people still wonder if, at the end of the dream of Inception, the spinning top continues or not to turn. The same is true for the Operation Dynamo (code name of the evacuation of May 1940). For some people, Dunkirk’s rescue was a victory (340,000 soldiers saved while Churchill was expected ten times less); For others, it was a terrible humiliation (“War is not won with evacuations,” declared the same Churchill). This is this weird episode of the phoney war that Nolan chose to tell through the fate of aviators, sailors, soldiers and civilians. A story full of ambiguity, ideal to play with the genre. There’s always been in this man a desire desire to refuse the constraints of narrative logic, to explode into a thousand pieces the linearity of storytelling. Whatever the genre he confronts, his cinema is based on an art of rhythm and editing that allows him to deploy his incredible immersive mechanics. And that’s what we witness when we get into the editing room at Warner Studios. We see Nolan at work. We see it deconstruct a plan, subtly modify a sound to boost an image and make it indelible (his sense of frame is intact), all with a virtuosity of a killer who knows as well mix formats (prologue mixing 70 mm and IMAX is a visual madness) that learn his job to the most experienced sound engineer. It is this moment that he chose to welcome us and lift the veil (In Premier exclusivity …) on Dunkirk.

PREMIERE : I was very surprised to see how accurate you were in sound mixing. Can you explain what you were doing? 

NOLAN: It’s pretty simple in reality. In the room, the editor on the left is dealing with the music of the film. The other on the right the sound effects.  And at this stage, we ensure the balance, the mix between these two flows. It’s a very subtle process, but when we add these two elements (music and effects), working on hundreds of sound details, we finally define the tone and cohesion of the film.

(Rest of the interview after the jump)

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