It was the single most amazing cinematic experience of my life
As you may have heard, there was very little dialogue throughout the movie which can make a film feel slow or even boring at times, but I was completely captivated
But never did I feel that the screen was bogged down with too many lengthy series of quick cuts
The angles used in the air were incredible and I’m sure not easily chosen
The use of silence in the film was fantastic and their timing impeccable; it was loud and quiet at the same time
His score was just too good, as usual (especially the bit where they’re trying to reach the boat in time)
Lee Smith is an editorial god
Christopher Nolan and the two mentioned above are literally the dream team
Can’t believe he wrote that cause, like, it’s easy to imagine something but to write it down in a concise way that doesn’t involve two characters just talking is really difficult let alone in a warzone
I commend their use of mostly practical effects and real props
There’s a point where it’s night and there’s a bunch of people in a lifeboat with flashlights (or maybe it was fire in the background, I can’t remember) while a guy shivers on the deck of a ship and it reminded me of Titanic
Real stories are eerily impressionable, at least in my mind
The depiction of what I would call the main characters was very well done
Taking fictional characters with a fictional story and having them seamlessly blend into the story of the movie, the story of the Battle of Dunkirk… Well done
It’s easy to believe that, despite being created, it may have been someone’s real story, something experienced by a real soldier on that beach
The events of the film are harrowing
So much emotion delivered in just 147min
Tom Hardy’s plane
His sacrifice and the way the men cheered for him
How they made us think that his landing gear wasn’t going to come out, but it did with the most beautiful colours (great colour scheme all around) of the sun lending its light for his landing down on the beach
How his plane became engulfed in flames, burning ablaze on the beach before he stepped into the Germans’ arms
It was the first time we see his face
But never once do we see the enemy’s face
It’s not about the enemy, it was never about winning anything
It was about survival and making it home to fight another day and in that itself is a victory
This story belongs to the British and although I myself am not a Brit, I have always been fascinated by this particular event in the war
(Sidenote: Go watch Atonement or YouTube it’s glorious 5-minute long single shot on the beach at Dunkirk)
My mind was basically blown when I discovered this one thing
Throughout the film, there’s this theme of “home” and getting there
Several civilian fishing boats travel across the channel in hopes of delivering soldiers back to England and like I mentioned, I saw the movie in 70mm
((THANK YOU JESUS for allowing Christopher Nolan and Hoyte van Hoyte to bless us with these beautiful images))
At least, most of it was in 70mm
I immediately noticed that from time to time it would switch from full screen 70mm to widescreen 35mm. I assumed they were using a different camera for these shots/scenes, but I couldn’t figure out why
Then, in the car after the movie it hit me: All of the widescreen shots were of England, of home. You see, the civilian ships coming to rescue them were referred to and represented home so all the shots on the little boat were in done in 35mm as well as the ones at the end of the movie on the train and such
The reading of the newspaper was a nice touch made beautiful in a perfect movie
The boys on the train
The boy on the boat…
I could go on—but instead—
just do yourself a favour and go see it for yourself
2017 Vans Park Series Pro Challenger point leader Tom Schaar goes skyward with a stale in Missoula, Montana. Catch Tom in China next month, September 23rd at the Vans Park Series World Championships. See vansparkseries.com for a full list of competitors and live streaming information.
Exactly 20 years ago, James Cameron’s “Titanic” swept America off its feet, with its realistic mammoth recreation of one of the world’s most infamous disasters. It resulted in a whopping 11 Oscar wins, only one of three films to achieve that feat. The subject of this post, might be the next 11 time winner. Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk”, at under 2 hours, is able to astound, intrigue and mesmerize any cinephile or war enthusiast as to the horrors of combat, without the cheesy CGI appearance. This is exactly the way films should appear, to look great and tell the truth about a pinnacle in warfare.
Nolan cleverly weaves three scenarios that each has its own time periods. “The Mole” involves young Army Privates Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) and Gibson (Aneurin Barnard), both of whom are trying to find a vessel to seek refuge. “The Sea” focuses on Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance), his son Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney) and shiphand George (Barry Keoghan) commanding a ship to help in the war effort, eventually rescuing an unnamed shell shocked soldier (Cillian Murphy) wanting to go home. “The Air” is about Spitfire pilots Farrier (Tom Hardy) and Collins (Jack Lowden) trying to outmaneuver German Luftwaffe planes. As each of these scenarios play out, they converge on one another as characters from each part find themselves crossing over to the other narratives and by the end, you grow to appreciate their bravery and courage in battle.
“Dunkirk” is 60% visual and 40% dialogue. Nolan’s purpose is to let the actions of war do the majority of the talking, which is somewhat uncommon in modern films. The war figuratively, is the main character in every shot and plot twist. The soldiers are just witnesses and participants to the turbulence that the main character “war” is unleashing. No one actor is the lead and takes up precious time. It’s a beautifully crafted ensemble of the up and coming young actors making their big break in the business and the older more learned performers like Rylance and Kenneth Branagh doing what they do best. All the actors play opposite “war” and immerse themselves hand and foot into the dangers as if it was pure reality. I wish there were more daring directors like Nolan, that not only portray war, but thoroughly recreate it.
I can see “Dunkirk” win the bulk of the craft Oscars. For starters, Nolan should win for Best Director for being the 21st century’s answer to David Lean as the premier epic filmmaker. Nolan should also win for his screenplay, which carefully crafts three components at three different time periods of one week, one day and one hour into a 106 minute feature. Hans Zimmer should win his long awaited 2nd Oscar for Best Score for beautifully dressing the action with a symphony of dazzling and haunting crescendos.
Hoyte van Hoytema, Lee Smith and Nathan Crowley, as cinematographer, editor and production designer respectively, create an aesthetically pleasing masterpiece with very few flaws in its delivery. You can see the gunfire, feel the sand and the water in your face and be caught up in the chaos one scene at a time. Finally, the sound work in both mixing and editing are just the icing on the cake. You need just the right auditory effects to make war leap off the screen and “Dunkirk” achieves that and more. Finally, with all of these different artistic components, “Dunkirk” should win Best Picture. It’s a no-brainer.
What initially made me excited about seeing “Dunkirk” was that finally, there’s an old fashioned war picture, much like “The Longest Day” and “The Guns Of Navarone” that doesn’t take a side with the conflict, but just portrays the selflessness of all the soldiers involved. You especially see that in Mark Rylance’s Mr. Dawson, a middle aged civilian doing his part in the war effort. It seems that films today, have to possess some sort of modern politically correct topic, or have some ludicrous plot, in order to be culturally pleasing, instead of telling a story in traditional methods. Luckily, there is Christopher Nolan with his nostalgia like storytelling to bring the good old patriotic war film ensemble to 21st century audiences. Maybe this will tempt other filmmakers to hop on the bandwagon of returning to the old fashioned Golden Age of Hollywood pictures of yesteryear.
In closing, if “Dunkirk” at the very least, does not snag one Academy Award, then I have lost faith in the process of awarding masterpieces. This is probably going to be the best film of the Oscar season. Nothing will ever come close this year, or even the rest of the decade.