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Thread: DUNKIRK (Christopher Nolan 2017)

  1. #46
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    I think it's a TERRIBLE misconception to think Dunkirk is simply notable as a 3D joy ride of special effects. IT IS AN INTIMATE epic; it has both qualities, but in whatever form you watched it, you didn't get it, and more's the pity!

    I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the film, and worse yet don't even respect it. But more than that I really can't say. I had a number of things to add about the film because it's so brilliant, but at the moment I've run a bit dry.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-25-2017 at 09:13 PM.

  2. #47
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    A Mostly Characterless Movie Is Not Intimate In The Way That Really Matters

    Chris has repeatedly admitted that Dunkirk is primarily not about the story or characters but is about amazing experiential visual and auditory "you are there" experience. I find it hard to distinguish his description of this movie from the immersive effects of being in a virtual reality chamber where the emphasis is on the intimate details of simulated reality and in this case being on the beach of Dunkirk during World War II. Chris is enthralled by the experience, for example, of an unknown drowning soldier holding onto a personal items as he sinks below the waves.

    Yet for most people I believe there is more to reality and more substantive connections that great movies must possess in order to survive through time and space becoming a classic. There will always be a better technological advance to make virtual reality almost, if not in fact, indistinguishable from the objective real world. At that point what will matter is the emotional connections, the deep thoughts that a great movie contains that in most cases will never be replaced or die. For most of the movies I cited earlier many of the emotional intense scenes were based on characters the audience came to know well and experienced their struggles, including the detailed emotions, and particularly the connections they made to the audience or to other characters. And if the script calls for their demise or the demise of some other character they are close to, such breakage of the emotional intimacy is something that is likely to resonate across the years. In the case of Dunkirk, very few of the experiences will be truly unique over time as there will be other movies in the future that will tap into the process of movie-making to make similar situations all the move attractive and compelling on the sensory, but not emotionally substantive level.

  3. #48
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    Could The Avengers (1998) Save Dunkirk?

    I've been reading some of the very positive audience member IMDb reviews of the possible bomb of 1998 The Avengers. Several of the comments focus on the idea that The Avengers movie was not be taken seriously, but with its apparent surrealistic presentation of the dry British wit and silliness. As such it appears to have developed a sort of fan base hoping for the longer original cut. These comments lead me to wonder how Dunkirk might fare it with revised focus.

  4. #49
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    No I have never admitted that. That is your interpretation, not mine. It is about people and about characters. It's not about detailed backstories.

  5. #50
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    Chris: I'll see it in IMAX on saturday. There's one theatre showing it in Imax in Ottawa. I've cleared that day to go to that movie. Looking forward to it.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  6. #51
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    Bravo johann! Awesome movie, made a Nolanite of me, and IMAX is ideal way to see it.

  7. #52
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    "May we keep rewarding his inexplicable faith in us."

    Review from Mike D'Angelo in his usual current venue, the Los Vegas Weekly neatly states what makes Dunkirk special and Nolan admirable. I differ at two points. They are characters; it's a movie, and they're characters. It's not exhausting, for me anyway, or maybe only as "great sex" is - I like his analogy there.
    4/5 stars
    Mike D'Angelo
    Las Vegas WEekly

    Dunkirk Fionn Whitehead, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy. Directed by Christopher Nolan. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday citywide.

    Against all odds, Christopher Nolan has forged a wildly successful Hollywood career, using the capital he earned from the Dark Knight trilogy to make big-budget movies every bit as challenging as Following or Memento. Audiences that normally clamor for reheated leftovers willingly give themselves over to mind-bending narrative structures: the Russian-doll dreams of Inception, the gravitationally induced time dilation of Interstellar.

    Those films are science fiction, though. Are people willing to wrestle with an old-fashioned yet newfangled war movie that combines the visceral impact of Saving Private Ryan’s Omaha Beach landing—sustained for nearly two hours—with Nolan’s signature chronological experimentation? Dunkirk is perhaps the boldest gamble yet made by this ambitious director, injecting a potentially alienating degree of abstraction into the sheer intensity of pitched battle. Once again, he somehow makes it work.

    The film’s subject is better known to the British than to Americans, having taken place well before the U.S. entered World War II. Between May 26 and June 4, 1940, more than 300,000 Allied soldiers pinned down on the beaches of France by the German army were successfully evacuated across the English Channel—a seemingly impossible undertaking, declared a "miracle of deliverance" by Winston Churchill. Nolan depicts the event using three overlapping time lines that gradually converge (and occasionally abut one another en route in disarming ways).

    One of them unfolds over the entire week of the evacuation, following a British soldier (Fionn Whitehead) desperately trying to find an escape route. Another takes place during just one day, during which a civilian (Mark Rylance) sets out in his yacht to help the effort, picking up a deeply terrified soldier (Cillian Murphy) on the way. And the third strand covers just an hour, as two Spitfire pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden) struggle to provide air cover for their fleeing comrades.

    This unusual structure—the elegance of which only becomes apparent toward the end of the film—offers just enough narrative interest to obscure how little Dunkirk otherwise bothers with conventional drama. The actors aren’t playing characters so much as they’re embodying impulsive strategies (there’s almost no dialogue throughout); Nolan’s emphasis remains defiantly experiential, proliferating Steven Spielberg’s harrowing you-are-there approach from Private Ryan into something more along the lines of you-are-there-and-also-there-and-also-over-there-and-it’s-all-happening-both-separately-and-at-once.

    Indeed, the film’s only real flaw is that it’s downright exhausting, in the same way that Inception’s parallel climaxes could wear you out with their expertly orchestrated multi-layered mayhem. But that’s like complaining about having pulled a muscle during great sex. With the lingering exception of Martin Scorsese (who struggles to get financing for films that frequently tank, despite superb reviews), nobody but Nolan demands so much from a mass audience. May we keep rewarding his inexplicable faith in us.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-27-2017 at 08:58 AM.

  8. #53
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    Yes, this film is Visceral. Very much so.
    It's brilliant Bravura filmmaking, and I can say it's Chris Nolan's best movie so far.
    This movie rivets you to your seat, and as Chris pointed out in his review there is nowhere to go. This is what it's really like in war. You cower when enemy aircraft dive-bomb you and you cringe at every bullet that zings by your head.
    No stone was left unturned here- Nolan IMMERSES you in this battle- on land, on the sea and in the air.
    You're right Chris- the editing is Masterful, really seamless and keeps you bolted to the screen. Nolan has achieved another special notch on his belt with DUNKIRK. He's done something new and fresh with "the war film", and he should be applauded.The technical achievements in this film are exactly what I want to see in a modern movie. It's hard to make a war film (especially a WW2 film) and make it fresh, make it engaging. But Nolan has done it. He's cemented his Legacy with this one.

    He's got a bunch of fresh faces here, and they all do great jobs in their roles. Nolan veteran Tom Hardy was my favorite character. He's very good at acting with just his eyes. LOL The final scene with him landing his Spitfire on the beach was worth the ticket alone. Loved that.
    Dunkirk is Masterful. You owe it to yourself to see it in as big a format as possible. I saw in IMAX and I was in awe.
    This is the kind of film we go to the cinemas hoping to see. Bravo Chris Nolan.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  9. #54
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    Needless to say, johann, I agree with you 200%.

  10. #55
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    Pop star Harry Styles helping to promote Dunkirk- and he does well in his small role too.

    Older viewers won't be very aware of the luster for young people added to Dunkirk by having the English pop star Harry Styles in his first movie role as "Alex," one of the three young soldiers followed through the course of the evacuation. Even Nolan and Rylance weren't really aware he was that famous, but he has inevitably been a spokesman and an enthusiastic one for the film and Nolan. See this article http://www.scmp.com/culture/film-tv/...r-nolan-and-co
    “I don’t think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was” before casting the pop star in the upcoming second world war epic, Nolan said. “I mean, my daughter had talked about him. My kids talked about him, but I wasn’t really that aware of it. So the truth is, I cast Harry because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.”

    Styles, 23, who gained fame with One Direction and recently launched his solo career, plays a British soldier in Nolan’s suspense thriller about the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers from Dunkirk, France, in May and June of 1940.

    Rylance, also featured in the film, said he learned of Styles from his 11-year-old niece.
    “She was just more excited than anything I’ve ever done because I was going to be acting with Harry Styles,” said Rylance, who has won an Oscar and three Tonys. “I went up in her estimation. I won the Harry!”

    Styles described his first days on set as overwhelming.

    I’d say realising the scale of the production was very overwhelming. I think whatever you imagine kind of a giant film set to be like, this was very ambitious even by those standards. You know the boats and the planes and the volume of bodies ... it was pretty amazing.”
    Dunkirk opens in Hong Kong on July 20, and in North American cinemas the following day. It also features Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy, and stars newcomer Fionn Whitehead.
    Styles, who recently added 56 dates to his upcoming solo world tour, said his One Direction bandmates were supportive of his acting dreams.
    “They are big fans of Chris, too, and I think they’re excited to see it,” Styles said.
    As a sign that Harry does a good job, though I do know very well who he is, the first time I watched Dunkirk I didn't even realize which one was him.,
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-31-2017 at 10:22 AM.

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