Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Tyler

Dunkirk

32 posts in this topic

I'll see this I'm sure when I'm feeling less burnt out on war movies. Honestly they feel all too real these days, like "winter is coming"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thoughts from people who liked this movie on the recent criticisms of whitewashing since there was at least one large Indian regiment at Dunkirk that is not featured in the film, as well as I guess in order to give his soldiers a feeling of facelessness and uniformity all his cardboard cutouts were white soldiers.

It's a valid criticism, but I wonder too if it would have taken away from the more artistic nature of what Nolan was trying to do...which it seems to me this movie is less about the historical battle of Dunkirk and more about using that as a backdrop for a meditation on the hellishness, brokenness, and facelessness of war.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Justin Hanvey said:

Thoughts from people who liked this movie on the recent criticisms of whitewashing since there was at least one large Indian regiment at Dunkirk that is not featured in the film, as well as I guess in order to give his soldiers a feeling of facelessness and uniformity all his cardboard cutouts were white soldiers.

I've not read the whitewashing critiques, so I can't speak to that necessarily, but I did notice at least one black soldier in the ranks awaiting a boat during a scene on the beach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me the key criterion, with a history-based movie such as this, is accuracy. Leaving out the Sikh regiment isn't necessarily inaccurate; it just means Nolan was focused on other things. Over 330,000 soldiers were rescued from Dunkirk -- if anything, I've heard complaints that Nolan's film doesn't give a proper sense of the *scale* of the rescue operation -- so it would be very easy to focus on the non-Sikh regiments if one were so inclined. Personally I might have liked to cover the broader range of nationalities represented at Dunkirk, but that's me. (I say this as one who grew up with The Longest Day and its multifaceted portrayal of English, American, German and French troops, many of whom spoke in subtitled dialogue. I gather Dunkirk doesn't focus on the Germans or the French that much, either.)

As for any other non-white troops, I would wonder how racially integrated the armies of that period were, and whether the film was being accurate in that regard. (See the debate between Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee over the accuracy of Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally saw this today. Was surprised -- though perhaps I shouldn't have been -- to see that Nolan found a way to squeeze his favorite theme, "the noble lie", into this story. Twice, even.

Another Nolan motif that comes up here is that claustrophobic sense of being squeezed between two things (I think here of the boat that almost crushes a floating soldier against the pier; this shot -- which is in the trailer, I believe -- feels very similar to a shot in Inception of Leonardo DiCaprio trying to squeeze his way out of an increasingly narrow alley).

I was struck by how the film quality -- not just the aspect ratio, but the colour grading -- suffered whenever the film switched from IMAX scope to 70mm scope.

There are two funny lines in the whole film, and Branagh gets them both. (I've interviewed Branagh, and he's every bit the charmer that his character is here.)

I guess at some point there'll be a chronological re-edit of this film, just like there was for Memento.

Joel Mayward wrote:
: I did notice at least one black soldier in the ranks awaiting a boat during a scene on the beach.

And, just to make this even more interesting, he's with the *French* regiment that is being turned away from the British boats. Was the French army more racially integrated than the other Allied armies of this period?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Was surprised -- though perhaps I shouldn't have been -- to see that Nolan found a way to squeeze his favorite theme, "the noble lie", into this story. Twice, even.

I can only think of one, and it happens on the boat regarding a question asked by Cillian Murphy's character. What's the other one? (Come to think of it, the "noble lie" in Inception is regarding Cillian Murphy's character too.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe my last post in this thread didn't say anything about the fact that every non-Batman film made by Nolan over the past decade has been an experiment in telling parallel storylines at different speeds. It's baked into the sci-fi premises of Inception (dreams within dreams!) and Interstellar (black holes and relativity!), while Dunkirk is structured that way simply because Nolan wanted to structure it that way.

Add this to the backwards storytelling in Memento, and I'm beginning to think that Nolan might be the most time-obsessed filmmaker this side of Linklater.

Joel Mayward wrote:
: I can only think of one, and it happens on the boat regarding a question asked by Cillian Murphy's character. What's the other one?

The newspaper headline. One can argue that it isn't a lie, strictly speaking, but it is, at the very least, what Spock would have called an "exaggeration".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0