Dunkirk

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  • Dunkirk

    Caught it today and really liked it. Love the way he told the story through the eyes of the different characters.

  • #2
    Re: Dunkirk

    saw it tonight. it was fine. very intense from start to finish, though i never felt especially invested in the characters beyond the level of sheer survival. doesn't do as much to change my opinion of Nolan as a master director but an average storyteller.

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    • #3
      Re: Dunkirk

      This is a painful one for me. I wrote a Dunkirk script 15 years ago. My reps at the time wouldn't take it out because nobody wanted WWII. I shelved it as my passion project to revisit later. You win, Nolan.

      For anyone else who's been beaten to the conceptual finish line by a competing project, it happens to the best of us.
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      • #4
        Re: Dunkirk

        Originally posted by EvilRbt View Post
        This is a painful one for me. I wrote a Dunkirk script 15 years ago. My reps at the time wouldn't take it out because nobody wanted WWII. I shelved it as my passion project to revisit later. You win, Nolan.

        For anyone else who's been beaten to the conceptual finish line by a competing project, it happens to the best of us.
        I was writing a pro wrestling based Pilot when I found out that a guy was already getting buzz from his pro wrestling based script. The kicker came when I found out that he was from my town that only has a population of 30,000. I literally couldn't even claim to have the best wrestling script in a little English town.

        You have my sympathy. Will you be going to watch it or would it feel like a kick in the teeth?

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        • #5
          Re: Dunkirk

          Originally posted by TheConnorNoden View Post
          You have my sympathy. Will you be going to watch it or would it feel like a kick in the teeth?
          I actually can't wait to see it but unable to until next week (babysitter).

          It will be a bittersweet experience. I read four books on the subject, watched a few docs, and the UK feature from the 50s. I'm a Brit who grew up spoon-fed WWII and I even used to drive jeeps, tanks, trucks, etc. because my father was in the collector world. So it was very much a passion project. The "little boats" aspect of Dunkirk is a remarkable chapter in history and few people seemed to know the story.

          With Nolan being English too, I imagine it was also a passion project of his for many years as well. Can't blame the guy for being a genius and making a huge career for himself before I could.
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          • #6
            Re: Dunkirk

            Just saw it in IMAX, which I very much recommend. This is a big film in every way, and a very noisy one, but then, again, so is war. Beautifully done and built on the most economical script I could imagine.

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            • #7
              Re: Dunkirk

              Originally posted by EvilRbt View Post
              It will be a bittersweet experience. I read four books on the subject, watched a few docs, and the UK feature from the 50s. I'm a Brit who grew up spoon-fed WWII and I even used to drive jeeps, tanks, trucks, etc. because my father was in the collector world. So it was very much a passion project. The "little boats" aspect of Dunkirk is a remarkable chapter in history and few people seemed to know the story.
              i will say that, for me, the good news/bad news aspect of Nolan's take is that he spends virtually no time on backstory or the usual war movie conventions of exposition and getting to know the "gang" of representative soldiers in a unit. it's all just throwing the viewer right into the middle of the action with very little context. which, on one level, i was happy to be freed from a lot of that baggage. but it does make it hard, dramatically, to identify with the characters beyond the tick tock of a given moment

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              • #8
                Re: Dunkirk

                Saw Dunkirk yesterday. I saw it in 70mm which I highly recommend if you have a theater near you that offers it definitely watch it in that format. It took me back in time to hear the "clickety-clack" of the projector up in the booth.

                Beautifully shot!! I had forgotten how much better the colors looked on film rather than digital. I know that sounds backwards, but even the trailers at the beginning were richer in color than the usual digital companions.

                I did love the aspect of the three timelines converging at the end to bring the viewer into the present. (spoilers) The land timeline is a week, the boat timeline is a day, and the plane timeline is an hour. To see them all merge at the end was very well written.

                The music!! What can I say, Hans Zimmer really came thru with his score. The metronomic heartbeat rhythm of the score was almost too much to take building up tension in an organic way. He also used the soundtrack to amplify the changing of each timeline sort of like a push/pull device.

                The story...it was almost more of a docurmentary feel to it with no investment in any of the characters. I couldn't even tell you anyone's name while I was watching it. (course it didn't help that most of the actors mumbled their lines). I did find the small amount of dialog refreshing. Almost like a non-talkie. It really added to the tension and power of showing the story instead of telling it. But there was this disconnection from the characters that I didn't care much for. I prefer to care about what happens to the characters. Not to say my emotions weren't manipulated while watching, but I think that had more to do with the music than the story. Personally, I thought War for the planet of the apes had a more gripping story. I saw apes twice now and still get teary eyed.

                But I will say that when watching Dunkirk my brain knew that most of what was happening on the screen really happened, and not cgi which was awesome. When I read about what Nolan did for real was amazing. They even crashed a plane and had to fish the footage out from where it sank.

                Dunkirk to me is a $300mil experimental student film. Not in the way that most student films look cheap, but in the way that the off story structure is experimental because no one else has done it that way before. Plus the lack of dialog (which reminded me of Kubrick style).

                All in all I did enjoy it very much and I would love to be able to read the screenplay. I recommend watching it, and then go to see apes.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dunkirk

                  Originally posted by EvilRbt View Post
                  This is a painful one for me. I wrote a Dunkirk script 15 years ago.
                  I did an adaptation of a NY Times best-selling author's Wright Brothers book... then Tom Hanks announced HE was going to do a Wright Brothers miniseries off a different author.

                  "Dammit, when's he gonna let that Wright Brothers thing go???"

                  "Probably never. He'll be banging that drum still when the Mark Somers 'Wright Brothers - Alien Hunters' hits the screen."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dunkirk

                    One of the first stories I wanted to script was based on the book "Red Orchestra ". It was about Soviet agents working right under the Nazis noses in Germany during ww2. It has a tragic ending for the heroes like in "Valkyrie" in that they were executed or imprisoned but not by the Nazis but by Stalin after the war. Stalin was one paranoid fuck. He didn't trust anyone he even killed his own family members.


                    The movie came out in 2003.


                    I've only read about Dunkirk years ago.


                    Maybe I should get going on my Wright brothers story.
                    Until I can find a quote from Pope Francis regarding one licking one's butt in the Vatican I'll post this:
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                    • #11
                      Re: Dunkirk

                      Caught it with a friend. One of those films that grow on you as it goes by.

                      The lack of character development criticism I keep hearing about didn't bother me because, in a way, by the end, I did care for them. Usually those things happen in the first thirty minutes. This film just happened to get me invested in the characters much later -- but eventually I was invested.

                      Visuals and sound and tension just what you'd expect in a Nolan film.

                      And Styles surprised me.
                      "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
                      -Maya Angelou

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                      • #12
                        Re: Dunkirk

                        LIFEBOAT meets SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. And that ain't a bad blend at all.
                        "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
                        - Screenwriting Friend

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                        • #13
                          Re: Dunkirk

                          Gripping film. Very minor spoilers below.
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                          One thing about Nolan is that he makes his viewers bring their A-game. He doesn't make the obvious choices and you really have to be giving it your full attention.
                          I was puzzled about the time shifting at first, but then realized each pass brought a different element of investment to that particular scene/incident through each additional character POV.
                          The scene with the soldier drowning himself off the beach. Most directors would have kept the camera on the waves and given a six second slow steady shot where he doesn't come back up. Instead, Nolan cuts to the faces of the soldiers looking on and stays with them. No horror at what they're seeing, just numb understanding. And although the audience doesn't witness him going and staying under, you fully know what just took place.
                          It's no wonder you know it's a Nolan film when you see one.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Dunkirk

                            I think Nolan is mildly interesting, but his films are all puzzles instead of stories. Even his human characters are not people, but puzzles the audience is meant to "figure out."

                            Dunkirk looks like more of the same. No story or character, just a puzzle that needs solving: how do we get from point A to point B with these obstacles in the way?

                            WW2 is pretty played out, too, although Hacksaw Ridge was good.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Dunkirk

                              Originally posted by entlassen View Post
                              Dunkirk looks like more of the same. No story or character, just a puzzle that needs solving: how do we get from point A to point B with these obstacles in the way?
                              You seem to have a lot of opinions about films that you have never seen.

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