28 July 2017

"Dunkirk"

Yesterday morning I caught the number 88 bus into town to watch "Dunkirk" at The Showroom. It had been recommended  by three influential film critics - Mark Kermode of "The Guardian", Derek Faulkner of "The Sheppey Bugle" and John Urquhart Gray of "The Trelawnyd Thunderer".

Now I am not naturally drawn to war films. There have been so many of them but I greatly admired both "Apocalypse Now" and "Saving Private Ryan" so I am not totally averse to the genre.

I sat in the darkness and observed "Dunkirk" directed by Christopher Nolan with an open mind. The first thing I should like to report is that the film is visually stunning. There were so many photogenic moments - the beach at Dunkirk and the dog fights in the sky. Surely no other film has ever conveyed air battles as convincingly as this film did.

Secondly, I would like to report some puzzlement about the state of The English Channel. Sometimes it was calm and blue under a clear sky. At other times it was grey and stormy. I wondered how it could be so changeable within a particular time slot. This was irritating.

Thirdly, I liked the way the film picked out particular strands of experience and wove them together. The terror of the evacuation was portrayed  through three or four main stories, including the progress of "The Moonstone", a civilian rescue vessel  ably skippered by Mr Dawson played by Mark Rylance.

Dialogue was pared down to a minimum. This film was more about physical and visual experience than words. It held my attention throughout and there were moments when my eyes were filled with tears such as when the small ships appeared upon the water to assist in the evacuation of over 300,000 men with "Nimrod" by Edward Elgar  humming in the background.

Yes my friends, "Dunkirk" was certainly worth the watching. And to my shy friend Lee George on Tamborine Mountain in faraway Queensland, I should like to say that her current pop hero and love object - Harry Styles - did a good job as the young private - Alex.

One film critic, David Cox, was brave enough to stick his head above the parapet and admit  that he wasn't greatly enamoured with this film. He said, "Film-makers usually instil interest in their protagonists by giving them backstories and meaningful dialogue, thereby creating characters who can be engaged in drama. In 'Dunkirk', these things don’t happen." To be frank I can see to some extent where Cox was coming from.
Harry Styles in "Dunkirk"

25 comments:

  1. Every review I've read in papers, and reviews I've watched on TV re "Dunkirk" have given this movie the thumb's up.

    And, young Harry didn't disgrace himself, either, so Christopher Nolan and others have said. Nolan said he had no idea of Style's past history when he, Nolan, watched Style's audition. Harry had to audition just like everyone else did, with no favours given. In a televised interview I watched a couple of weeks ago Nolan said that Harry won his part purely on merit, not on being famous for his part in today's music world.

    I guess my recognition of talent when I see it mustn't be too far off the mark, after all! :)

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    1. What do you mean by "talent" Lee? In England it has two main meanings. Either ability or fanciability!

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    2. You must have an endless supply of wooden spoons, Yorkie. You certainly use them a lot.

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    3. I got a container load from the Acme Wooden Spoon Company. You can't move around our house for boxes of the bloody things.

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    4. That's good to know...with all the stirring you do, you need an ample supply of them. :)

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  2. I'll have to watch for this one!

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    Replies
    1. I suspect that it is the kind of film that will have more appeal for men than for women.

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  3. I have seen several trailers and it seems to have received favourable reviews. I may just have to watch it. Great review indeed, thanks for sharing!

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    1. My ticket cost me £5.80. I wonder how much it will cost you in London? Probably double!

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  4. Replies
    1. The events of "Dunkirk" mean a lot to British people. I don't know how much these events will mean to Thais.

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  5. I've never seen the film, but I know the story of Dunkirk. It's British history

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    1. Would it be possible for your son to take you to see it at Cineworld? They must have access for people in wheelchairs. You could travel there in a suitable taxi or social services vehicle. Just an idea.

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    2. It's only over the road from me.

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    3. Oh that's good. Have you been over there to watch films?

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  6. I am not sure whether I want to see it or not. Your report is interesting and rather makes me want to see it, but as I remember it well and as my brother was there and we were waiting for news (I was too small to really understand but I do remember my parents' distress)it would be rather 'near the bone'.

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    1. Did your brother get back Pat?

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    2. I empathise, Pat. I was an impressionable 11-year old at the time of Dunkirk and do not want to be reminded of the War......such a strained and anxious time. Did your brother get back ?

      EH

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  7. As far as I could work out several of the scenes were mixed and interchanged over a period of a couple of days ...perhaps that's why the continuity looked mixed

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    1. So you noticed this as well.

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  8. We are all different and I acknowledge this, you loved it but we hated it and walked out before it had finished.
    I thought it was repetitive and boring. Maybe that's because I'm old and can remember the old films like 'Where Eagles Dare' and the like.
    Briony
    x

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    1. My enthusiasm was guarded Briony. See the quote from David Cox I included at the end. I am sorry that this cinema trip didn't work out for you.

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  9. I just don't want to see it. "Saving Private Ryan" traumatized me enough.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps watch the original "Wizard of Oz" instead.

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    ReplyDelete

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