Tom Hardy, Dunkirk

Trailer Time: Dunkirk Trailer #2 (2017) “When 400,000 Soldiers Couldn’t Get Home; Home Came to Them”

Despite having seen Guardians 2 and it being glorious (review coming soon), my summer 2017 movie is still Dunkirk, which was reinforced by the trailer we got before Guardians.  Due to the sad knowledge gaps of history most people have, Dunkirk is not a story that is going to live on in perpetuity unless it gets hammered into the popular consciousness with a film monument.  You can debate the wrongness or not of that statement, but no one under 50 would remember Apollo 13 without the film.  The new history teachers are directors, and hopefully we get ones as good as Chris Nolan to come along and make people don’t forget that when 400,000 British soldiers were trapped between the Nazis and the Ocean, literally anything that could float in Britain was sent to bring them home.  Seeing what a Nolan war film looks like will be amazing (the aerial combat scenes put you in the cockpit in a way I’ve never seen before), but this is a story so amazing it sells itself.  That being said, here’s Chris Nolan to sell it further.

“I think people who know the story of Dunkirk, in particular, may be surprised by the intensity of the experience. It’s a very suspenseful story and we really try to do justice to that. The pacing is relentless, and the story and action scenes are extraordinarily intense. I think the lean, stripped-down nature of that, and how fast it moves, and what it puts you through in this short space of time… I think it has a different rhythm that I’ve worked in before.“I think every kid – or certainly British kids – would love to be able to fly a Spitfire. [That was] just an extraordinary experience for me. And then to try to give the audience that same experience, we had to find a way to get giant IMAX cameras into these tiny vintage planes, and really try to be in the experience of a dogfight in a Spitfire above Dunkirk – that was remarkable. It’s an experience I will remember for my whole life.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever tried to do aerial combat the way we’ve done it and photographed it in this film. My DP, Hoyte Van Hoytema, just never gave up. When we would look at how you can’t fit a camera in the cockpit and fly the plane, we would build a special kind of snorkel lens and put the camera there. We’d work with the pilot and plane owners to really just go for it, and do as much of it for real as possible.”

Dunkirk opens July 19, 2017.


3 thoughts on “Trailer Time: Dunkirk Trailer #2 (2017) “When 400,000 Soldiers Couldn’t Get Home; Home Came to Them””

  1. I sure hope we haven’t surrendered the history-teacher mantle to the film directors. You don’t even have to venture into the territory of political agendas to find what’s wrong.

    Faced with an inspiring true story, the first instinct of a good filmmaker will be to try and figure out how to hack up history and wrestle it into a two hour time frame. And anything even slightly boring gets tossed right out, no matter how true. Or sometimes it just gets changed into something fascinating, no matter how false.

    Bottom line: I don’t want storytellers teaching me history, unless the storyteller is an expert on the subject, and only tangentially a good storyteller, and prepared to write a book whose length is in line with the importance of the True Events. And even then you read more than one book, to get a sense of things and not be misled by bias, which is always a danger but can be approached in a knowing way.

    I trust Nolan, but if film becomes the only reference point, how do future generations separate Dunkirk from DePalma’s Untouchables, or, God forbid, Oliver Stone’s JFK?

    We need to start prioritizing history in our classrooms, before future generations seriously hurt themselves, and civilization, by repeating all the historical mistakes they’re unaware happened. I love movies beyond love (as you know) but I also trust Hollywood about as far as I can throw it. There’s nothing real in that town, and we must not abdicate our social responsibilities to the people who run it, because they are egotistical and crazy, and their expertise is in fakery and illusion.

    Perhaps I’ve come too late to this party, but late is better than never.


    1. Given the current state of education and our current secretary of education, improved history curriculum is not cracking the top 1000 of priorities.


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