Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Superswede11
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:34 pm
Location: Tativille, IA

Re: Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017)

#201 Post by Superswede11 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:19 pm

While I continue to be fascinated by IMAX and all of its humongous distortions and though this has its moments where it works formally (particularly during the wordless opening), Nolan's "purification" of the war movie—a series of grandiose, visceral amusement-park thrills without history, politics, people, or trauma—is ultimately the vision of a little boy playing with his dad's $100 million model set. And the use of non-specific terms to refer to the Germans reminded me of the never ending amorphous war in 1984: "We are at war with The Enemy. We have always been at war with The Enemy."

User avatar
rohmerin
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:36 am
Location: Spain

Re: Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017)

#202 Post by rohmerin » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:07 am

About Chewing Guns: I found two clues, there's a Wringley's ad included in the prose in Berlin Alexander Platz, and I saw a picture of Piccadilly Circus in 1940, another WR ad was for all the WW2 with no light.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Lector Salamanca

#203 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:08 pm

knives wrote:How?
I was kidding (though honestly I think Dunkirk was lessened by its ahistorical exclusion of the Anglo Indian troops, who were absolutely vital to the success of the retreat)

User avatar
knives
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Lector Salamanca

#204 Post by knives » Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:28 pm

That's interesting. I'm not knowledgeable about the event at all. Would they have been involved in any of the three settings?

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Lector Salamanca

#205 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:08 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:
knives wrote:How?
I was kidding (though honestly I think Dunkirk was lessened by its ahistorical exclusion of the Anglo Indian troops, who were absolutely vital to the success of the retreat)
According to one source cited here, "[Indian troops at the evacuation] weren't large in number, maybe a few hundred among hundreds of thousands." So while you can use Nolan's film as a stand-in or totem for a larger argument about the lack of stories told from the perspective of allied forces from Asia, there's nothing really a-historical about Dunkirk. It probably wasn't hard to spend the whole evacuation not seeing an Indian face. And this is a movie of constraint, absence, and elision, where even the Germans are faceless. Not seeing something is very in keeping with its form.

User avatar
matrixschmatrix
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm

Re: Lector Salamanca

#206 Post by matrixschmatrix » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:31 pm

Huh, I don't have a source handy but I was under the impression that they were vital for holding the beachheads, but I would have to look again to be able to argue effectively. From what I recall, though, the English also held the beaches for a few extra days specifically to ferry as many French troops out as possible, which... Branagh says he will do that in the movie, but the implication is more of a suicide mission than anything that has any real hope of pulling troops out- the ultimate effect of both elisions, I think, is to narrow the focus of the miracle to Englishness in a way that I don't think was Nolan's intent, but which became an unfortunate reason why people like Nigel Farage celebrated the film.

User avatar
Michael Kerpan
Spelling Bee Champeen
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 1:20 pm
Location: New England
Contact:

Re: Lector Salamanca

#207 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:50 pm

Supposedly 3 Indian units were evacuated, while 1 remained to guard the rear (as part of a British rear guard of 40,000 -- and a French rear guard of the same size). Presumably the Indian unit was only a tiny percentage of those not evacuated.

User avatar
Mr Sausage
Not PETA approved
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Lector Salamanca

#208 Post by Mr Sausage » Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:59 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:Huh, I don't have a source handy but I was under the impression that they were vital for holding the beachheads, but I would have to look again to be able to argue effectively. From what I recall, though, the English also held the beaches for a few extra days specifically to ferry as many French troops out as possible, which... Branagh says he will do that in the movie, but the implication is more of a suicide mission than anything that has any real hope of pulling troops out- the ultimate effect of both elisions, I think, is to narrow the focus of the miracle to Englishness in a way that I don't think was Nolan's intent, but which became an unfortunate reason why people like Nigel Farage celebrated the film.
They may well have been vital for holding the beachheads. But given that we're not shown much about that holding, aside from one brief moment with the French right at the beginning, it's neither here nor there. Indeed, part of the tension of the movie is specifically not seeing what's happening just outside the beach. The movie is so deliberately the opposite of a rich, historically panoramic film that, well, it says a lot about the state of representation in general that anyone is even looking to Dunkirk to remedy these things.

I never got the same implication of grim suicide mission that you did. I think the emotion there is more complicated. It felt more like an encapsulation of that theme throughout the movie: individuals pitching in in small ways, showing a concern with others, and making sacrifices can have huge positive outcomes. Branagh's moment allowed this sense to linger on past the close of the narrative itself. He may die, but perhaps he will save a few hundred more men.

Post Reply