How did this trailer escape my attention? It’s been in circulation since last December. I’m a dedicated fan of director Christopher Nolan, or so I thought, and I wasn’t even aware this film was in production. After The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final chapter in the epic Dark Knight trilogy, which sealed his reputation as an ambitious big-budget virtuoso, followed by the problematic Interstellar, his first expensive misstep, I suppose I expected Nolan to lay low for a few years, or return to medium-sized projects like The Prestige. But here we have Dunkirk, a full-scale war epic, due in theaters this summer.
BONUS: I have no legitimate excuse for linking this article, except to troll our resident Marvel geek, and hopefully add fuel to an upcoming Batman vs Ironman contest, but I can’t help myself. The truth is, my enduring Dark Knight trilogy fascination has almost nothing to do with Batman, or the Dark Knight, and everything to do with Christopher Nolan.
Diana Lodderhose writes: ….The thriller, which is set during the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation of British forces in northern France, chronicles one of the darkest and brightest moments in UK military history.
Nolan’s film follows the moment the Third Reich successfully conquered France, putting it in position to begin the eight-month-long aerial Blitz campaign against Britain a few months later. But it also saw the successful escape from northern France of more than 300,000 British and allied soldiers who had been cut off and surrounded by German forces.
Here’s a more recent update from deadline.com. Not surprisingly (to Nolan fans) he urges audiences to see Dunkirk, which opens next July, on the big screen. He said they are cutting Dunkirk in 70mm film prints and will also have high-quality Imax prints available.
Anita Busch writes: ….In introducing a clip of the film onstage in Las Vegas, Nolan called the epic film “one of the greatest stories of human history. At its heart, it’s a survival story. The enemy is closing in on the British on this beach with no escape. I wanted to put the audience in the story.” The film stars Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance.
Nolan said he wanted to immerse the audience as part of the story on the beach, flying over the beach, running with the troops. The film is not done, but he noted that “it’s the first time we really have been able to use the Imax cameras to its full effect.” Including, he said, using them to film inside airplane cockpits.
“Most important to say here is this is a story that needs to carry you through the suspenseful situation and I make you feel like you are there, and the only way to do that is through theatrical distribution,” Nolan told the crowd. “I want to thank you all for everything you’ve done for me throughout the years … I am depending and relying on all of you to try to present this film in the best way possible.” He said they are cutting Dunkirk in 70mm film prints and will also have high-quality Imax prints available.
The film stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh as well as UK pop star Harry Styles from One Direction, who can be seen in the first trailer. This is Nolan’s first feature since his 2014 sci-fi epic Interstellar. … (read more)
Battle of Dunkirk
The Battle of Dunkirk took place in Dunkirk/Dunkerque, France, during the Second World War between the Allies and Nazi Germany. As part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defence and evacuation of British and Allied forces in Europe from 26 May – 4 June 1940.
After the Phoney War, the Battle of France began in earnest on 10 May 1940. To the east, the German Army Group B invaded the Netherlands and advanced westward. In response, the Supreme Allied Commander—French General Maurice Gamelin—initiated “Plan D” and entered Belgium to engage the Germans in the Netherlands. The plan relied heavily on the Maginot Line fortifications along the German-French border, but German forces had already crossed through most of the Netherlands before the French forces arrived. Gamelin instead committed the forces under his command, three mechanised armies, the French First and Seventh and the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) to the River Dyle. On 14 May, German Army Group A burst through the Ardennes and advanced rapidly to the west toward Sedan, then turned northward to the English Channel, in what Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein called the “Sickle Cut” (known as “Plan Yellow” or the Manstein Plan), effectively flanking the Allied forces.
A series of Allied counter-attacks—including the Battle of Arras—failed to sever the German spearhead, which reached the coast on 20 May, separating the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) near Armentières, the French 1st Army, and the Belgian Army further to the north from the majority of French troops south of the German penetration. After reaching the Channel, the German forces swung north along the coast, threatening to capture the ports and trap the British and French forces before they could evacuate to Britain.
In one of the most widely debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. Contrary to popular belief, what became known as the “Halt Order” did not originate with Adolf Hitler. Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Klugesuggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk pocket should cease their advance on the port and consolidate, to avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW). The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organise the Dunkirk evacuation and build a defensive line. Despite the Allies’ gloomy estimates of the situation, with Britain even discussing a conditional surrender to Germany, in the end more than 330,000 Allied troops were rescued. … (more)