“Virtual reality without the headset” is how Christopher Nolan describes ‘Dunkirk,’ the director’s first film based on a real life event.
It’s about the evacuation of more than 300-thousand troops stranded on a beach in Northern France in the early stages of the second world war.
Safety was just 26 miles away, but conditions on the beach meant that the large naval ships couldn’t get close enough to pick them up.
Then a call went out for civilian small boats to help—and a flotilla of non-military “little ships” sailed out from England to bring the men home, codenamed Operation Dynamo.
In ‘Dunkirk’, Nolan tells the story from three perspectives: land, air and sea——putting the audience directly onto the beach——onboard the boat traversing the English Channel——and in the cockpit of the spitfires.
Utilising six one-million-dollar IMAX cameras, which lend themselves to panoramas and large-scale action, Nolan says “We want to take the audience on a very intense ride…to make them feel that they’re actually there and allow them to feel what that would be like.”
Indeed, Nolan is a versatile director who pushes the boundaries of filmmaking…
Think 2000’s low budget indie film ‘Memento,’ a thriller told both backwards and forwards…
The big-budget caped crusader reboot which began in 2005 with ‘Batman Begins’—a franchise that’s taken more than 2-billion-dollars at the box office worldwide.
As well as huge sci-fi spectacles that showed Nolan’s penchant for experimentation including 2010’s ‘Inception’ which picked up four Oscars for sound and visuals, and his last feature film ‘Interstellar’, which also won an Oscar for visual effects.
To date though, the man himself hasn’t won any Academy Awards—although interestingly before ‘Dunkirk’ was even released, one U.K. bookmaker, has the film at 2/1 to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
According to the ‘Hollywood Reporter’ ’Dunkirk’ has been a big earner for the director.
In a feature on movie industry salaries in 2016, it reported that: “Christopher Nolan is said to be getting $20 million upfront and 20 percent of the gross” for ‘Dunkirk,’—“the richest deal since Peter Jackson got the same for King Kong.”
Joshua Levine, who wrote the book ‘Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk,’ and was the film’s historical consultant, says Dunkirk “was a massive event that still has international significance.”
He says that “if the British army had been killed or taken prisoner, Britain would almost certainly have surrendered, and we’d likely be living in a very different world today.”
It also led to the British expression “The Spirit of Dunkirk” or “Dunkirk Spirit” which refers to being strong in a difficult situation and refusing to accept defeat.