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Fionn Whitehead looks on in a new image from Christopher Nol

'Dunkirk' Director Christopher Nolan Talks Silent Film Inspirations for WWII Epic

HaydnSpurrell HaydnSpurrell Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is getting closer to release, and is one of the year's hotly anticipated studio films. Inspired by Operation Dynamo, the 1940 mission in which nearly 340,000 Allied troops were rescued after being trapped by the Nazis in northern France, Nolan has spoken and given us a new look into the creation of the upcoming pic.

“I spent a lot of time reviewing the silent films for crowd scenes –the way extras move, evolve, how the space is staged and how the cameras capture it, the views used,” Nolan tells Premiere Magazine (via The Playlist). He spent plenty of time brushing up on silent films like Intolerance and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, not to mention others such as Saving Private Ryan.

“The empathy for the characters has nothing to do with their story. I did not want to go through the dialogue to tell the story of my characters. The problem is not who they are, who they claim to be, or where they come from. The only question I was interested in was: Will they get out of it? Will they be killed by the next bomb while trying to join the mole? Or will they be crushed by a boat crossing?”

The story itself will be split into three: one on the beach with the infantry, one with the navy, and one in the air. “For the soldiers embarked in the conflict, the events took place on different temporalities. On land, some stayed one week stuck on the beach. On the water, the events lasted a maximum day; And if you were flying to Dunkirk, the British spitfires would carry an hour of fuel. To mingle these different versions of history, one had to mix the temporal strata. Hence the complicated structure; even if the story, once again, is very simple.”

Dunkirk lands in theaters July 21, 2017.


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