Christopher Nolan

6 Reasons Why “Dunkirk” Is One of the Greatest War Movies Ever Made

By Bennett Ferguson

There is a moment late in “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan’s ferociously vivid account of the evacuation of over 300,000 cornered British soldiers from France during World War II, when a man accepts that he is going to die.

He’s a naval commander named Bolton and since he’s played by Kenneth Branagh, every word he speaks carries a calm dignity that would have made Alan Rickman crack a sly smile. Yet as a German plane swoops overhead, the formidable Bolton realizes that these are his last moments and closes his eyes, surrendering to his fate.

It’s odd that one of the most memorable parts of a film about stratospheric triumph (it has been speculated that if the evacuation had failed, the war would have tilted in Hitler’s favor) is a moment of defeat.

Then again, Nolan (who also wrote the film) has never been one to let expectations ruffle his impeccable blonde coiffure. He is, after all, the filmmaker who made sweet narrative music out of a backwards murder mystery in “Memento” and bizarrely and beautifully turned a bookcase into a cosmic conduit between an estranged father and daughter in “Interstellar.”

“Dunkirk” (which uses composite characters) shares some time-bending DNA with Nolan’s previous films (more on that later), although it’s certainly an earthier affair. Superheroes may fascinate Nolan (note his three dates with the Dark Knight), but the daredevilry in “Dunkirk” isn’t like anything from the average comic book. Here, there are no skyscrapers to leap off of—there’s just soldiers struggling to survive, whether they’re trying to escape a torrent of saltwater pouring through bullet holes in a boat, or swimming to safety after a torpedo strike.

“Dunkirk” is also, like all of Nolan’s films, great fun (along with “Gravity” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” it’s one of the zestiest suspense thrillers of the decade). → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Watch: How Edward Hopper’s Plaintive Visions of Americana Influenced Cinematography

By Emily Buder

Edward Hopper left a giant brush mark on contemporary cinema.

Paintings have influenced some of the most iconic compositions in the history of cinematography. From Michael Mann’s dead-ringer recreation of Alex Colville’s “Pacific” in Heat to Christopher Nolan’s not-so-subtle homages to M.C. Escher in Inception, directors and cinematographers never cease to draw inspiration from the very first masters of light: painters. (In fact, Stanley Kubrick and his DP John Alcott meticulously shot the entirety of Barry Lyndon to resemble 18th-century paintings.)

But perhaps no other artist has left such an indelible mark on cinematography than Edward Hopper, America’s most famous realist painter. Hopper’s painting “The House by the Railroad” inspired not one, but two famous cinematic abodes: the Bates house in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and the farmhouse in Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven.

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From:: No Film School

Sony Tidbits…

By SonyAlpha Admin

ND Filters & Long Exposures – The Definitive Guide Full list of todays Gold Box deals at Amazon, BHphoto, eBay,,,,, ZEISS Batis Lenses – High-quality lenses for Sony E-mount cameras (Lenspire). Chances are you’ll never see Dunkirk the way Christopher Nolan intended (Dpreview). 5 Reasons Why the Sony α9 is […]

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

All 10 Nicolas Winding Refn Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

By David Zou

When one thinks of contemporary successful mainstream movie directors, Nicolas Winding Refn’s name might not immediately come to mind, with the likes of David Fincher and Christopher Nolan taking up most of the spotlight and generating most successes. However, Refn, who was born in Denmark but spent a few years of his youth living in New York, most certainly commands great influence in the modern film industry, with a very characteristic style, blending the tense, exciting, violent action one might expect from an American blockbuster with a colorful, sometimes surreal arthouse sensibility, not entirely unlike the work of some of his Danish peers.

Currently aged 46, Refn has exactly 10 feature films to his name, ranging from somewhat obscure works such as “Bleeder” and “Fear X”, to popular cult classics like “Drive” and “Bronson”. A very wide scope of styles and tones can be observed throughout his filmography, and this list tackles each of his movies individually in an attempt to determine what he did best as well as what didn’t work across his prolific career.

10. Bleeder

Bleeder (1999)

Refn’s sophomore directorial effort, released in 1999, tells us a story (or rather two intertwining stories) pertaining to the dark, largely unseen underbelly of the director’s native Denmark, following the trend originally exhibited in his thematically similar debut “Pusher”. In fact, despite not being formally part of the Pusher trilogy, it might be perceived as a spiritual sequel of sorts, with its analogous, gritty tone and the fact that it features the same setting and even the same lead actors (then-rising Danish stars Kim Bodnia and Mads Mikkelsen).

It is precisely this excessive proximity to “Pusher” that makes “Bleeder” possibly Refn’s most unremarkable movie, exploring the seedy side of Copenhagen in a → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Watch: How Christopher Nolan’s Structure Reflects His Narrative

By Jon Fusco

Most of the director’s films build up like a magic trick straight out of The Prestige.

When it comes to making good cinema, Christopher Nolan has truly proven he can do it all. With some of the most successful standalone films of the past decade and perhaps the most innovative superhero franchise entry of all time, it’s clear at this point that he has a winning structure in place for creating film. What’s most interesting about that structure, however, is that it directly mirrors the subject of one of his greatest films.

Like any good writer, Nolan sticks to a three-act structure, but Fandor‘s latest video essay reveals how he takes a page from the magician’s handbook and sets up the plot much like any great magic trick.

“For me, The Prestige is very much about filmmaking,” Nolan admits. “It’s also intended to suggest to the audience some of those ideas about how the film itself is spooling its narrative out to the audience.” The film’s structure is predicated on the three part set up of a great magic trick, “The Pledge,” “The Turn,” and “The Prestige.”

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From:: No Film School

10 Movies You Should See Before Watching “Dunkirk”

By David Zou

As the premiere of Christopher Nolan’s new movie “Dunkirk” has arrived, here is a selection of films that have some connections with this movie – some of them even quoted by the director as direct influences – and brilliant war films from the history of cinema that should definitely be watched before Nolan’s film.

In “Dunkirk”, a very visual movie that is one of the most anticipated releases of the year, we are introduced to Allied soldiers from the British Empire, Belgium and France that are surrounded by the Germans during a brutal battle in World War II. The movie stars Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, Barry Keoghan and, of course, the film even has a cameo from Michael Caine.

So, in order to celebrate great films that expose the cruelty and senseless savagery of war (and even some classic thrillers and visual masterpieces), here are 10 movies that you should see before watching Dunkirk.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), directed by Lewis Milestone

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Oscar-winning film from acclaimed director Lewis Milestone, “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a defining movie in the history of the depiction of war in cinema. In the words of Christopher Nolan to the British Film Institute: “One look at James Jones’ essay on ‘Phony War Films’ (in which he takes down several of my old favourites) immediately shows you the perils of taking on real-life combat in a dramatic motion picture.

In Jones’ estimation All Quiet on the Western Front said it first and best: war dehumanises. Revisiting that masterpiece it is hard to disagree that the intensity and horror have never been bettered. For me, the film demonstrates the power of resisting → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Watch: How ‘Dunkirk’ Uses a Classic Audio Illusion to Ratchet Up the Tension

By Justin Morrow

The auditory phenomenon known as the Shepard tone is used to add suspense to Dunkirk.

When filmmakers use every cinematic element at their disposal, good films can become great, and this isn’t just the case for big-budget blockbusters. One filmmaker who has had an intuitive understanding of this principle from his first film is Christopher Nolan, whose current blockbuster Dunkirk uses visuals, music, and even sound itself to shape its story, in the form of the auditory illusion known as the Shepard tone.

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From:: No Film School

The Treachery of Expectations

By John P. Hess

Let’s start with the first expectation. You read the ominous title and saw the screen grab of Dunkirk, you might be expecting this to be a negative review of Christopher Nolan’s latest epic. Well it’s not. I took in a late screening on Sunday night of opening weekend. Being that it was the day after […]

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