Dunkirk's Cinematography

The 2017 World War II thriller about the evacuation of British and Allied troops from Dunkirk beach.
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I loved that sequence so much. Those shots, dat music.

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Boyd wrote:You mean this shot? (taken from a crappy hd cam)
Image
No.

I was speaking about the sequence, that occurs after they're forced back to the beach.

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Same here lol

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Sky007 wrote:That plane image becomes even greater and more thematically complex after the final shot.
thank you sir

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Sky007 wrote:That plane image becomes even greater and more thematically complex after the final shot.
I'm dumb can you explain

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Cilogy wrote:
Sky007 wrote:That plane image becomes even greater and more thematically complex after the final shot.
I'm dumb can you explain
I'd like to hear Armand's analysis of this, and I'm still trying to pin down my own, but in short, Nolan suggests through his structure that acts of courage can transcend time (plenty of examples of this). Think of the 3 perspective at the end. For Farrier, he's entering certain doom. That burning plane is horror to him. Alex doesn't care about Tommy reading Churchill and thinks that they're failures. It's true that this was a military failure, but the lie becomes the public's reality. The cut back to Tommy, who was just inspired by this lie, and him looking up is the most subtly ambiguous ending that Nolan has ever done, and I'm curious to hear other interpretations. It's similar to Inception's final image that represents how we create our own realities.

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I took it to be more simple than that-- ending on the flaming wreckage of the English fighter (flown by a brave, captured older soldier) would've been a downcast, defeatist ending. But immediately following it up with a shot of the shot of the young kid who went through hell but gets to live to fight another day-- like so many of his comrades and the rest of the country as a whole, gives a sense of bittersweet hope.

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Sky007 wrote:
Cilogy wrote:
Sky007 wrote:That plane image becomes even greater and more thematically complex after the final shot.
I'm dumb can you explain
I'd like to hear Armand's analysis of this, and I'm still trying to pin down my own, but in short, Nolan suggests through his structure that acts of courage can transcend time (plenty of examples of this). Think of the 3 perspective at the end. For Farrier, he's entering certain doom. That burning plane is horror to him. Alex doesn't care about Tommy reading Churchill and thinks that they're failures. It's true that this was a military failure, but the lie becomes the public's reality. The cut back to Tommy, who was just inspired by this lie, and him looking up is the most subtly ambiguous ending that Nolan has ever done, and I'm curious to hear other interpretations. It's similar to Inception's final image that represents how we create our own realities.
I'm in the boat of still digesting it, and I think it's something that will evolve. It reminds me of one of my favourite endings, that of A Civil Action.

I think the half-fade on the burning Spitfire is about the catharsis that the evacuation provided for Britain in a sense, the understanding that it was a conclusive achievement in the minds of many at the time - the resignation of Hardy's character to capture, the general relief of being back home, but the abandonment of that and the return to Tommy suggests that this is indeed World War II Begins for these character. It's a reminder that mortal peril still awaits them on the other side, and I think returning to Tommy, who was our avenue into the story, brings us back to that first scene in a way, where he had the most intimate confrontation with the enemy. In a way, I think reading the speech inverts the two characters' attitudes - Tommy is less surprised by the ecstatic reaction of those back home, by the end of the speech Alex has accepted it, but Tommy, the more balanced and wily of the two, perhaps has a greater understanding of what Churchill's words mean, i.e. the fight only having just begun.

That's how I feel about it at the minute anyway, I'm sure that will change in time.

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There are many great shots, but my most favourite were the aerial ones towards the end, especially when
Farrier opens the cockpit and then the shot which follows - above look at flying spitfire with beach below.
That shot is like a Nolans love letter to the spitfires.

Regarding the ending two shots:
interesting to read different interpretations, mine is a bit simpler and more viewer oriented: the way I see it is that Tommy maybe wouldnt be alive if Farrier didnt choose to risk and stay in the fight. So we see Farrier heading towards doom and Tommy alive going back home.
I too thought it wasnt a great ending shot, but now Im starting to feel a bit differently.

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American Cinematographer has released the August issue featuring an amazing article on Dunkirk. They never hold back on details in that publication. I do have a digital subscription, but I don’t think it would be legal to post the PDF here.

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