Christopher Nolan might just be the most bankable Hollywood director this side of James Cameron. Whether shepherding the most successful comic book franchise DC has ever seen or trying his hand at dizzyingly high-concept original projects, Nolan has always met with a monster windfall at the box office. It’s almost as if his films never go out of style. That‘s supposed to be a joke about the song Taylor Swift wrote about Harry Styles. Who is in Christopher Nolan‘s new movie. This is very clearly not my wheelhouse, so let’s just push right ahead as if that never happened.
War movies are usually pretty tough to watch. Classics like Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan contain scenes of such shocking brutality that it’s almost impossible not to look away. Scenes like that are what normally gets a movie slapped with an R rating, but Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is going to be different. The movie is rated PG-13, which is a little odd given that the Allied victory at Dunkirk was coupled with a beach full of corpses and unimaginable loss of life.
Christopher Nolan has never made a war movie before. But befitting a director who has left an indelible mark on the superhero and science-fiction genres, it sounds like Nolan is very much not playing it safe with Dunkirk, his upcoming film about a crucial World War II battle. Nolan gave one of his first interviews about the movie to the French magazine Premiere (via The Playlist), where he revealed that movie would not be a straightforward interpretation of the events that engulfed British forces in the spring of 1940. Here’s what he had to say (assuming that a detail here or there might have been lost in the translation from the original French):
Darkness. No parents. Continued darkness. The opposite of light. Black hole. Curtains drawn. In the basement. Middle of the night. Blacked-out windows. Other places that are dark.
If you’ve seen Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, you probably remember the great scene where Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and Ducard (Liam Neeson) fight on a frozen lake. But did you know that all throughout the day Bale and Neeson shot this scene, they could hear cracks in the ice beneath their feet? When the crew returned to the lake the next day, the entire thing had thawed. Yikes. That’s just one of the facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
We all got ourselves into a bit of a tizzy last fall when it looked like Daniel Craig might step down from playing James Bond, or that he was thinking about stepping down, or that he was maybe offered a lot of money to stay, or a number of other rumors that turned out to be unfounded. Many still speculated about who would take his place, which led to countless interviews where it seemed every British actor was getting the question. Recently, when asked whether he’d like to step into 007’s shoes, Tom Hardy had another suggestion.
When they said Rogue One was a war movie they weren’t kidding.
Following the debut of the first official trailer for Dunkirk earlier this week, reports surfaced suggesting that a special sneak peek of Christopher Nolan’s latest would screen in IMAX theaters this weekend with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. That’s not surprising, given the similar IMAX previews of Nolan’s last two Dark Knight films, and the director’s affinity for the format. And in the least shocking news of the week, IMAX has confirmed this weekend’s Dunkirk sneak peek with a full list of theaters where you can see it for yourself.
At this point in his career, after rewriting the rules of superheroes with The Dark Knight and rewriting the rules of movie dreams in Inception, Christopher Nolan can basically do whatever he wants. And what he wanted to do this year, apparently, was tell the story of one World War II battle. Dunkirk, which Nolan also wrote, follows Allied soldiers during the Battle of Dunkirk, where they were pinned down by German forces and had to enact a mass evacuation. This first trailer plays up the sense of danger and dread all around these men as they’re trapped and surrounded on this beach and picked off from the skies above by German bombers.
In recent years, the poster designers of Hollywood have fallen victim to a viral case of Friedrich fever, aping his epochal painting Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog with their own designs. Everyone who wasn't too hung over to remember Art History 101 in college identified the classical influence on the one-sheet for Star Trek Into Darkness, which sees a shrouded figure gazing out over a wreckage strewn wasteland in place of a churning tempest. And back in summer 2013, the eminently similar poster for After Earth placed the character very seriously named Cypher Raige atop a massive spacecraft in a similar position. Today, that illustrious genre gains yet another entry, courtesy of none other than Christopher Nolan.