Christopher Nolan Reveals 11 Films That Inspired Dunkirk.

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“ Dunkirk is a movie about survival, hope and experiencing war ”

Christopher Nolan recently teamed with BFI Southbank for Christopher Nolan Presents, a season of films that inspired him to make his upcoming movie Dunkirk. The screenings will run from 1-31 July in London. The movie tells the story of the evacuation of Dunkirk, France between May 26- June 04, 1940, during Battle of France in World War II.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is one of the most anticipated movies this year. In a new experience, Nolan is directing a World War II Drama movie starring Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, and Harry Styles.

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About those inspirations, Nolan said:

    “You might expect a season of films leading up to a screening of Dunkirk to be a selection of war movies. But I chose to approach Dunkirk more as survival story than war film. 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 (Lewis Milestone, 1930) 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 the convention of finding meaning and logic in individual fate.”

    “Most of the other films in this series fall into two different but overlapping categories. From established classics of tension like The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953) and Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) through to the more recent ticking-clock nail-biters Speed (Jan de Bont, 1994) and Tony Scott’s final film, the relentless Unstoppable (2010), our season explores the mechanics and uses of suspense to modulate an audience’s response to narrative.”

He Added:

    “Other titles explore the possibilities of purely visual storytelling, whether literally, in the case of the silent epics – Stroheim’s Greed (1924) and Murnau’s Sunrise (1927) – or in part, like the thrilling windswept beaches and crashing waves of Ryan’s Daughter (David Lean, 1970). The relationship of geographical spectacle to narrative and thematic drive in these works is extraordinary and inspiring. Pure cinema.”

    “The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) is a timeless and affecting verité narrative, which forces empathy with its characters in the least theatrical manner imaginable. We care about the people in the film simply because we feel immersed in their reality and the odds they face. The visual splendour, intertwined narratives and aggressively anachronistic music of Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire (1981) combined to create a masterpiece of British understatement whose popularity rapidly obscured its radical nature.”

    “Finally, no examination of cinematic suspense and visual storytelling would be complete without Hitchcock, and his technical virtuosity in Foreign Correspondent’s (1940) portrayal of the downing of a plane at sea provided inspiration for much of what we attempted in Dunkirk. All the films are screened on 35mm or 70mm prints. I hope you will enjoy the rare opportunity of seeing these incredible movies in their original analogue glory, as nature intended.”  

Here is the list of the films that inspired Dunkirk:

Greed (1924)

  • Director: Erich von Stroheim.
  • Synopsis: The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

  • Director: F.W. Murnau.
  • Synopsis: An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh – one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

  • Director: Lewis Milestone.
  • Synopsis: A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.

Foreign Correspondent (1940)

  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock.
  • Synopsis: On the eve of World War II, a young American reporter tries to expose enemy agents in London.

The Wages of Fear – Le Salaire de la Peur (1953)

  • Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot.
  • Synopsis: In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

The Battle of Algiers – La battaglia di Algeri – La Bataille d’Alger (1966)

  • Director: Gillo Pontecorvo.
  • Synopsis: In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.

Ryan’s Daughter (1970)

  • Director: David Lean.
  • Synopsis: Set in the wake of the 1916 Easter Rising, a married woman in a small Irish village has an affair with a troubled British officer.

Alien (1979)

  • Director: Ridley Scott.
  • Synopsis: After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious life-form, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.

Chariots of Fire (1981)

  • Director: Hugh Hudson.
  • Synopsis: Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

Speed (1994)

  • Director: Jan de Bont.
  • Synopsis: A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.

Unstoppable (2010)

  • Director: Tony Scott.
  • Synopsis: With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Dunkirk lite movies christopher nolan

  • Synopsis:

Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

  • Director: Christopher Nolan.
  • Cast:

Fionn Whitehead, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, James D’Arcy, Aneurin Barnard, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan.

  • Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller, History, War.
  • Release Date: July21, 2017.
  • Rating: PG-13.
  • Trailer: Dunkirk.


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