Empty Beaches in ‘Dunkirk’ (2017) (reddit link)

I have more posts in the pipeline, but as this is something I wanted to cover, but then found a Reddit thread that nailed it, I’m just going to link to it. I remember thinking that the beach was far too sparse in Christopher Nolan’s movie, but did search out some period photos that did look like the movie. I still thought that Nolan had erred too much on the side of practical effects and avoiding CGI. This is arguably still true for the detail of the film – the Buchon aircraft are visibly not real Messerschmitt Bf109s and that could/should have been fixed ‘in post’. The in-cockpit shots from the modified ‘camera ship’ aircraft are also obvious to those who know their aircraft. The most jarring shot of the film for me was the comedy broomhandle in Tom Hardy’s ditched Spitfire. Why that wasn’t fixed with CGI I will never know But these are minor details really. Long story short, Nolan got it about right about how busy the beaches were, albeit he was selective in the shots he chose to present. For me though it’s about whether what’s shown is plausible or realistic, and it absolutely is. You could take a time-travelling camera crew to 1940 and film similar footage – you might be missing times or places when there were more people, vehicles and equipment visible, but what Nolan shows us is not unrealistic. The argument then becomes one about artistic vision, and for me, the film overall is great.

Here’s the thread in question;

2 thoughts on “Empty Beaches in ‘Dunkirk’ (2017) (reddit link)

  1. The beaches did seem quite empty, but I was more perplexed by the fact that all the officers and NCOs of the BEF seemed to have vanished entirely, apart from a nervous staff officer seconded from the OTC of a minor Oxford College and perhaps one or two M.O.s.

    1. Yes, that’s a fair one. Watching 1917 only reinforced my view that these modern films about war just aren’t ‘war films’ in the traditional sense. They are very willing to present a certain view and overlook details. Which is fair enough, but we can still nitpick them 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s