|Hop head |
thanks for the tip, I'll look that one up
FWIW, once I got the timeline figured out in my pea brain, I thought Dunkirk was a decent movie,
and I'll see this one in the theater as well
|Fighting the good fight|
I know its a divisive film, due to the potentially confusing timeline and the unique audio choices (one of Nolan's signatures), but I thought Dunkirk was the best film I saw that whole year. Especially from a technical audio/visual/cinematography standpoint.
It's truly a film that is best appreciated on a theater screen with a theatrical sound system, or at least in a home theater with quality audio and picture components. Many of the complaints I've seen/heard from folks about Dunkirk are about stuff like the washed out and dark scenes and the hard-to-distinguish audio, which likely stem from trying to watch it on TVs with cheap stereo speakers and poor color calibration, where the amazing audio and camera shots get muddled into a mess.
I’m looking forward to this. I’m embarrassed to say this but I didn’t learn much about WW1 in high school or college. But last summer I listened to my first podcast- Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. It was called Blueprint for Armageddon. 6 parts and over 24 hours long. It was better than any history class I had. To say the numbers killed were staggering is the understatement of the year.
‘1917’ is a haunting, technical marvel and one of Hollywood’s best war films
By: J.D. Simkins 20 hours ago
Note: This article contains no spoilers.
It is no stretch to call “1917” one of the most impressive and cinematically innovative war films ever made.
The movie inspired by Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes’ own grandfather’s World War I autobiography is a technical marvel that renders a characterization of “immersive” a gross understatement.
Fooled by a German illusion of retreat in which the enemy withdrew its forces to the Hindenburg Line, the Brits are readying to strike hard, unaware they are advancing into a reinforced meat grinder.
British aerial intelligence revealed the bolstered German defenses, but with field communications knocked out, lance corporals Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are given the task of navigating the apocalyptic hellscapes of the Western Front to deliver the all-important message that could save 1,600 men, including Blake’s own brother — and the clock is ticking.
Co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who worked with Mendes on the Showtime series “Penny Dreadful,” penned a first-rate script that conveyed a world easily relatable to any who have ever worn the uniform.
Weaponry, technology and theaters of war evolve throughout generations, but the attitude of the grunt in the dirt, as well as the disconnect between top brass and the average fighting man, remains remarkably consistent.
From a visual standpoint, “1917” is an unmatched achievement.
The painstaking attention to detail by Mendes and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins to bring the trenches and no man’s land of World War I to 21st century cinema results in a 117-minute continuous-shot thrill ride that is invariably stunning.
Single-shot filmmaking has gained steam in recent years, having been employed masterfully by renowned cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki in scenes from “The Revenant,” “Gravity,” or in the thrilling firefight sequence in director Alfonso Cuarón’s 2006 film, “Children of Men.”
But never before has an entire film been shot using the technique. Of course, the 117-minute journey would be impossible to shoot in one take, so the crew strategically placed cuts during moments unnoticeable to the audience — a brief CGI shot or an explosion that clouded the screen.
The result is a cinematic accomplishment that leaves viewers with the sensation of having just endured something.
War is hideous — mud, rats, decaying horses, corpses mired in interminable mazes of barbed wire. Death, austere landscapes and smoldering ruins become characters unto themselves, an ever-present reminder of man’s capacity for destruction.
“From the very beginning I felt this movie should be told in real time," Mendes said in a behind-the-scenes featurette.
“I wanted people to understand how difficult it was for these men. ... Every step of the journey, breathing every breath with these men, felt integral. And there is no better way to tell the story than with one continuous shot.”
Select action sequences were so extensive that cameras had to be hooked onto wires and pushed across landscapes by operators before traversing an elevated wire reminiscent of the sky cam used during National Football League broadcasts. Operators would then have to regather the camera, unhook it, and run alongside characters before climbing into a moving vehicle for a faster sequence.
Because this technique required the use of 360 degrees of each exterior, “1917,” like “The Revenant,” had to be shot using only natural light, a process that made actors and camera operators entirely dependent on ideal weather conditions. A five-minute window of the sun ducking behind clouds could send cast and crew scrambling into position.
“It was like a piece of theater every take,” McKay said. “Once you start, you can’t stop. If something goes wrong, you just have to keep going.”
The bulk of the story of Blake and Schofield, meanwhile, is unique for film in the sense that they are quite ordinary. Their existence is not marked by any singular act of extraordinary heroism. Rather, it is the pedestrian nature of the two soldiers that makes their story undeniably relatable. Moments of bravery are not dwelled upon, and horrific events happen without having the time to fixate on situational magnitude.
Following along in real time only reinforces the mesmerizing experience.
Filmmakers “might be able to cut around this or take that scene out," Mendes said of other films. "That’s not possible on this film. The dance of the camera and the mechanics all have to be in sync with what the actor is doing.
“When you achieve that, it’s really beautiful.”
“1917” is beautiful, exhausting, haunting, emotional, and an absolute must-see. It is scheduled for a limited Christmas Day release before hitting theaters nationwide on Jan. 10, 2020.
No spoilers, just details from the director on how far they went to get the historical details right in this movie. I can't wait to see it.
Hobnails, drill and boot camp: secrets of Sam Mendes’s war epic 1917
Director tells how getting every detail right was crucial to helping his cast understand emotions of war
Wasted youth, random violent death and the folly of armed conflict are the big themes of 1917, Sam Mendes’s orchestral symphony of a first world war film. But for the director and the team who made it alongside him, no detail was too small to consider.
“It was very important, the question of historical accuracy,” said Mendes. “We had two very fine historical advisers, Andy Robertshaw and Peter Barton, who are world renowned. And one military adviser, Paul Biddiss, who was also brilliant.”
The film, out in cinemas in January, has already won many admiring reviews and was premiered last Wednesday in front of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Leicester Square. Set on 6 April in northern France, after the Germans had staged a tactical retreat to the position known as the Hindenburg Line, 1917 follows a soldier’s deadly mission to help a family member. Mendes’s own mission as director was to be faithful to the experiences of the men who fought, including his own grandfather, Alfred H Mendes.
As a child the Oscar-winning director of American Beauty and Skyfall often listened to the wartime stories of his charismatic grandparent, a teenage lance corporal in 1917, and wondered at the thin line they described between luck and misfortune, life and death. One “fragment” in particular, the story of a message carried through the mist of no man’s land at dusk, has never left Mendes; it sparked the plot of his first screenplay, co-written with Krysty Wilson-Cairns.
“The film is a compression of time and place, so you take what’s important,” said Mendes. “You are not making a documentary, but you do want it to feel, in every possible detail, historically accurate.”
Mendes adds that Biddiss was vital for “hands-on” military and technical advice: “what’s in their kit bag, how to handle their weapons – this sort of stuff”. Robertshaw concentrated on getting the practical surroundings right: “What’s in the trenches, what’s in the dug-outs, what they would have imported or brought from home.”
The director describes Barton, the historian, as “more of an overall challenger”. Once a draft of the screenplay was written Mendes and Wilson-Cairns handed it over.
“I just said: ‘Pick as many holes in the script as you can.’ And he did. At great length. And it was tough actually. There were some really hard notes to factor in. But we did. And if we didn’t, there was a specific reason,” said Mendes.
While the shape of a military helmet might not be enough to make or marr a good film, for Mendes and his advisers it was imperative to replicate the uniforms shown in documentary footage and photographs. Many other dramas set in the trenches have thriftily relied upon re-purposed second world war helmets. But not on the set of 1917. Although the Brodie helmets worn in “the Great War” are no longer around in large numbers, Mendes’s troops wear accurate recreations. What is more, they differ subtly from one battalion to another, since at the time the film is set, helmet shape was changing.
“When I watched the footage back each day I tried to find any slip that I possibly could, such as undone ammunition pouches,” said Biddiss, an ex-paratrooper who ran the six-month training camp set up before filming by Mendes for those chosen to play troops. “In the first world war soldiers were taught to check their ammunition before they moved off,” said Biddiss. “Lance Corporal Schofield, played by George MacKay, is supposed to have fought in the Somme and so would have already had problems with his webbing [military belts and harnesses]. Soldiers had found it flapped open and the bullets often fell out so after the Somme it was modified and all soldiers were drilled to check their pouches. They still are today.”
The open-air action was filmed this summer on Salisbury Plain and in Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. Other scenes were filmed in Oxfordshire, Glasgow and in a Darlington river.
In February, before the long shoot in Salisbury, the film crew invited local men aged 16-35 to audition to become troops. And then Biddiss’s training camp began. MacKay, who stars in the film alongside Dean-Charles Chapman, has spoken of this training period as “an incredible process”.
“We had to make sure they were all mentally and physically fit,” said Biddiss. “We used about 800 men in all and about 500 for the Salisbury section, as well as the main cast. I wanted them all to understand the etiquette of the trenches.”
Several of those selected were asked to grow moustaches, although beards were not permitted, except for the Sikh soldiers in turbans.
“One of the first lessons I gave George and Dean was about their boots,” said Biddiss. “I told them looking after them would be as crucial for them as it had been for the soldiers.”
Clad in hobnail boots for 12-hour days, the young actors learned to act quickly when they felt the “hotspots” that would lead to blisters and which, during the war, would have gone on endanger their lives as full-blown trenchfoot.
“I also taught them not to put their fingers on the trigger of their guns. Soldiers are trained to do that only when about to fire,” said Biddiss.
Character was key to the advice required and so Biddiss suggested the nervous novice played by Chapman should continually check his bayonet as they await an order to go “over the top”.
He also said that when MacKay’s corporal is injured, it should be a glancing blow to the head rather than a shoulder wound that would quickly incapacitate any soldier.
Establishing the emotions felt by the assembled troops was also a priority for Mendes and Biddiss, even though some of them would be in shot just for a moment.
“I emphasised the fear and anger,” Biddiss said. “I can relate to that because I remember jumping out of a Chinook in the dark after I had been briefed that there were people out there who wanted to kill me.
“In fear, you breathe and taste the air differently, knowing you may die. And the anger was important because that is how soldiers feel when they realise they are in a dangerous situation.”
The military adviser was especially happy with a scene near the close of the film when one of the young heroes runs through a long trench against the clock. It clearly shows how trenches were organised, with sergeants and platoon sergeants running things, while an officer is shown breaking down with nerves.
And what was the need for all this military training, followed by such a long rehearsal period? Well, Mendes had decided early on he wanted to make the film in a continuous shot, as if happening in real time.
“When Sam told me,” recalled Biddiss, “he said, ‘So it has got to be on the money from the word “Action”’. No pressure!”
And for Biddiss the film became more personal than expected. “I discovered while working on this that one of my uncles, Lance Corporal Robert Victor Biddiss of the London Regiment, had died in December 1917 as he moved into the Hindenburg Support advance.”
The effort to honour the story accurately was then more pertinent. “It was important for all of us to get it right, not just for Sam, because we all have relatives who fought.”
“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
- John Adams
But is it ever coming out?????
Just my 2¢
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right ♫♫♫
I don't understand the question. It's out. Check your local theater's web sites.
Official release date for the US is Jan 10.
With some limited early release back in 12/19
I see it local in a couple places one day early.
Deplorable before deplorable was cool!
| Get my pies|
outta the oven!
It was supposed to come out in the fall...then Christmas but got delayed several times for some reason. Studios do play games with release dates to either not get blown out by bigger films or to position themselves for Oscars for a certain year.
|Fighting the good fight|
Yeah, it opens around here on Thursday (1/9).
I'll most likely be going Saturday morning. It'll be the first movie I've seen in the theater since Dunkirk in 2017.
|hello darkness |
my old friend
Cant wait to see it. i will see it on Saturday.
Agreed! I can't recommend it highly enough, but it is horrifying.
Just saw it. Holy shit, what a great movie. Sort of like Dunkirk meets Saving Pvt. Ryan, and I mean that in a good way.
First, the filming is unbelievable. The movie was one long take with a steadycam (or do they just use iPhones now?). But not in a self-conscious, annoying, vertigo-causing way. More like you're there with the character(s). Following the action through trenches and tunnels, and even down a raging river. The camera pans in and out, between the actors and the scenery, but never lets go, and almost no hard cuts. If they used CGI, and you know they must, it sure was hard to spot.
Unhampered by Dunkirk's multiple plot-lines, the movie tracks straight as a laser. The story of reluctant heroes is simple and satisfying. Good non-over-the-top performances, perfect pacing. The 2-hour duration is spot on, not too long or too short.
Bloody well done.
ACCU-STRUT FOR MINI-14
"Pen & Sword as One"
|Fighting the good fight|
I just saw it as well. Holy shit, indeed. Amazingly well done.
I was worried that the "one long take" would seem gimmicky. But it did not. What it did was ramp the tension continually throughout the movie, and drag you along kicking and screaming. This is a film that you feel in your chest and in your gut. The camera never cuts (with one notable exception), pauses, or flinches away.
It isn't quite as in-your-face violent/gory as something like Saving Private Ryan. There's actually relatively minimal shooting, for a war movie. In most scenes, it's more casual with its carnage, with rotted dead bodies littering the ground and the like. A perfect encapsulation of the casual horror of trench warfare.
This is a movie that definitely needs to be seen more than once. Not only because it's so well done, but also because there's so much going on in the background but the camera never lingers on a scene. It's constantly moving. So I know I missed 70+% of the background touches.
(And when I say "constantly moving", fear not... I don't mean that in the spastic/ADHD/shakey-cam/constant rapid cutting style that so many movies use these days. The camera is very fluid and steady throughout. It just constantly tracks the characters, rather than being rooted in place like usual.)
My favorite part was the middle portion of the film, which takes place at night in the bombed-out ruins of city, lit only intermittently by fire-engulfed buildings and overhead flares. It is absolutely incredible cinema.
I guarantee that, like Dunkirk, this will clean up at the next awards season, especially in the technical/cinematography categories.
And like Dunkirk, I guarantee there will be a large number of folks out there who will wait until it comes out on streaming or on cable TV, watch it at home with heavily compressed audio and commercial breaks on their poorly calibrated Black Friday budget TV and tinny stereo speakers, and then bitch about what a crappy movie it is, how they couldn't make anything out in the dark scenes, how the sound was too muddled, etc.
Please, please, please... Make plans to go see this on the big digital screen with Dolby Atmos sound at your local movie theater. This movie deserves it. (And that's saying a lot, coming from a guy who hates going to the movie theater, and goes once every few years.)
Glad to see some positive reviews from my personal go-to source.
Hoping to catch a matinee at the Dolby Atmos movie grill.
The Enemy's gate is down.
|Web Clavin Extraordinaire|
I've heard that they used characters going into smoke clouds or the like as a way to get cuts for filming. Is that true?
Chuck Norris put the laughter in "manslaughter"
Educating the youth of America, one declension at a time.
|Fighting the good fight|
Yes, but it's seamlessly edited together so that it appears to be one continuous flow. It's just not feasible to shoot a true 2-hour-long continuous tracking shot, especially with scenes this complex and covering such a large area.
There were spots that you could assume would have been an appropriate place for a cut in filming, like occasionally when certain objects are very briefly interposed between the camera and the characters. But even then, it's not like they're blocking the entire screen, or the screen fades to black briefly, or anything like that. It's just like a tree/pillar/door/etc. momentarily gets in the way of your view as an observer who's walking alongside the characters through that town or forest, or the person you're closely following turns a corner and you briefly lose sight of them until you turn the same corner. It's not like they are noticeable as cuts, even if you're looking for it.
There's only one true cut partway through the film, and it's done for story reasons. You'll know it when you see it.
The burning plaza scene was my favorite part, too. I think I actually gasped out loud when the flames filled the screen (plus I was sitting only 3 rows from the front).
ACCU-STRUT FOR MINI-14
"Pen & Sword as One"
Just got done watching it w/ my wife and daughter. A really good movie. The part in the destroyed village w/ the aerial flares is down right creepy.
Keep in mind, at the same time, that a few of us (AV nuts) will get it on 4k disc, with no compression, in Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos, and will have it f'ing cranked up to the max rattling the room and will smile instead of complain And I mean buy the disc. I own Dunkirk. Actually I own most of Nolan's films on 4k disc and 1917 will be another I buy and I am choosy. Dunkirk was awesome, especially the 35mm scenes where it's full screen at home. I have Atmos and I have Dolby Vision. So I'm one who isn't skipping it or skipping seeing it the right way. I'm just not willing to go to the theater anymore and have a millennial interrupt such a big event for me with their phone.
I agree with you on the herd, 100%
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