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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Dunkirk - 4K DCP version

Author Topic: Dunkirk - 4K DCP version
Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 7136
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000

 - posted 07-30-2017 11:52 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Saw this on a Barco DP4K-P at a Bel-Air Circuit screening room during a rehearsal/check screening for the client before the actual show. So, needless to say, color calibration, light level and the room's audio tuning were all bang on spec.

Despite being a DCP, anyone used to the film aesthetic could easily see that it was originated on film. In keeping with Nolan's emphasis on practical rather than CGI effects, very slight graininess on some shots with wide open apertures was visible. There was a lot of playing around with depth of field in the visuals - wide open apertures with low depth of field to emphasize close ups, and stopped down ones in the long shots of the beach and the Spitfire pilots' PoV shots. Whoever mastered this DCP did a very nice, light touch job in the final stages of the digital post. For those of you who won't get to see this on film (work and childcare commitments mean that I probably won't), the quality of this DCP should be a pleasant surprise, assuming that you manage to see it in a decently spec-ed and maintained house.

The one technical aspect I had a real problem with was the audio. As with Interstellar, dialog is not confined to the center channel, and is mixed very quietly compared to the music and effects. I suspect that there will be a lot of too quiet/too loud complaints in the 'plexes.

As for the movie, it wasn't what I was expecting. I was hoping that it might start to look at the political and strategic back story to the Dunkirk evacuations, and specifically, to explore how the British and French military planners got it so spectacularly wrong in taking it as read that the Germans would not try to break through the Maginot line and cut off the BEF. I am really hoping that we are now at the point were we don't need simply to remake Dunkirk (1958), The Dam Busters, A Bridge Too Far, etc. - movies that celebrate stiff upper lip war heroism, but do absolutely nothing to explain why it was necessary in the first place. We need a new genre of movie that explores WWII like 1980s Hollywood did Vietnam, but there is no sign of it here.

This is simply an impressionistic view of the evacuation itself, cross-cutting from three perspectives: the soldiers on the beach, the aerial battle to protect them taking place above, and the rescue ships and boats. It does this very convincingly, borrowing on the acting, directing and visual styles of the Documentary Movement films of the 1940s (bits of it reminded me of Western Approaches), but with large format aesthetics and more polished acting. Practical effects rather than CGI was a big plus, but he seriously needs to ditch Hans Zimmer for his next movie. The music was a pretentious distraction.

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