Watch ‘Dunkirk’s Christopher Nolan, Harry Styles, and Fionn Whitehead Talk about the Value of Realism

     July 19, 2017

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HBO has released an upcoming Inside Look at Dunkirk featuring director Christopher Nolan and actors Fionn Whitehead and Harry Styles. The brief featurette has the trio discussing the value of the realistic sets and rigs that Nolan traditionally creates for his movies in order to make the scenes more immediate. For example, in the scene they discuss here, soldiers played by Whitehead and Styles are on a boat, and when the boat is hit by a torpedo, rather than shaking the camera and telling the actors to fall down, they’re on a rig that’s actually tipping over. Whitehead and Styles note that this kind of realism helps them not worry about acting since really they’re just reacting to whatever Nolan throws at them.

Additionally, there’s a bit of a joke at the end where Nolan asks how they like bread and jam, and Styles mentions that he wish he had known about the spitbucket sooner.  For those who don’t know, whenever actors are eating in a scene, because they have to do a lot of takes, they’re not actually digesting the food they’re eating.  When the director yells “Cut”, someone comes around with a spitbucket, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.  The magic of moviemaking!

Hopefully, when Dunkirk hits Blu-ray, it will have a wealth of special features that really dives into the practical effects of the film since it looks like it was fairly arduous production process. Even when I was watching the film, I was desperate to know more about how they constructed certain shots and the safety precautions they needed to take.

Check out the video below. Dunkirk opens Friday and also stars Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, and Barry Keoghan.

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