A Greater Escape

Christopher Nolan takes the plunge with an audacious, sweeping war epic that, if successful, will cement his reputation as one of Hollywood’s greats.

Article Published on 17.07.2017

The year is 1940. 400,000 allied soldiers are stranded in northern France, a mere 26 miles from British shores. With their backs to the sea and their enemy closing in, they need a miracle.

Christopher Nolan’s wildly imaginative, high-concept cinema spectacles have immersed us in fantastical dreamscapes and delivered thought-provoking meditations on memory, time, and the theoretical science of space travel, but it’s his fact-based retelling of a real-life war story that’s his most ambitious and extraordinary blockbuster yet.

Chronicling a pivotal moment in the Second World War, Dunkirk tells the story of Operation Dynamo, the incredible evacuation attempt where courageous civilian sailors joined the war effort to rescue the stranded soldiers from their perilous situation.

Dunkirk is a film without a singular hero as Nolan turns to an ensemble of veteran stars (Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy) and fresh-faced talent, who together offer a haunting reminder of just how young and inexperienced these soldiers were, to tell a multi-perspective story of the remarkable war heroes who, whether on ocean or sky, beach or landing ground, never surrendered.

Practical Makes Perfect

Physical effects, sets, and on-location shooting ground Nolan’s vision in reality, and as he sets his sights on his most immersive film yet, we take a look at his best practical effects.

The Dark Knight - The Truck Flip
This breath-taking moment of cinema was all practical. With a real 18-wheeler, a giant piston, and a brave stuntman behind the wheel, the crew actually flipped that truck.

Inception - The Hallway Fight
Nolan and his team created a giant revolving set to capture the film’s iconic zero-gravity fight sequence.

From models of the spacecraft to on-set projections of the CGI images so the actors had a real-time reference, it’s incredible how many practical effects were used on this colossal space odyssey.


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