Dunkirk – two short film reviews

Whilst doing my ironing today I started to watch the 1958 film of “Dunkirk” with John Mills, Richard Attenborough, Robert Urquhart et al.

I know that this was a post-war semi-propaganda version, but it is far more believable, despite the clipped language, than the absolute rubbish perpetrated by Christopher Nolan in 2017,

It appears that the major claim to fame of the latest version appeared to be: “We did not use CG”. Nor did the earlier version (simply because they could not), and in their day they did not need to show huge cardboard cut-outs of queueing soldiers or very obvious buildings from the 1970s or later.  But the 1958 producers could get a large quantity of extras who had actually been under fire in WW2.

It appears to me that the producers of the 2017 version were too carried away with  filming at the location to notice that it has been rebuilt since 1940.

The earlier producers/directors also seemed to have researched the number of bombs that a JU88 “Stuka” could actually carry, unlike their later “let’s aim for maximum effect” counterparts.

My vote?:  1958 version: 4/5, 2017 version: 1/5.

“Denial”: A film review

I started to play this DVD in the background while painting model soldiers, but very soon had to sit and watch it.

I don’t know if this story was ever presented on the stage, but it would make an excellent stage presentation. Based on a true story, most of the story is centred around how lawyers handle a significant case in the British High Court, almost to the exclusion of the client.

The case is a complex libel accusation about holocaust denial. The central characters, played with great skill by Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson and Tim Spall, who interact – or do not – brilliantly. The supporting cast add to the film with great performances.

The title “Denial” becomes more relevant as the story progresses. It becomes clear that it can mean many things.

I know nothing of the actual court case, but it all looks very believable.
And the visit to Auschwitz depicted in winter made it more poignant.

An excellent film.  One that I will watch again and again, even if I now know the outcome.