Christopher Nolan: "Dunkirk is not a war film"
Christopher Nolan has spoken about making his new WWII epic Dunkirk.
The movie depicts the real-life events of an infamous battle in World War II where hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops were surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.
It stars Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh, with 71's Jack Lowden, War & Peace's Aneurin Barnard and One Direction's Harry Styles also taking small roles.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Nolan said he did not consider his new movie to be "a war film", he said when asked if he was comfortable working with a PG-13 rating (the UK equivalent of 12A): "All of my big blockbuster films have been PG-13. It's a rating I feel comfortable working with totally. Dunkirk is not a war film."
He continued: "It's a survival story and first and foremost a suspense film. So while there is a high level of intensity to it, it does not necessarily concern itself with the bloody aspects of combat, which have been so well done in so many films. We were really trying to take a different approach and achieve intensity in a different way. I would really like lots of different types of people to get something out of the experience."
Nolan also opened up about why he'd chosen Dunkirk, adding: "As a filmmaker, you're always looking for a gap in cultural movies and Dunkirk is a story British people are raised on. It's in our DNA practically. But it has not been addressed in the movies. So for me, it was a very exciting gap. I've spent a number of years trying to figure out what's the angle of approach, what's the angle of attack for getting the story across?"
He continued: "So we came upon the notion of creating a very experiential film, one that rather than trying to address the politics of the situation, the geopolitical situation, would really put you on the beach where 400,000 people are trapped, surrounded by the enemy closing in and faced with annihilation or surrender."
Dunkirk will be released into cinemas on July 21st this summer.