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L.W

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The Making of The Empire Strikes Back: The Definitive Story Behind the Film
The Making of The Empire Strikes Back: The Definitive Story Behind the Film
by J.W. Rinzler
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £33.80

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent behind the scenes look at the production, 14 Aug. 2017
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Brilliant behind the scenes look at the production behind Star Wars. Lovely concept art. Book large and heavy.


The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film
by Jonathan W. Rinzler
Edition: Paperback
Price: £29.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant behind the scenes look at the production, 14 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Brilliant behind the scenes look at the production behind Star Wars. Lovely concept art. Book large and heavy.


The Making of Gone With The Wind
The Making of Gone With The Wind
by Steve Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £41.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept art., 14 Aug. 2017
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Wonderfully detailed behind the scenes look at the production of Gone with the Wind. Great concept art.


Roman Polanski: A Retrospective
Roman Polanski: A Retrospective
by James Greenberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic look into Polanski's various film, 14 Aug. 2017
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Fantastic look into Polanski's various films and the making of them. Lovely photography throughout, hardback edition both large and heavy.


CIVO Men's Luxury Brown Genuine Leather Band Date Calendar Wrist Watch Mens Casual Business Analogue Quartz Waterproof Wrist Watches Classic Roman Numeral Simple Design Fashion Dress Wristwatch
CIVO Men's Luxury Brown Genuine Leather Band Date Calendar Wrist Watch Mens Casual Business Analogue Quartz Waterproof Wrist Watches Classic Roman Numeral Simple Design Fashion Dress Wristwatch
Offered by CIVO-UK
Price: £99.99


Extras: the Complete Collection [DVD]
Extras: the Complete Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ricky Gervais

5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless., 14 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Flawless.


The Bye Bye Man [DVD]
The Bye Bye Man [DVD]
Dvd ~ Carrie-Anne Moss
Price: £6.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Don't see it, don't watch it, 14 Aug. 2017
This review is from: The Bye Bye Man [DVD] (DVD)
Dreadful film. CGI pulled straight out the 1990s, a goofy antagonist and horrendous cardboard acting. Some very awkward editing too.


The Emoji Movie [DVD] [2017]
The Emoji Movie [DVD] [2017]
Price: £9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Product placement, nothing more.., 14 Aug. 2017
This review is from: The Emoji Movie [DVD] [2017] (DVD)
Product placement, nothing more..


Dunkirk [DVD]
Dunkirk [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tom Hardy

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, Stylish and surprisingly moving (Contains minor spoilers), 5 Aug. 2017
This review is from: Dunkirk [DVD] (DVD)
Visually thrilling with amazing performances achieved through minimal dialogue, replaced instead with superb sound design, the scream of the enemy planes in the sky above the evacuating troops in particular stood out for me.

Characters and Structure:

The film tells the story firmly from the perspective of those British forces caught up in the disaster, the strafing of beaches and ships for example is filmed purely from the perspective of those under attack looking up at the planes. It never cuts so that we see the German pilots in their planes looking down on their targets nor do we see allied generals and politicians in a war room, spoon feeding the audience information. There are only two characters of seniority that really deliver any exposition about the wider context of what’s unfolding and even their dialogue is brief. Nolan's approach during the beach and sea sequences is almost equivalent to a camera gliding along the surface through the events as they happen, this gives it a kind of rawness and realism which a more traditionally structured film couldn't do. The focus here is purely on a handful of characters and their life and death struggles, several times machine gun fires rips out from an unseen enemy, just like our characters we never get a good sense of the other side’s perspective. The sequences of boats sinking filmed from inside their interiors for me surpasses Tiatnic (1997) in terms of its nightmarish power. There is an amazing close shot of a ship in the inky black of the night lit up by the red and orange of a fireball bursting out of it’s hulk.
Fionn Whitehead is sort of our main protagonist, right from the go he is running for his life. Without much dialogue what we learn about him comes mostly through watching his actions and expressions. He seems to be a perfectly ordinary young man caught up in a horror he couldn’t have imagined. For all the ear-piercing noise and hellish fighting some of the most profound moments are the still quiet ones of soldiers stoically waiting their turn, characters sat gazing mournfully at the rough sea, perhaps too exhausted to do anything else, hoping tomorrow they will have better luck. It’s a film about people just clinging on, quite literally in several sequences.

War films can tend to fall into two different kinds of structures, there is the Sands of Iwo Jima/The Dambusters/American Snipper/Hacksaw Ridge kind which introduce you to your character/s, then in the 2nd act take you through their training before the 3rd act is the climactic battle you know has been coming. The other approach is to pretty much open and close the film in the middle of the war, Saving Private Ryan being such a film. Unlike a Oliver Stone movie this doesn’t seem to be an anti war theme nor is it a jingoistic affair. Its simple matter of fact approach just tells the story.

Cinematography and Score:

The score I loved and think it really suited this material. Hans Zimmer does an excellent job of combining traditional score with more ambient sound to create a grittier sounding music than you’d otherwise get.
The cinematography does a fine job balancing a filmetic look with at times a more documentary style. There wasn’t any excessive colour grading that I could see, it all looked nicely balanced and natural. The film’s colour pallet is of course made up of lots of sandy yellow, and khaki green, this fits nicely with the greyer colours of the evening with the blue sea and dark interiors of the ships. The tone of the film is sombre, at times desperate and naturally lacking in any humour or levity. The film was shot on location at Dunkirk and uses thousands of extras as well as real aircraft and ships to create it’s impressive sequences. In an age which is increasingly going digital Nolan shot this on real film too.

Other thoughts:

Soldiers of all nationalities in our media and culture can often be portrayed purely in terms of projecting power, impossibly fierce, fearless killing machines. Dunkirk shows us exposed, vulnerable and sometimes frightened traumatised troops stuck in a dire, desperate situation. The effect of this choice is characters feel real, not Hollywoodised movie characters who yell out witty dialogue to eachother between reloading, nor unstoppable baddass types who charge around implausibly dodging bullets while pumping lead into their enemies.

Although the audience is was a mixture of men and women the film features nearly all male characters, we see one or two nurses I think but that's really it. We're never given a scene of a the family of Tommy anxiously waiting back home for news, his mother and father glued to the radio for any information, as ever we never leave the beach really as long as he is on it. As with Nolans' other film is definitely something which is more likely to appeal to the male audience I would predict. The cast is nearly all British too.

As you’d expect part of the story allows time for the civilian effort to rescue soldiers from Dunkirk. Mark Rylance is given a big part here. In a way the film does make you question whether in 2017 a similar response would follow from individuals in the UK if lots of other people found themselves needing help. If a sense of shared purpose and unity ever existed or such a thing as a national spirit, then it’s hard to believe it is just as alive and well today.
The film also made me question a bit too whether people today would be hard enough to go through something like this. A delay on the M5 the other day had a woman on the news in near hysterics over the fact her dogs in back were getting hot. Half the audience at the cinema I’m afraid were overweight, mostly dressed in shorts and t-shirts, munching on their food as they watched the men on the large screen struggling in the waves. A large man in his 50s sat near the front of the cinema had even stripped down to his vest by the time the film was over, have we become so unhealthy now that sitting down in spacious cinema for two hours can make a person so hot?

In terms of negatives with the film, I don’t have many. There’s quite a lot of cutting between short sequences which I haven’t noticed quite so much in Nolan’s other work, it was at times a bit grading. I have to say I found a bit of the dialogue from Mark Rylance hard to follow because of his accent, incidentally he probably has the most lines in the film. It’s stated too that this man lost his son into the third week of the war, not impossible but I’d be surprised considering 1939 was known as the Phoney War, a period of near total inactivity on the Western front.


1913: The World before the Great War
1913: The World before the Great War
by Charles Emmerson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.48

5.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable account of the world as it was in 1913., 2 Aug. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The book while leaning towards a European focus also makes sure it includes North America, Africa, Asia and South America. The focus is on various capital cities from Brussels to London to Washington to Buenos Aires to Wellington.
The build up to WWI has often framed purely in terms of rising nationalism and xenophobia across Europe, the truth however is more complex as the book quickly explores. Middle-class Europeans often traveled and mixed around Europe with ease, as Emmerson points out there were 100,000 Germans living in London alone in 1913, European monarchies were also often closely related. On the day Austria declared war on Serbia many key figures on both sides found themselves on the wrong side of the frontier. The book is a wonderful window into the past and the issues which troubled domestically at the time, often involving women's suffrage, workers rights, empire and trade. Europe was very much the centre of the world at the time, artistically, culturally, financially and militarily, the USA, Russia, China were not yet the superpowers they later became. This one continent controlled much of Africa and the Middle East and the amount of trade backwards and forwards was staggering. Emmerson also does a fine job balancing the presentation of first hand sources with analysis and also balancing facts and figures with individual sentiments and impressions of the time.

Paris is next, Emmerson focusses mostly on negative matieral about the decline of Paris in many observers eyes, fitting this into a wider pessimism about the future of France in a country with failling birth rates and a powerful new neighbour on it's doorstep. French art is also dicussed at some length.

Berlin is potrayed as a city of paradoxes, a representation then of the Kaiser himself in that sense. Prusian militarism is every in the background.

Rome while dismissed by many at the time as simply a city of beauty and history is revealed to be a centre of Italian ambition for a greater modern Italy. The movement of futurism is also explored.

Vienna next is described while focusing more on the wider contradictions and problems plaguing the Austrio-Hungarian Empire. To many it's very existence is seen as a mystery given it's ethnic and linguistic mixtures.

Don't buy this book expecting a detailed analysis of the factors leading up to the Great War, instead think of it as a collection of impressions of the world as it stood in 1913.


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