Saw 1917, and was impressed by the technical prowess of the director in making the film appear to be a "single shot" (like "Russian ArK". However, I found the story to be somewhat lacking, and felt little connection to the characters. In many ways, it was like watching the greatest training movie ever.
The set design and attention to detail was incredible, in addition to the cinematography.
Character development was minimal, but understandable given the focus of the plot. Nothing was lost in terms of what was expected once the first few minutes played out—the viewer finds out what the purpose is going to be for the characters, and that’s it. The simplicity is underrated.
It’s unusual to use the word beautiful to describe aspects of a “war” movie; but then again, this wasn’t necessarily a movie about war.
Yes. For those unfamiliar, this article sheds light on inspiration for the film.
I neglected to mention scoring also. ‘Perfect complement to the scenes of building suspense (much like Dunkirk) and action sequences.
Is 1917 a true story? First World War background and historical accuracy of the Oscar-nominated Sam Mendes film
The film takes place during Operation Alberich, a German military withdrawal to stronger positions in northern France...
... 1917 is something of a true story, loosely based on a tale the director's grandfather - Alfred H. Mendes, who served with the British Army during the First World War - told him as a child.
The film takes place in April of 1917 during Operation Alberich - a historically accurate German military withdrawal to stronger positions in northern France.
"The story of 1917 was inspired not only by my own family history, but also by many others," the latter day Mendes told genealogy company Ancestry, who delved into the events of the film and uncovered the military records of the director’s grandfather.
Alfred Mendes was a man of small stature, and so was chosen to be a messenger on the Western Front due to the relative nimbleness his slight frame allowed.
He was awarded the Military Medal after he volunteered for a dangerous mission to locate injured soldiers scattered across No-Mans Land during the Battle of Passchendaele.
"I hope very much that the stories of those that came before us and fought on our behalf live on in our movie,” said Sam Mendes.
1917 also has real life connections to lead actor George MacKay, whose character in the film is tasked with delivering a message deep in enemy territory.
That's a mission not too dissimilar from one MacKay’s three times great uncle, Albert Victor Baulk, undertook himself.
Albert was a signaller for the 196th Siege Battery in Sailly-au-Bois, France, just a few miles from the German front lines where Operation Alberich took place
As a signaller and telephonist, Albert would have helped relay crucial communications to his unit, just like MacKay’s character.
When the Germans withdrew, Albert’s unit subsequently mobilised and attacked the enemy’s position at Arras, providing artillery fire to support attacking troops.
The war diary for his unit notes the following:
"196 SB [Siege Battery] Task – bombardment of trenches and strong points ahead of RFA [Royal Field Artillery] barrage, concluding with a creeping barrage covering advance of 4th Dragoons along SCARPE Valley."
I used to love going to our local theatre. It was in the village within walking distance from the house. It was one of those old "atmospheric" movie palaces that transported you to an exotic place, even before the picture started. It had an "open air" feeling. The ceiling was painted sky blue, Tiny light bulbs resembled stars. Images were projected to create a cloud-like effect. As if you were in a forest under a night sky. The interior walls were Spanish style, with ivory stucco and gold leaf. Uniformed ushers.
It closed in 1999 and was turned into a drug store.
Haven't seen 1917 yet, but guess I'll get around to it.