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DUNKIRK – Director Christopher Nolan

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Director Christopher Nolan (Photo by Warner Bros.)

From filmmaker Christopher Nolan, responsible for success such as Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy, comes the epic action thriller DUNKIRK, in theaters July 21, 2017. From his own original screenplay, utilizing a mixture of IMAX® and 70mm film to bring the story to the screen. DUNKIRK opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

The film’s ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. Produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas, with Jake Myers serving as executive producer. DUNKIRK was filmed on location in France, Holland, the UK and Los Angeles. Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production a film by Christopher Nolan, DUNKIRK.

During the press day at a hangar at the Santa Monica airport, location that we (press) could not disclose during the event, provided the perfect place to promote this new World War II drama. The acclaimed writer, producer e director Christopher Nolan talked about the story, his inspirations, shooting with IMAX cameras, and more.

Here are some excerpts of Mrs. Nolan shared with us:

What made you want to tell the story of the evacuation of DUNKIRK?

Christopher – Like most British people, Dunkirk is a story I’ve grown up with.  I don’t even remember the first time I heard of the events. As kids, we received this very simplified, fairy tale version of what happened there. But, over time, and particular, an experience Emma and I had 20 years ago where we made the crossing with a friend of ours who had a small boat about the same time of year of when the evacuation took place. The crossing was extremely difficult. The Channel was very rough. It felt dangerous, even without bombs dropping on us. So, I came away from that experience with respect and fascination for the people who took part in the real evacuation. As a filmmaker, that’s the kind of thing that makes you want to make a film.

You were determined to make this film look as real as possible, using actual planes of that era, right?

Christopher – Planning the aerial scenes, it was very important for us to try and achieve as much in camera as much as possible. We were able to get real Spitfires, real bombers, and really get the IMAX camera places we were going, and to put the audience in the cockpit. There was a lot of attention to detail and a lot of careful planning. We bought Yak airplanes because they’re a similar size and shape to the Spitfires. It has two cockpits so we had a real pilot flying and the cameraman in the other seat to shoot close-ups. We really wanted to tell this aerial story in a way that we hadn’t seen before.

What was it like shooting a lot of the film with IMAX cameras?

Christopher – I’ve been working with IMAX for about 10 years now. With each film, I try to maximize my use of it. This film felt, more than any other film I’ve made, like I needed to try to immerse the audience in the experience and create a cinema experience, and to take them there. IMAX is the best format to do that. Obviously, it creates production challenges but I think it’s well worth it, the finished product.

What inspired your choice to tell the story from three different perspectives: one by land, one by sea and one by air? What did you hope to gain from those perspectives?

Christopher – What I was hoping to gain was a way of maintaining a subjective storytelling approach but still building up a coherent picture of the larger events at Dunkirk. Everything in the film is intended to be intense, suspenseful and objective with these guys on the beach seeing what’s happening from their points of view. I also wanted to build this bigger picture that requires a view from the air and from the sea, from the people coming over to help with the evacuation. In that way, not let the audience step out of the movie, to step out of the perspective. I didn’t want to cut to generals in rooms with maps. I didn’t want to give the audience knowledge the characters didn’t have, other than through the interaction of three distinctive story threads.

What were your cinematic influences for this film?

Christopher – Creatively, we looked at a lot of suspense films. I really wanted the film to be driven, primarily, through the mechanism of suspense. I think it’s one of the most cinematic film forms, just pure cinema. So, we looked at Hitchcock. The one I point to most is Clouzot’s Wages of Fear, which we honed in on for that language of suspense. I like to cast a pretty wide net in terms of what films I like to show the crew when we start. We looked at a lot of David Lean films in terms of the treatment of landscape; films like Ryan’s Daughter, an extraordinarily visual film.

You casted pop star Harry Styles to play one of the soldiers in this. Did you worry his celebrity might overshadow his co-stars?

Christopher – My job as a director is to see potential in people you are thinking of casting,

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Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard & Fionn Whitehead (Photo by Warner Bros.)

whether you’re talking about somebody who’s never done a film before like Harry or Fionn or somebody very experienced, like Mark Rylance or Ken Branagh. You have to see the potential for them to do something they’ve never done before. That’s really the ideal. You try to do something where they’ll feel challenged. You can’t worry too much about previous roles like Mark has done or Harry’s celebrity. If we all do our job right, the audience becomes invested in the world we’ve created and take it on those terms.

How did you keep the balance between showing the huge scope of this story and keeping it a very human story?

Christopher – The idea behind the structure of the story and the way in which we’ve told it is really by virtue of trying it on a very human scale, a very intimate scale, and create what I refer to as an intimate epic. I’ve tried to keep it at a very intimate point of view with these stories threads but gradually have them, over the course of the film, build up a cumulative picture of a very large event.

What’s the story about the ticking watch that you hear in the film’s score?

Christopher – The genesis of the track is a recording I made of a watch that I own that I gave to Hans Zimmer (the composer) and we developed sort of a rhythmic language of how we would build up the score to fuse with the picture and create a sense of forward momentum for the film.

Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?

Christopher – For me, there’s a very small moment where there’s a look exchanged between Mark’s character and Tom Glynn-Carney’s character during a key moment. It was something I hadn’t included and overlooked in the script in terms of their responses when it happened. Mark pointed it out to me and he worked with Tom and Barry about what would be happening outside, in terms of the script and what would be happening between the scenes that I’d written. What you see is something that as a director you dream of when you bring on great talents, like Mark and Tom and Harry. You hope for those moments that you didn’t anticipate but they come to define a particular part of the story.

How do you choose your projects?

Christopher – It’s always been about the story. It’s been about finding the story that hooks me where I can find an emotional connection. I’m very simple-minded; I only do one thing at a time. I’m not really good about planning what I’m going to do next. So, I dive in and concentrate on doing one film over the next two or three years. It has to be a story that I feel is going to hook me emotionally over a long period of time and that I can stay enthusiastic about.

 

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Pray For Rain – Interview with Nicholas Gonzalez

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Nicholas Gonzalez as Sheriff Nico on “Pray For Rain” (Photo by WSOR FILM GROUP)

Take home today, July 18, the drama Pray for Rain. The film follows a young New York journalist, played by Annabelle Stephenson, who returns to the idyllic Central California farming community where she was raised only to find it has been ravaged by drought and has become a place ruled by gangs, violent threats and greed. She is forced to investigate the suspicious circumstances of her father’s death even though it puts her in great danger. Her mother is played by talented actress Jane Seymour. Directed by Alex Ranavirelo. Written by Christina Moore and Gloria Musca.

Pray For Rain also stars Nicholas Gonzalez, James Morrison, Ali Afshar, Paul Rodriguez, and others. I had the pleasure to speak over the phone with Nicholas Gonzalez who plays Sheriff Nico. Let’s check it out the interview:

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What was it about this project and your character Nico that got your attention to do it?

First of all, it was at the wine country, one of our locations, it was before I’ve even read and it was shot in Central Valley. Honestly, it was the subject matter. I thought that Sheriff Nico was a very upstanding that have a voice too to predict deaths among the farmers in the Central Valley during the droughts. So, for me, it was very important to tell this story.

Do you have any similarity with Nico?

I think we share some particular traces. He is a guy who believes in justice, he is the person who cares about to

 

those around him, especially in his community and his family. So, I found a lot of places that I can agree with him. Someone who has to step up and take the initiative share where no one else is willing to. He is a farmer, someone who has to step up in a situation like that… someone like me.

How was it working with Annabelle?

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Annabelle Stephenson (Photo by WSOR FILM GROUP)

Annabelle is great! She is loving to work with and we hit it off immediately. And humor was kind of our way of making through those long shoot days. But we both wanted to be there and we were so excited to shoot together. We had great time and she is constantly professional and I’d worked with her in second again.

Any challenges during filming?

The challenges were weak the cow meadow, the flies… some of the ranches sets, the flies were just so crazy. And we had really hot days sometimes and super cold nights and days sometimes too. The weather was all over the place. But whenever you are doing a film like this, you are moving so fast and that’s the biggest challenge.

How was it working with director Alex Ranarivelo?

Alex is great! I told him after we are done working, it was like “man, if you have anything else you wanna do, just let me know.” He is enjoyed to work. He knows what he needs, he knows what it’s going to cut together, he just had an eye for things and he is really smart. He did a lot of editing on the spot, re-writing; he is on the ball. I really enjoyed working with him.

What steps do you think people can take to support our current climate issues?

I think there is always the little things that anyone can do, just like you see in hotels ‘try not do unnecessary washing of the towels, the sheets’, this kind of stuff. “Turn it off the water when you are brushing your teeth” or “take shorter showers”; people are a little prevalence with water to realize how much the precious resource is.

What do you think viewers will take from this important story about drought?

I think people will realize just how important it really was and how we are not ever clear of that possibility again, you know, just to feel everything now, people fell like we got a drain, we are back, we are not on drought again… but there are still areas on the Southern and Central Valley that the water won’t be replaced for decades to come.

Before we finish, I need to ask about The Good Doctor. How is the story about and talk a little bit about Dr. Neil, your character and your relationship with Dr. Shaun, Freddie Highmore’s character?

I played Dr. Neil Melendez and he is a brilliant head surgeon at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital where Shawn Murphy is one of my new surgical residents alongside with Antonia Thomas’ character. My relationship with Freddie’s character is that I don’t want him to be there and I don’t think he should be there.

 

 


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DUNKIRK – Interview Harry Styles

Harry Styles with Aneurin Barnard and Fionn Whitehead. (Photo by Warner Bros.)

From filmmaker Christopher Nolan, responsible for success such as Inception and The Dark Knight Trilogy, comes the epic action thriller DUNKIRK, in theaters July 21, 2017. From his own original screenplay, utilizing a mixture of IMAX® and 70mm film to bring the story to the screen. DUNKIRK opens as hundreds of thousands of British and Allied troops are surrounded by enemy forces. Trapped on the beach with their backs to the sea they face an impossible situation as the enemy closes in.

The film’s ensemble cast includes Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy and Barry Keoghan, with Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. Produced by Nolan and Emma Thomas, with Jake Myers serving as executive producer. DUNKIRK was filmed on location in France, Holland, the UK and Los Angeles. Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Syncopy Production a film by Christopher Nolan, DUNKIRK.

During the press day at a hangar at the Santa Monica airport, location that we (press) could not disclose during the event, provided the perfect place to promote this new World War II drama. Singer and new upcoming actor Harry Styles spoke about his experience alongside with other cast members, director Christopher Nolan e producer Emma Thomas.

Here are some excerpts of Harry Styles shared with us:

You have a supporting role in this film. Why did you decide to do it instead of holding out for a starring role in some other film?

Harry – When I first spoke with Chris (Noland) about this film, I thought it was something that I would enjoy watching. It’s something I would have been excited to see even if I had absolutely no involvement. But when I spoke with him, I wanted to do whatever I could to be involved with it. I can’t say I thought about it too much other than to see that everyone on Chris’ set was so passionate about it. It’s so infectious. He creates this environment where the cast and crew has one thought: doing their best for him and doing their best for the film, and making it as good as it could possibly be. I don’t think there’s any room to think about too personal like this. Everyone has the same goal, which is to do their part for the film.

What was your awareness of the Dunkirk operation? What research did you do?

Harry – It’s something you learn in school. As Chris has said, it’s told in this very washed-over way. They talk about the end of the war and some of the events after it. But it’s often how pivotal Dunkirk was and the events that came after it. We all feel lucky to be part of something that tells such an important story in a lot more detail than it’s usually told.

How did you prepare for your role? What did you learn from your fellow cast members?

Harry – Being on a set like this, it’s hard not to be always learning, especially when you’re around people you’re a fan of. You just try to soak that up as much as possible. Chris has this way where he’s not really controlling you but he gives you confidence to be as natural as you possibly can. You don’t feel like you’re trying to hit too many notes. At the same time, he never has you overthinking stuff. I just felt very lucky to be on the set of a man, whose work I am a fan of, and working with a group of actors who I’m a fan of their work too. I’m just grateful that I was able to be involved with this.dunkirk_ver2_xlg

What was the most difficult scene physically? Was it difficult being in the hull of that ship shooting for days on end?

Harry – It was terrible. The thing was everyone on set was relatively aware that however tough it got for us, it was nothing compared to what actually happened. The focus we all had was to do our jobs and try to do our part in telling the story. There wasn’t really any room for personal discomfort or complaining. It’s also impossible to complain on a set where the director is going through the exact same thing as you. He’s not in a tent. He’s in the water with you. He’s in the sand with you. He’s cold. He’s the first one on set and the last one to leave. If anyone thought about complaining, they thought, “Yeah, I might not want to do that.”

Given the fact there isn’t a lot of dialogue, what does a note on a Christopher Nolan script look like?

Harry – The thing with Chris’ script is the same as it is across a lot of his other movies. They lend themselves to multiple viewings; you learn more things each time you watch it. I felt the same way when I was reading the script. You learn new things and find new things that and insight within it. Once you get your head around it – the technical stuff – you kind of enjoy it more and more. The more times you read it, it’s amazing.

What was the best one you got?

Harry – Chris kind of creates this world around you where you don’t have to act too much; a lot of it is reacting as much as anyone can possibly help you be in a situation. He creates that for you. It’s not overthinking it or thinking about “acting” too much. Chris really puts you at ease in terms of “say what you need to say” and “don’t overthink it.” If you’re acting, you don’t want to overthink anything. He just creates an environment where you’re not intimidated by the scale of everything that’s going on behind you. He makes you feel comfortable in front of the camera and he doesn’t distract you. And he’s nice.


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READY PLAYER ONE – Warner Releases Synopsis

Warner Bros LOgoFrom filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the science fiction action adventure Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.

The film is set in 2045, with the world on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday, played by Mark Rylance. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts, played by Tye Sheridan, decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. Ready Player One was produced by Spielberg, Donald De Line, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah; with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris DeFaria and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.

Aside from Oscar winner Mark Rylance and Tye Sheridan, the film stars Ben Mendelsohn, T.J. Miller, and Simon Pegg.

Behind the scenes, three-time Oscar winner Spielberg reunited his creative team from Bridge of Spies, including Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski, Oscar-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen, Oscar-winning editor Michael Kahn, and costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone. The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri.

Warner Bros. Pictures and Amblin Entertainment present, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, an Amblin Production, a De Line Pictures Production, a Steven Spielberg Film. The film is slated for release on March 30, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.


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Production Begins On Clint Eastwood’s THE 15:17 TO PARIS

Warner Bros LOgoProduction is beginning this week for Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris as Warner Bros. and Village Roadshows pictures announced yesterday. The film tells the real-life story of three men whose brave act turned them into heroes during a high-speed railway ride.

In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris – an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The 15:17 to Paris follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.

The heroic trio is comprised of Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, who play themselves in the film. Also starring are Jenna Fischer; Judy Greer, and Ray Corasani.

Talented director Clint Eastwood directs from a screenplay by Dorothy Blyskal, based on the book The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Heroes by Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern. Eastwood also produces the film, along with Tim Moore, Kristina Rivera and Jessica Meier. The film’s executive producer is Bruce Berman.


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New Line Cinema’s ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? starts production

Warner Bros LOgoPrincipal photography has begun on New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy Isn’t It Romantic? starring Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine and Priyanka Chopra, under the direction of Todd Strauss-Schulson.

The film tells her a story of New York City architect Natalie works hard to get noticed at her job, but is more likely to be asked to deliver coffee and bagels than to design the city’s next skyscraper. And if things weren’t bad enough, Natalie, a lifelong cynic when it comes to love, has an encounter with a mugger that renders her unconscious, waking to discover that her life has suddenly become her worst nightmare—a romantic comedy—and she is the leading lady.

Wilson stars as Natalie, alongside Liam Hemsworth as Blake, a handsome client; Adam Devine, as her earnest best friend, Josh; and Priyanka Chopra as yoga ambassador Isabella.

The screenplay is by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman, and Paula Pell. The romantic comedy is produced by Todd Garner, Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo, alongside with executive producers Marty Ewing and Jeremy Stein.

 

The film is set for a Valentine’s Day release in 2019, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


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THE NUT JOB 2 – Jackie Chan is ‘Mr. Feng’

Open Road Films released a hilarious clip so we can meet “Mr. Feng”, one of the animated character voice by Jackie Chan, of their anticipated animated summer release, THE NUT JOB 2: NUTTY BY NATURE, starring Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Gabriel Iglesias among many others, in theaters August 11!!!

Surly Squirrel, voiced by Will Arnett, and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home and take back their park in this sequel to the 2014 animated hit.

Surly Squirrel and the gang are back. We are once again in Oakton where the evil mayor has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a dangerous amusement park in its place. Surly and his ragtag group of animal friends band together to save their home, defeat the mayor, and take back the park.

THE NUT JOB 2 also features the voice talent of Peter Stormare, Bobby Cannavale, Isabela Moner, and Maya Rudolph.