Suburbicon (2017)

suburbicon

Director:George Clooney
Produced by:George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Joel Silver, Teddy Schwarzman
Writer(s):Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, George Clooney, Grant Heslov

 

Suburbicon is a very disappointing film. On paper it looks great with George Clooney directing Matt Damon in a film script originally written by the Coen Brothers and reworked by Cooney and his collaborator Grant Heslov.  Clooney and the Coens have had some big hits  with O Brother, Where Art Thou? to Intolerable CrueltyBurn After Reading, and Hail, Caesar! so the benchmark is set high It is billed as a dark comedy set in a 50s surburb. We are promised another look at the dark underbelly of middle-class America – a popular theme in Hollywood done much better in Blue Velvet.

There are two strands to the plot. First a murder mystery and second opposition to a black family moving in. How the two are connected is unclear and that is just one of the problems of the film.

The murder mystery around the Lodge family (Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Noah Jupe) and  is very predictable.  Jupe as the son of the family stands out.  Oscar Isaac also deserves a mention for a great performance as an Insurance Investigator.

The characters of the black family under siege, the Mayerses (Leith M. Burke, Karimah Westbrook and Tony Espinosa) are not developed. It’s said that the basis is the real-life case, that of the Myers family, who arrived in Levittown, Pennsylvania, in 1957 but there is no feeling of truth or reality to the tale told in Suburbicon.

There are very few times when the script makes you really unsettled and delivers the kind of chills that would raise it above the mundane. Only, at times, when Lodge Snr is justifying himself to his son does it hit the right note. Little wonder then that Suburbicon did not do as well as expected at the box office and was, in the main, a critical flop.

Reviewed by Patrick Harrington

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Fist of the North Star (1986)

fistofthenorthstarHokuto no Ken (original title)
Not Rated | 1h 50min | Animation, Action, Drama | 27 September 1991 (USA)

Warning: Spoilers

I first saw Fist of the North Star as a very young child. At the time, I had a bizarre interest in films with 18 certificates, probably because I felt as though they were out of bounds. If I recall correctly, the staff of the local video shop would let me take out a film provided it was universal or parental guidance. Those were ratings denoting who could take them out. Everyone could take out a universal, hence why it was called a ‘universal.’ Parental guidance meant a parent had to guide, I suppose. I think on rare occasion I was turned down when I tried to take out a PG, as it’s called for short.

Other than these two ratings, there were ratings: 12, 15, and 18. This is here in the UK. In the US they have a different rating system, although the two are mutually intelligible. Basically adult content was off limits to children like myself. This included on a psychological level and on a physical level in terms of violence. My mother would take out any film I asked for from a certain age onwards, I forget how old, but it was from quite young. Perhaps she shouldn’t have done this but she was not fond of rules in some respects, this being one of them.

I tended to watch martial arts films such as the ones starring Jean Claude Van Damme. Funnily enough, I became fascinated, almost obsessed with martial arts, but most specifically exercise. I would exercise a lot because I thought Van Damme had a brilliant physique, but when I would look in the mirror I noticed I did not have a physique like the one he had. Of course I know now he not only exercised a lot but took steroids as well. That being said, I did develop a somewhat athletic body as a result of this, even if it didn’t look like anything special. I retain quite a bit of this athleticism to this day, maintain it, and play a few combat sports regularly.

I almost never watched Disney movies. I wonder how that affected me and perhaps still affects me. Disney movies are meant to instil a strong moral compass in the viewer, whatever his age, although this is more likely to be successful if he is very young, for reasons I hope are obvious. One thing I vividly recall was wanting to not be strongly affected by depictions of violence. This was because I was affected by them. After watching many action movies for young adults, I did get a bit used to it, but never completely. Even now if I watch one from the Resident Evil series, I get a bit uncomfortable at some of the depictions involving violence and gruesomeness.

Now let’s go back to Fist of the North Star. I have sentimental feelings about it because I saw it for the first time while so young. I have seen it a number of times since. The first time I saw it, I was mostly struck by its cartoon violence. I mean literally cartoon violence, as it is an anime. Some people use that term to describe live motion films as well, but Fist of the North Star really is a cartoon. An adult cartoon, but not a pornographic one, to be clear.

Beneath the violence, the metaphysical musings of a character called Ryuken struck me. I was fascinated by the stars at night already, and certain star constellations are shown early on in the film and the meaning of constellations is central to it, as you may have guessed, with it being called Fist of the North Star. There is mention of polar opposites, of balance, and things being one way for a time until eventually they are the other way, due to the nature of life.

Despite this, much of the story is immature, but this fact is in a way highlighted by the character Ryuken, who is older, wiser, and knows some of the protagonists are idiots, despite their prowess in some areas. Usually only one area – fighting. I know a bit more about the story than is depicted in the film, because it’s based on a comic and there are a few TV shows based on that also, so I will sometimes mention things not shown in the film.

Ryuken is a master of a martial art called Hokuto Shin Ken. It’s passed down through the generations of his family bloodline. Unfortunately, he does not manage to have any children, but tasked with continuing on the family tradition, and calling that is an understatement, he decides to adopt 3 boys. The rule is that the most competent son is the one who continues on the tradition of having children, teaching them the art, and choosing the one to be the successor. The other sons must cease to practice the art. They may have children but they may not teach them the art. Only the successor can continue to practice the art and must pass it on.

The reason why is because it’s a difficult task and must be done with maximum competence. It’s importance to the bloodline is not bordering on spiritual – it is spiritual – to them. Although nothing exactly like this exists in real life, there are elite families who pass down knowledge generation after generation, and most especially pass down wealth as well. It’s also interesting that there is a genetic interest in some cases also, because some families do not want their heirs to have children with people not also from an elite family. Due to this practice, the resort to inbreeding has occurred, especially with royal families. It’s odd because usually inbreeding is associated with intellectual impairment and various issues but in the case of the elite families and royalty, the opposite is intended. It is believed there is some innate quality they possess that puts them above the herd, and the hope is people from other elite families have this quality too, and it can be preserved and passed down through breeding together.

Now in practice, whether it actually works, is up for debate. Perhaps it does sometimes and doesn’t at other times. It’s quite well established that genetic diversity increases the chance of good health and generally better physical appearance. This goes against the elite family idea, but I’m sure there are many more variables and things we don’t understand. It’s evidently the case many people are sheep and cannot think for themselves. Those who rise to the top tend to be able to act on their own initiative, bring something new to the table, and resist the urge to just go with the herd.

Anyway let’s explore the general outline of the film’s story. Just a bit into it, after we hear Ryuken’s voice over, we’re introduced to the characters Julia and Ken. Ken is Ryuken’s adopted son and Hokuto Shin Ken successor. Julia is his fiance. There has been a nuclear holocaust, and there doesn’t seem to be any plant life as a result. Julia carries seeds in a pouch and hopes to grow plant life. Terribly unfortunately for Ken, his so called friend Shin appears and is in love with Julia. Shin is the Fist of the South Star. He practices an equally formidable martial art to the one Ken practices. Julia explains how the Fists of the North and South are not supposed to fight and that he knows this. He ignores her. His intention is to beat Ken, to show her he is better than him.

He does beat him but it only upsets Julia. He begins to torture Ken in front of her. He tells her he won’t stop until she admits she is his. That she does, and he takes her away, leaving Ken on the floor but still alive. Ken’s two brothers watch all of that play out from somewhat afar, and it angers one of them, Raoh, because he would probably have beaten Shin, but was not chosen as the successor. The other brother, Jaggi, is a good fighter but the weakest of the three.

It was Jaggi who convinced Shin he could have Julia if he performed this diabolical stunt. Jaggi becomes known as ‘Jaggi the Pretender,’ because he goes around pretending to be Ken while committing terrible acts. He does this to do as much damage as he can to Ken’s reputation, which was very good prior to his cunning intervention. He even drags Ken’s body to a canyon edge after his fight with Shin, to toss him over it. With it being a supernatural story, Ken survives, and even comes back stronger.

The rest of the film is about Raoh’s fight for power and recognition, despite being rejected by Ryuken, about Ken’s search for Shin who has Julia captive, about whether or not Jaggi will get his comeuppance, and some other little story lines along the way. The most poignant thing for me was that Raoh was not chosen as successor because despite his competence and prowess, he is an idiot. The best part of the film is right at the end when he realises this, after causing an untold amount of carnage. It’s a message to everybody but especially the people who need to hear it most – the idiots of the world just like him.

Reviewed by Alistair Martin

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Breathe (2017)

breathe**SPOILER ALERT***

Starring: Amit Shah, Andre Jacobs, Andrew Garfield, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Camilla Rutherford, Claire Foy, David Butler, Dean-Charles Chapman, Diana Rigg, Ed Speleers, Honey Holmes, Hugh Bonneville, James Wilby, Miranda Raison, Roger Ashton-Griffiths, Stephen Mangan, Tom Hollander
Director: Andy Serkis
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 118 min

The first part of  is a straightforward boy-meets-girl romance set in the 50s. Robin (Andrew Garfield) is an amateur sportsman (tennis and cricket) who drives a flashy sports car and has a mischievous, roguish humor. He has his eye on Diana (Claire Foy from “The Crown”). Both Robin and Diana are what we might call posh. Diana and Robin begin a relationship and all seems set fair for their future. This part of the film is very dreamy and light and is worth watching in itself, quite apart from how it leads on to the next part of their story.

It’s the next part of the story, however, where things turn bad that gives the film a special interest. Robin is struck down with Polio and paralysed from the neck down. The heart of the film is about how Robin, Diana and their wide circle of friends deal with that. It’s an inspirational story based on the life and struggles of Robin Cavendish, a man who though tempted by suicide overcame that urge with the love of his Son and Diana and began to challenge the perceptions of and limitations placed on the disabled.

Despite it’s subject matter Breathe is not a dark or depressing film. It has very sad and dark moments (the scene in the German hospital is unsettling, for example) but is generally positive with a very English dry humor that just won’t go away or be worn down by adversity. There are also very uplifting, joyous scenes (like the Spanish roadside Fiesta).

Breathe shows how misconceived public and medical attitudes to the disabled were for decades but it isn’t preachy. It does show how far we, as a society, have come on this. Though we need to remember that progress has been, in no small part, because of the actions of disabled people like Robin Cavendish and that we still have a long way to go.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington

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Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images)
Directed By: Rupert Sanders
Written By: Jonathan Herman, Jamie Moss
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Paramount Pictures

I decided I would review Ghost in the Shell starring Scarlett Johansson some months back but just didn’t know when I would do it. Please note this review will have some spoilers as it is also an analysis of the film. I was already familiar with it from the 1995 anime of the same name, which explores the same story. I vaguely recall it as I actually saw it around that time and haven’t yet re-watched it to refresh my memory.

Nonetheless, I am in touch with its themes not just from the films but from the subject of transhumanism which is ever more prominent as technology in real life progresses. Back in 1995 it didn’t seem absolutely certain the ambitions of the technologists, specifically artificial intelligence and robotics people, were going to come to fruition. This was because at the time, although they had achieved some impressive accomplishments in those fields, they had not yet done anything like what we see today.

Judging by what we see today, it looks strongly as though most if not all of the technology in Ghost in the Shell will become a reality. Only world war or catastrophe, natural or man made, would prevent these advanced technologies illustrated in the film from coming to be. They are mostly a combination of artificial intelligence, often referred to simply as AI, robotics, and transhumanism.

Allow me to give a brief description of each. Artificial intelligence is what is used in things like Chess programs. They enable you to play against a computer opponent if you don’t have a human opponent. An AI chess program can beat the best human Chess players in the world now. Another AI program can beat the best Jeopardy players. Jeopardy is a television game show. The name of the AI program that can play it better than a human is called Watson. He or it, scans Wikipedia pages as part of his program so he can, as I understand it, answer general knowledge questions. One could say he reads wikipedia, in a way, although very quickly.

Going even further, AI programs can produce music in the style of notable musicians as well as just produce general music. They are also used in stock trading done by major banks. In fact, the biggest banks use AI and according to my knowledge it is superior to traditional methods now. AI programs have not been able to produce works of fiction that can rival ones written by human authors, but it’s only a matter of time before they are able to.

In the future, it could be the case that an AI program could write endless novels in the style of your favorite author with great accuracy. In the more distant future, perhaps a book could be written just for you, exactly the way you are predicted to like it. On the one hand this sounds good but on the other it doesn’t sound so good. This raises the problem of what we will do when machines, robots, and computers can do everything better than we can.

The phenomenon of human labor being replaced by machines is called ‘technological unemployment.’ One proposed solution to this problem is to augment human beings with machine technology. This action is called ‘transhumanism,’ which I mentioned above. Ghost in the Shell 2017 is rife with transhumanism. Rife has a bit of a negative connotation because it’s usually used to describe something unpleasant. And some of what happens in Ghost in the Shell is unpleasant in my view. Take for example a young girl learning to speak fluent French in under 10 seconds.

Normally a person has to study a language for 4 years to reach fluency. This process takes tremendous effort, will power, concentration, time, dedication, intelligence, problem solving, practice, study, and patience. All of these things are beneficial to a human being. They strengthen character, provide something for one to do with one’s time, encourage discipline, and in the end reward all of the hard work with the acquisition of the language.

Without putting your sweat in, nothing is really worth anything, some people believe. And so if all you have to do is hook your brain up to a computer for 10 seconds to bypass all of the journey, isn’t it cheating? What’s the point of that? You’d be going straight to having the language at your disposal. The use of it would be you could speak to people in their own tongue when you couldn’t before. You could enjoy a holiday more freely, when it comes to the social aspect of it. But it’s in the process of learning a language the hard way that you figure out how you can express yourself the way you want to.

If you have a language downloaded into your head, you are not going to learn exactly the way you wish to express yourself in it, which is learnt during the normal slow process of acquisition. What is more, if everyone knows you downloaded it, no one will be impressed. One of the nice things about learning a language is when people compliment you on your hard work. So you can see much of what is good about doing it the hard way is destroyed by doing it the transhuman way.

So the idea with transhumanism is to make us as competent as machines so we can have jobs. But that makes no philosophical sense because in the eyes of many, the objective is to not have jobs, but to have only hobbies instead. Pleasurable activities, basically. And yet many hobbies become jobs for a lot of people. Take musicians for example. Many of them say they want to make music anyway. Elly Jackson of the band La Roux says she only did music commercially because she didn’t ‘want to be broke while doing it.’

I suspect if technology completely took over all tasks, people would want to experience things in simulated realities, much like they do now in video games. In video games people play the roles of soldiers, gangsters, skateboarders, race car drivers, fighters, etc. I think if people could not experience being these things in real life, they would opt to experience them virtually. This is where virtual worlds would flourish. People would not have to risk their lives doing these things for real but all of the blood sweat and tears element could be engineered into the worlds so the players could have the sense of accomplishment they seek.

Now I’ve addressed AI, and transhumanism, I’ll address robotics. We already have robots that can perform surgery and make cars, among other things. Much of the robotics in Ghost in the Shell is, I’ll be frank, sex robots. In the film they’re called ‘geisha bots.’ They’re for men obviously. It’s an embarrassing subject for most. But with the franchise being from Japan, it’s to be expected, and it’s relevant. We don’t yet have effective robot cleaners and that is because we have yet to create robots that can perform all human movements. Many of the first humanoid robots would walk a few steps and simply fall over. For some reason human movement is a difficult feat.

So let’s move on to the film in some detail. It has visually appealing cinematography. Many of the shots feature futuristic backdrops, costumes, cars, weaponry, and equipment. There are a few gratuitous shots of Scarlett Johansson, it should be said. The excuse given implicitly is her body suit is skin colored because this enables her to become invisible, for tactical purposes. Nonetheless, we get to see her as though she is naked. Howard Stern in his interview with her brings that issue up with her. He told her she is basically naked in it. She said yeah in the sense that it’s a rubber skin colored body suit. She sort of agreed with him but still pointed out she wasn’t actually naked. It was just a rubber skin colored body suit which made her appear naked.

But this is Hollywood. It’s to be expected. Gratuitous means lacking good reason. That the body suit allows her to become invisible is not good reason. We know the real reason. So anyway, her character is a human brain transplanted into a cyborg body. It is the first of its kind. The reason the film is called Ghost in the Shell is because it is said a human brain contains a ghost or a soul. All other cyborgs or robots, no matter how advanced, do not have a ghost or a soul.

It’s unclear whether society has established some sort of spiritual understanding of human beings. Sometimes it seems like they mean there is a ghost or a soul, but it is generated by the human brain, rather than separate from it in some way. Like they can’t generate one using machines but a human brain can generate one. It’s mentioned this ghost has capabilities machines do not have. The one that stands out the most is intuition. AI in the film does not have intuition. The idea is she can have all of the capabilities of her human soul meshed with the extreme capabilities of AI and robotics.

She is a transhuman supersoldier, and used for tactical military purposes. People get killed is what I’m saying. There is mention of terrorists. There is mention of people who disagree with technology, dislike it, perhaps hate it, and they go into what is described as a ‘lawless zone.’ Such things already exist but here in the UK they are very small. I’m told there is one housing estate where if you go into its parking area, it’s very dangerous, and if you call the police, they won’t come. Apparently if people see police from out their windows, they will drop televisions on them. I’m not joking. I saw a documentary about it. But that’s by-the-by.

I do wonder if there really could be a lawless zone in a world like the one presented in Ghost in the Shell. Perhaps there could be. It would allow for a demarcation between the technological world and the non-technological world. The people in the lawless zones could be subjects of study. They would no doubt be infiltrated by agent provocateurs as well.

As the story progresses, it turns out there is a conspiracy. Scarlett’s character, Mira Killian, is actually not the first of her kind. She’s in fact the first of her kind to actually be a medical success. By that I mean many were operated on before her, in failed attempts. One such failed attempt is the character Kuze played by Michael Pitt. He is claimed to be a terrorist by those above her but she finds out he was a prototype. He is much like she is only not as good. Flawed and in a great deal of pain. Full of hatred and seeks revenge. He managed to hack her system while she was doing something called a ‘deep dive.’

She has interactions with him and he enlightens her as to what has really gone on. She sympathises with him and wants to know her true origins. They have been hidden from her but stored on some sort of memory disk, while she has fake memories implanted by the robotics division of Hanka Corporation. I couldn’t help but think the film is a warning to us all. Almost pre-conditioning. It’s said in conspiracy circles that China does peculiar experiments to do with technology, ones often to do with stem stells and DNA editing. These are purely biological and do not involve robotics etc. But nonetheless, it’s disconcerting.

The film co-stars Pilau Asbaek who had a brief appearance in the first scene of Lucy, also starring Scarlett Johansson. He is so different in Ghost in the Shell, both in appearance and personality, I didn’t recognise him at all. Good actor, literally. Managed to trick me into not thinking I’d ever seen him before. Johansson sings his praises in one of her interviews. He plays Batou who is a key character in both the original anime film and in the anime television series, called Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

It would be a crime of me not to mention the film also co-stars Takeshi Kitano as Aramaki. This character is Mira Killian’s figurative angel, for without him, she’d have no back up in high places. Takeshi Kitano is a legend in Japan. He speaks Japanese in the film, with subtitles. As far as I know, his English is not that great. But even though he speaks in Japanese, you can hear how cool he must be if you understand Japanese. Juliette Binoche also has a pivotal role and she was once a very prominent actress. She does a superb job. She comes across as very manipulative when she is meant to but then has a change of heart when her conscience finally emerges as actually existent within her as a person, despite all she has done.

I certainly recommend Ghost in the Shell and multiple viewings are comfortable because it’s quite light dialogue wise with what is often visual artwork that can be seen again and again with much pleasure.

Reviewed by Alistair Martin

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The Death of Stalin (2017)

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Directed by Armando Iannucci

Certificate: 15

Runtime: 106 minutes

These days we often hear of people being dismissed, denounced or criticised as ‘Stalinist’. This has become a term of abuse in the same manner as ‘fascist’ or ‘racist’; a useful cudgel with which the unscrupulous individual can use to beat political opponents about the head.

Armando Iannucci’s new black comedy, The Death of Stalin, offers an insight into the paralysing fear felt by everyone who lived in the Soviet Union under the rule of Josef Stalin and his brutal, sadistic henchman; NKVD spymaster Lavrenti Beria, chillingly played by Simon Russell Beale.

The best example of this gnawing fear is shown by Paddy Considine’s panic stricken Radio Moscow producer who tries to get a recording of a classical concert to Stalin after receiving a phone call from him ‘requesting’ a copy. The problem was that the concert was broadcast live; not recorded.

Stalin, (Adrian McLoughlin) is a vulgar peasant with a penchant for practical jokes and bad cowboy movies. All the other members of the politburo go along with his every whim for fear of ending up on one of Beria’s lists of ‘enemies of the people’. This tension makes for some excruciatingly bleak humour that leaves the viewers on the edge of their seats.

Great characterisations from Steve Buscemi as the calculating schemer, Khrushchev who struggles to stay ahead of Beria and keep himself free and alive; Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov, the vacillating deputy to Stalin who finds himself in over his head after Stalin’s death and most notably by Jason Isaacs as the brash, no-nonsense war hero, Marshal Georgy Zhukov.

Some critics have questioned the use of humour in depicting this dark time in Russia’s history. Isn’t it in bad taste? Perhaps. Nevertheless it is a work of genius from the master of dark sardonic humour. Iannucci has triumphed again.

Reviewed by David Kerr

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Blade Runner 2049

bladerunner2049Directed By: Denis Villeneuve
Written By: Michael Green, Hampton Fancher
In Theatres: Oct 6, 2017 Wide
Runtime: 164 minutes
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

Blade Runner 2049 is certainly a worthy sequel to the original for many reasons, including it’s stunning visuals and cinematography.

CGI is used only when really needed and it’s convincing even to the well trained eye.

The lighting used in the film was absolutely superb and in places it all felt very real an atmospheric but yet still different, showing a dystopian world.

There are a number of moral issues with Artificial Intelligence that the film touches upon and it left me asking myself what humanity actually is and how humans have an ability to completely and knowingly discard their humanity. This even when furnished with the knowledge that an artificial intelligence would highly likely seek/cherish humanity in it’s quest to be more human.

I could not help but notice that there was a critical message about the human pests ruining the environment with their throwaway culture. This manifested itself in the plot in a subliminal way.

Another re-occuring theme in Blade Runner 2049, is a retreat from the outdoors to inside, possibly setup as a pointer to humanity’s lack of respect for the outdoors.

I didn’t tire of the pace in this 2h 43m film and slowing things down really did seem to demand more attention from the viewer.

All of the actors and characters played out perfectly, with a good script.

The only criticism I could possibly make about this masterpiece, is that it would have been nice to have seen more of the residents that inhabit this dystopian world.

It certainly is a film that I would love to see again, just to make sure there wasn’t anything I missed, especially on the philosophical front, though not at the Reel cinema in Burnley, as the experience was marred by a broken bass speaker!

Reviewed by Chris Barnett

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Dunkirk (2017)

PG-13 | 1h 46min |

Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Damien Bonnard, Aneurin Barnard |

dunkirkDunkirk is an intense film experience. It shows the Dunkirk evacuation through the perspectives of those waiting on the beach, those on the sea and in the air. The action isn’t focused on a single individual or group. That’s alienated some who are used to finding out about a protagonist and following them. It worked for me, however. It’s the action that hooks you in.

The action starts quickly as a squaddie named Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) runs through the streets of Dunkirk trying to make it to the beach. As he runs and climbs over walls and gates he is being shot at and people are dying around him. It’s gripping stuff and there are moments of tension and dread like this throughout the film. The cinematography and music score (from Hans Zimmer) complement the action.

Dunkirk is not a glorification of war. It doesn’t use a lot of blood and gore but, instead, shows the way war can break the mind of a serviceman (as with the traumatised officer played by Cillian Murphy), take loved ones away and bring out the worst in people as they struggle to survive. Dunkirk also shows how the best in people can also appear. If the film has heroes it is those who are trying to save people from death. Mr Dawson, played by Mark Rylance, has a calm determination. The most inspiring parts of the film, for me, were focussed on ordinary people, like Mr Dawson, the blind man at the Railway Station helping the returning troops and, of course, when the floatilla of small ships arrive in Dunkirk. That’s an incredible moment and the score underlines it with a slow rendition of the most popular movement from Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations – Nimrod. It’s particularly appropriate as this movement is performed on Remembrance Sunday before the Cenotaph to commemorate “THE GLORIOUS DEAD”.

Dunkirk is a great film. My only reservation is that women aren’t featured much. I realize that it is a historical piece but their almost complete absence is noticeable. That aside I did come away feeling proud of the French who helped cover the retreat (many of whom lost their lives) and of the quiet determination of the ordinary British people who were there when they needed to be. I think the film gets the British or, at least, how we would like to think we are.

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