Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk, arrives in cinemas next month and will no doubt be a gripping account of the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from northern France early in World War Two.
Although a defeat, the heroic evacuation efforts – especially the participation of a civilian fleet of ‘little ships’ – made Dunkirk into a powerful symbol of valiant struggle against the odds.
In terms of visual themes, depictions of World War Two on screen in recent years have been heavily influenced by Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan and its companion TV series, Band Of Brothers. Spielberg used very muted colour tones in portraying dull skies, dusty summer landscapes and drab military uniforms. The overall effect also called to mind the colour photographs used in the period, providing a subtle sense of looking into the past.
It will be fascinating to see whether Christopher Nolan relies on similar techniques, or whether Dunkirk takes the visualisation of World War Two into a new direction.
In the meantime, here’s a Dunkirk-inspired gallery of our own WW2, military and naval imagery…