Tag: Dunkirk

“Darkest Hour,” the movie: an interview with The Australian

“Darkest Hour,” the movie: an interview with The Australian

For The Australian …

Troy Bram­ston of The Aus­tralian news­pa­per had per­ti­nent ques­tions about the new movie Dark­est Hour, star­ring Gary Old­man as Win­ston Churchill. With the thought that Troy’s queries might be of inter­est, I append the text of the interview.

The Aus­tralian : Of all the things Win­ston Churchill is pur­port­ed to have said and done, the myths and mis­con­cep­tions, which are the most preva­lent and frus­trat­ing for scholars? None of these appear in the film, but there are three things that ran­kle: 1) The lies—that he was anx­ious to use poi­son gas; that he fire­bombed Dres­den in revenge for Coven­try; that he exac­er­bat­ed the Ben­gal famine, etc.…

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Is the Movie “Dunkirk” Dumbed Down?

Is the Movie “Dunkirk” Dumbed Down?

Reviews of Christo­pher Nolan’s new film on Dunkirk, which take quite oppo­site points of view.

Dunkirk without Context

Dorothy Rabi­nowitz, in The Wall Street Jour­nal, pro­claims “the dumb­ing down of Dunkirk.” Mr. Nolan, she writes:

…con­sid­ers Dunkirk “a uni­ver­sal story…about com­mu­nal hero­ism.” Which explains why this is—despite its impres­sive cin­e­matog­ra­phy, its mov­ing por­trait of suf­fer­ing troops and their rescuers—a Dunkirk flat­tened out, dis­con­nect­ed from the spir­it of its time, from any sense even of the par­tic­u­lar mighty ene­my with which Eng­land was at war.

When an event in his­to­ry has become, in the mind of a writer, “uni­ver­sal” it’s a tip-off.…

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Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

Churchill, Orwell and “1984”

It’s the 50th anniver­sary of George Orwell’s pre­scient mas­ter­piece 1984, to which end The Sun­day Times pub­lished a review by Robert Har­ris on May 31st.

But in prais­ing  1984, Har­ris finds the need to take a whack at Churchill—which he does with sin­gu­lar inac­cu­ra­cy: “Giv­en that only five years pre­vi­ous­ly Churchill, Roo­sevelt and Stal­in had divid­ed up the world into ‘zones of influ­ence’ at the Teheran con­fer­ence, [Orwell’s] vision did not seem entire­ly fantastic.”

What is fan­tas­tic is where peo­ple get such notions. “Zones of influ­ence” came up not at Teheran but at the Moscow  (“Tol­stoy”) con­fer­ence between Churchill and Stal­in a year lat­er, with the Red Army now far advanced in east­ern Europe.…

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