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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hot'Lanta... home of the Falcons!

    1917: Spoiler thread

    For those who have seen the film, this is a good place to chat about it. Your memories will be better than mine as I saw it back in mid-November.

    I loved when Blake died. I was stunned and did not see that coming at all. I thought one of them might die, and Blake was the obvious choice -- forcing Schofield to decide whether to continue to risk his life on a mission where he did not have a brother who needed saving -- but I expected it to come later. The death at the hands of the wounded pilot was especially poignant, because it shows Blake's humanity... which is what cost him his life. What a brutal storytelling decision.

    Speaking of storytelling, the way everything came back to have meaning was both a little bit cliched and also a lot bit awesome. When Schofield gives the milk to the young woman with the baby, I almost fell out of my chair. What a magical moment.

    I adored the "stunt" casting of all the commanders. I was certain Cumberbatch would ignore the warning and want his troops to attack anyway after the warning from Mark Strong. I enjoyed the hopelessness and frustration of Andrew Scott's (Fleabag) Lieutenant toward the beginning of the film. Richard Madden and Colin Firth... it was just so much fun to watch these pros emote for a few scenes and then go away.

    Speaking of acting, was George MacKay off the charts good or what? His scenes at the farmhouse, with the French girl, and in the water were amazing. I am sorta regretting not considering him more for Best Actor.

    Lastly, which was your favorite piece of cinematography? Here are the nominees:
    • The movement through the foxholes as Schofield and Blake go from Colin Firth to Andrew Scott
    • The way the camera moved around the farmhouse setting and the plane crash
    • The "nighttime in hell" chase scenes in the burning French city
    • Schofield in the water and the waterfall (including the floating bodies)
    • Schoield running along the lines as the 2nd battalion begins their charge

    I mean, there are probably three or four other sequences that could be in the list. In a career that is full of stunningly well-crafted films, cinematographer Roger Deakins outdid himself in this movie. I kid you not when I say it may be the most beautifully shot war film ever. My pick is probably the nighttime burning hell, which was the scene where I leaned over to a critic friend and said, "I'm done. This movie is too good for words."

    -Jason "that's enough for now... I thought this was a great story even without the breathtaking camerawork... some folks think the single shot effect is a stunt, but I say it enhanced our sense of being in the film" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Watching carolina Go To HELL!
    We saw it tonight. Enjoyed it, well done. Very intense. I donít understand why the girl was still there hiding. Why didnít the Germans there kill her?
    Ozzie, your paradigm of optimism!

    Go To Hell carolina, Go To Hell!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lynchburg, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    For those who have seen the film, this is a good place to chat about it. Your memories will be better than mine as I saw it back in mid-November.

    I loved when Blake died. I was stunned and did not see that coming at all. I thought one of them might die, and Blake was the obvious choice -- forcing Schofield to decide whether to continue to risk his life on a mission where he did not have a brother who needed saving -- but I expected it to come later. The death at the hands of the wounded pilot was especially poignant, because it shows Blake's humanity... which is what cost him his life. What a brutal storytelling decision.

    Speaking of storytelling, the way everything came back to have meaning was both a little bit cliched and also a lot bit awesome. When Schofield gives the milk to the young woman with the baby, I almost fell out of my chair. What a magical moment.

    I adored the "stunt" casting of all the commanders. I was certain Cumberbatch would ignore the warning and want his troops to attack anyway after the warning from Mark Strong. I enjoyed the hopelessness and frustration of Andrew Scott's (Fleabag) Lieutenant toward the beginning of the film. Richard Madden and Colin Firth... it was just so much fun to watch these pros emote for a few scenes and then go away.

    Speaking of acting, was George MacKay off the charts good or what? His scenes at the farmhouse, with the French girl, and in the water were amazing. I am sorta regretting not considering him more for Best Actor.

    Lastly, which was your favorite piece of cinematography? Here are the nominees:
    • The movement through the foxholes as Schofield and Blake go from Colin Firth to Andrew Scott
    • The way the camera moved around the farmhouse setting and the plane crash
    • The "nighttime in hell" chase scenes in the burning French city
    • Schofield in the water and the waterfall (including the floating bodies)
    • Schoield running along the lines as the 2nd battalion begins their charge

    I mean, there are probably three or four other sequences that could be in the list. In a career that is full of stunningly well-crafted films, cinematographer Roger Deakins outdid himself in this movie. I kid you not when I say it may be the most beautifully shot war film ever. My pick is probably the nighttime burning hell, which was the scene where I leaned over to a critic friend and said, "I'm done. This movie is too good for words."

    -Jason "that's enough for now... I thought this was a great story even without the breathtaking camerawork... some folks think the single shot effect is a stunt, but I say it enhanced our sense of being in the film" Evans
    Thank you for starting this thread. I couldn't agree more. The cinematography was a masterpiece. I'll go with Schofield running along the lines, although I'd include the beginning of that sequence when the 1st wave of soldiers are lined up against the white (limestone?) trenches. There was something about the way they were staged and waiting for the whistle that I found incredible powerful. I shed tears when he climbed the trench and started running. Like so much of the movie it was simultaneously beautiful and terrifying.

    I strongly disagree with anyone who says the use of single shot was a gimmick. I think it created a connection to Blake and Schofield that enhanced the development of their characters. The example that immediately comes to mind is the scene between Schofield's escape from the river and his charge across the line. He's just made it out of the river by climbing over dead bodies when he stumbles into the group of soldiers sitting in the trees listening to a solider with a crystal clear voice sing Wayfaring Stranger. The camera shot coming back through the soldiers with Schofield framed in the middle was absolutely mesmerizing. I also think it set the stage perfectly for the drama of Schofield's run.

    The more I reflect of the movie the more I enjoy it. I look forward to taking my teenagers next week. I think its the sort of film that gets better when watched a second time.

  4. #4
    Hard to pick a best scene, but the end dash as the troops are coming out of the trenches - the white limestone and beautiful pasture setting contrasted with the beginning muck and darkness - great cinematography.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I wish my English grandfather were alive to comment on it, as he spent four years in trenches in France during WWI...but he'd be 130 years old right about now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    That was fantastic. A bit cliche but still done masterfully. IMAX was the way to go.
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  7. #7
    I loved it. One of the best filmed movies I've ever witnessed. Music was great, acting was great. Wish the Germans had better accuracy than Stormtroopers and the scene with the girl and baby was unnecessary to me were my only nitpicks (I realize the first nitpick would have led to a 10 minute movie).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    when I see "spoiler thread," does that mean the Germans win the war in this version?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Just saw the movie this afternoon, and I was really impressed. What a wonderful movie.

    Jason, as to your question of which of the five scenes showed the best cinematography, I'm going to be hard pressed to pick. Each one of them was riveting

    But in addition to the five you listed, it was a pair of scenes that has made me stop and think the most. In the opening scene, Schofield is sitting under a tree - probably not thinking about anything very big. In the closing scene, Schofield is again sitting under a tree - this time contemplating everything that's changed in his last day. The two similar scenes open and close a day in his life - and there was just so much packed into that day and beautifully filmed.

    Outstanding movie.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Quote Originally Posted by bigperm13 View Post
    I loved it. One of the best filmed movies I've ever witnessed. Music was great, acting was great. Wish the Germans had better accuracy than Stormtroopers and the scene with the girl and baby was unnecessary to me were my only nitpicks (I realize the first nitpick would have led to a 10 minute movie).
    I felt the scene with the baby didn't fit either. Seemed like they could have run a crawler during that segment that said, "Great time to go get some popcorn. You won't miss a thing for the next ten minutes"

    But one other scene felt so wrong that it sort of jerked me away from the story. When Schofield left the truck convoy to enter the town, he comes under fire from the German sniper. My very first thought was that he had only walked a few dozen steps from the truck convoy, and it really bothered me that the troops in the truck didn't return fire and come to his assistance. Were they just sitting in the trucks watching?

    I expect the idea was for Schofield to keep moving forward on his own, but the entire time he was trying to get across the wrecked bridge I was sitting there thinking, "Why aren't they helping him?" It just took me out of the moment for a little while.

    Still it was a wonderfully crafted film. I definitely loved it.

  11. #11
    Meant to add that while I felt the scene was unnecessary, I do agree with Jason that MacKay's acting during it was fantastic.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    I watched 1917 this afternoon. Mesmerizing. When Schofield breaks out his pictures, at the end when he is sitting under the tree, you realize how much he risked to carry out his orders. A fantastic film.
    Bob Green
    DBR Survivor Football Champion
    2010 & 2016

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Finally saw it this past week, and it was as stunning as advertised. Not sure I could pick the finest scene, although some have commented that the nighttime burning city chase seemed little more than a video game, and I must say I found a bit of truth in that. Perhaps the most important to me is early on just getting through no man's land, which quickly gets the film started by graphically showing the unbelievable horrors and hellishness of WWI's western front (keep in mind this was actually a 'nice' day weatherwise out there - imagine it in winter and cold rain, and the one thing the film couldn't convey, besides how wet and dirty you'd be all the time, was the stench of dead creatures in the air. Yikes...)

    But I, too, wondered why the officer of the truck convoy (and where did they come from, anyway?) didn't at least detail a volunteer or two to add to the mission with Schofield, if it was so important. (Not to mention, couldn't the Royal Flying Corps have dropped a message onto the Devons, making the whole dodgy mission superfluous???) But I wasn't there to question anything - just to go on that horrific ride, and was enthralled by every minute of it.

    (P.S., I'm not sure that abandonned British tank in the very early going would have been available in April, 1917 - I think they didn't appear until later that year...)

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Undisclosed
    Quote Originally Posted by Faustus View Post
    Finally saw it this past week, and it was as stunning as advertised. Not sure I could pick the finest scene, although some have commented that the nighttime burning city chase seemed little more than a video game, and I must say I found a bit of truth in that. Perhaps the most important to me is early on just getting through no man's land, which quickly gets the film started by graphically showing the unbelievable horrors and hellishness of WWI's western front (keep in mind this was actually a 'nice' day weatherwise out there - imagine it in winter and cold rain, and the one thing the film couldn't convey, besides how wet and dirty you'd be all the time, was the stench of dead creatures in the air. Yikes...)

    But I, too, wondered why the officer of the truck convoy (and where did they come from, anyway?) didn't at least detail a volunteer or two to add to the mission with Schofield, if it was so important. (Not to mention, couldn't the Royal Flying Corps have dropped a message onto the Devons, making the whole dodgy mission superfluous???) But I wasn't there to question anything - just to go on that horrific ride, and was enthralled by every minute of it.

    (P.S., I'm not sure that abandonned British tank in the very early going would have been available in April, 1917 - I think they didn't appear until later that year...)
    Depends on the model of tank. Some were introduced as early as the Somme in 1916:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanks_in_World_War_I
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

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