August is Movie Madness month at all six Bookmans stores! And while we are enjoying awesome free events and activities highlighting cinema, we also wanted to take a moment and talk about one of our favorite places to hang and enjoy a film or three! The Loft Cinema in Tucson has been around for generations and just so happens to be a Bookmans bestie. We have a long standing relationship with this Tucson cultural hot spot. When the opportunity presented itself to see this theater after their recent remodel and enjoy Christopher Nolan’s latest feat Dunkirk in 70 MM, of course we hopped to it. Check out my thoughts on Nolan’s latest film and why you should definitely see it at The Loft.
But also this is all literally history soooo……
The Battle of Dunkirk was essentially an evacuation of British and allied forces over a two week period in 1940. Had these forces not been evacuated, the world as we know it would have been very Man In The High Castle. Over 400,000 troops were trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk, France on a channel that prohibited any large military vessels from crossing. Churchill, having only been in office for mere days, made the call for any civilians to cross those waters and bring their troops home. A compelling time in history and the birth of “Dunkirk Spirit,” a term still very much a part of British culture today.
Christopher Nolan’s latest film tells the compelling story of this event and focuses solely on the desperation to get these soldiers home. Though Dunkirk lacks any character development typical of a war drama, this film is fascinating in its own right. The star is the event itself. There is minimal dialogue and you’re lucky if you catch a character’s name, but yet you are still enthralled while watching thanks to Nolan’s keen eye and unorthodox approach to storytelling.
Dunkirk follows three separate perspectives: The Mole, The Sea and The Air. Each of these POVs has a separate timeline within the film, A Week, A Day and An Hour, respectively. The Mole POV shows the men trapped on the beach. From here you follow three soldiers as they sneak on boats and narrowly avoid getting killed. The Sea follows the civilians who took their personal boats through the channel and into the war zone to ferry men home. The Air represents the fighter pilots who fought off German forces from the skies as boats carried men in and out of the channel.
Though some aspects of the movie are fictionalized, I have to say I was impressed at how historically accurate Dunkirk was. When a plane went down, there wasn’t a huge explosion but rather just a bit of smoke and gradual descent into the depths of the ocean below. The age and inexperience of the actors cast to play soldiers offered a realistic narrative. Nolan purposely cast somewhat unknowns as soldiers. He knew the majority of men on the ground were barely men at all but rather scrawny, freckled faced youths thrust into combat. Nolan could have easily provided a WWII film with your typical format involving a character driven drama complete with Dear John Letters, but he didn’t. Dunkirk is not a film about characters, or really even about The Second World War, but really about a beach, 400,000 men trapped there and those individuals in the sky and sea who worked hard to get them home. And I think it’s a better film for it.
The Loft Cinema is a local non-profit cinema located in Tucson Arizona and has been a part of Tucson culture for 42 years with the last 12 as a nonprofit. From Grease Sing-a-longs to Labyrinth-themed New Year’s Eve Parties to their annual KidsFest series, The Loft provides a one of a kind movie going experience that you just don’t get at big business movie theaters. So if you have a chance head to The Loft on Speedway Blvd., grab a ticket for Dunkirk in 70MM or one of the many films showing, pick up a locally brewed beer and some popcorn at concessions and enjoy a Tucson cultural hotspot.
Happy Movie Madness!
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