Please mark this for me :)

Question number: 2

Christopher Nolans ‘Dunkirk’ uses a variety of film techniques in order to create tension and uncertainty within the audience. These techniques include the Ticking watch, Shepard tone, Lighting, and a variety of unfamiliar characters. All of these features create a constant tension within the audience and make up the film as a whole.

‘Dunkirk’ is based on the beaches of Dunkirk, France during WW2. 400,000 British and French soldiers were trapped on the beaches by the advancing Germans. Their only hope is a dock called ‘The Mole’ which is the only place their military and hospital ships can dock as the beach was too shallow. This film is taken in the perspectives of troops from the land, the air and some citizens that gamble their lives to save the soldiers.

Nolan uses the ticking watch as a symbol of time running out and creates tension. The ticking watch is heard throughout the film and most prominently during scenes of dangers. This is to resemble that their lives are running out of time during these scenes. Another thing about the ticking watch is that it resembles a higher power and makes their lives all about the chance that they might die. They have no control over the war and their life in it. Some scenes that include the ticking watch is when Farrier, A spitfire pilot, has a broken fuel gauge. This creates tension as the audience doesn’t know how much time he has left and the ticking watch reinforces that idea. Another scene is where Tommy and Alex, Two British land soldiers, are drowning in the hull of a torpedoed Destroyer. This links to their time running out. Nolan used this technique regularly to create suspense and uncertainty within the audience.

Nolan also used throughout his film a verbal technique called Shepard tone. This technique was heard almost in all scenes to create suspense and tension. This technique is constructed like an orchestra pitching higher every second but in reality it is the same noise, just a verbal illusion to trick the audience into a climax that would never happen. The only change in music was the loudness of it as it increased during dangerous scenes. For example ‘The Mole’, A piece constructed by Hanz zimmer was used during the bombers attacks on the waiting troops. It consisted of certain high pitched instruments to create more suspense. Nolan used Hanz zimmer’s music perfectly in his film to create underlying tension.

Different lighting techniques are also used by Nolan as a way to express a mood. Nolan used lighting as a way to portray emotion. During the first minutes of the film, Tommy ran from out of the town and onto the beach where he looked in horror as he saw countless men all waiting in lines to board boats. During this scene Nolan made the screen gray and bleak in order to create an emotion of sadness and hopelessness within the audience. During the end of the film when Alex and Tommy are on board a train home the light has changed to a bright glow to symbolize joy and relief that they are out of danger and are safe. Nolan used this at different times to create relief and sadness.

One of Nolan’s favorite techniques was to create a variety of characters and not allow the audience to get too close. This was so that the audience couldn’t assume a main character due to the fact there were so many. This made the audience question their survival and worry for them creating Tension and suspense. Eventually some of these characters that may have thought to have lived but died during the start making the audience feel disconnected and have lost hope. This links to the lighting used and time running out. Nolan also used characters like the shivering soldier and Gibson, Land troops, who throughout the film are concerned for what is to come and are shocked from previous events. As example the shivering soldier tried to persuade Mr Dawson, A civilian who sailed from Britain to save soldiers, to turn around and sail to britain. This scene from the start made the audience concerned for the other characters who remained on the beaches of dunkirk. Nolan used this technique to perfectly describe the war from different perspectives and to disconnect the audience to the characters.

In conclusion Christopher Nolan used several techniques to describe the events of dunkirk with merciless detail. Throughout the film we have seen the ticking watch, Shepard tone, lighting techniques, and a variety of different characters with their own stories and parts to play. The use of non diegetic sound to create suspense and tension within the audience and to symbolize many objects with time running out all make the film one of the most intense movies to date.

Kia ora Smaug6178

Could you please write out what the question was so we can tailor our feedback to it?

The question is:

What visual/verbal techniques have been used and what does it do to the text

Kia ora again Smaug6178

Great thanks for that - welcome to Studyit. WHat is the explain part of the question “Describe what visual and verbal techniques have been used and explain…”?

Dang that was a fast reply. This is what i meant (sorry for the confusion): Describe at least one important technique in the text. Explain how that technique created an emotional response in you.

Ok cool!

So - you do address both parts of this question in your intro which was good - what you might consider is that one step further here - for instance a more explicit statement at the end of the intro like "The tension in the audience is crucial in the film because it helps us to understand… (big idea or theme) - this helps you form a bit more of a “through” argument about how and WHY these aspects are important to the text as a whole - given Dunkirk is based on a historical event, an easy link here would be to talk about how the tension helps the audience relate to the experience of soldier’s in World War two and the trauma and terrifying circumstances they faced, therefore educating the viewer.

Some really nice comments about the ticking watch and what it symbolizes - you have some specific examples and a clear sense of purpose. Again, similarly to the intro, a good thing to consider at the end of your paragraph for example, is WHY does this matter - “This suspense is crucial for helping to highlight how…” - this will help you show appreciation for how and why these aspects are used, and therefore the perception and linking beyond the text needed for excellence. This feedback applies to all your paragraphs.

Your vocab is good and this is cohesive and clear, so building that discussion of WHY this might be used and why it is important - as well as making some clear links outside the text to why the author may have wanted us to feel this tension, will help you really lift this.

Hope that helps!:slight_smile: