In case you haven't noticed, director Christopher Nolan is an amazing visual storyteller. His most recent film, Dunkirk, is in my mind his greatest visual achievement. I was in awe as I watched this film, because of how masterfully he told the story through the film's visuals. There wasn't a lot of dialogue in the film, and there didn't need to be.
The YouTube channel, Like Stories of Old, recently re-edited Nolan's Dunkirk as a black and white short silent film to highlight the power of the film's visual storytelling. It's pretty amazing how well it works! You can still feel the emotional weight of the journey that the characters are going through. The channel's creator explained the reasoning behind turning Dunkirk into a silent movie and the work that went into creating it, saying:
"This is a special project of mine unlike anything I’ve ever done before. What started off as a regular essay on Dunkirk’s visual storytelling and its influences from silent films, slowly turned into what is by far my most experimental video to date. It began when I re-edited a few clips from Dunkirk into a silent film style to compare it to existing silent films that Nolan mentioned as his inspirations (and also; because it was just really fun to do). I was amazed at how well it translated and how well it highlighted Nolan’s use of camera angles, body language, facial expressions and staging in Dunkirk’s storytelling; a great use of visuals both in portraying minor conflicts as well as in telling the story as a whole.
"This last point presented an interesting challenge for my video essay, because translating individual scenes into silent ones is relatively easy; I think there are many recent films that have scenes with strong visual storytelling, but I can’t think of many films that can be turned into a silent film in their entirety and still work. Dunkirk however, I believe, is one of those films. For a second I considered re-editing the entire film, but because that would obviously lead to copyright issues I decided to transform it into a short that showcases Dunkirk’s strength in visual storytelling in both the small details as well as the story as a whole. I tried as much as possible to maintain the essence of Dunkirk, but I also wanted it to stand on its own which meant I had to pay a lot of attention to its internal logic and do some creative editing."
Watch the video below and let us know what you think about this silent film version of the movie!