Film Talk

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Unbroken (2 replies and 2 comments)

BM459
4 days ago
BM459 4 days ago

Dear Roger,

I would love to know what your opinion is of the film 'Unbroken', now that it's been a good few years since its release. I think it is one of your strongest films, and a war film that is very hard to shake. Of all the amazing performances you have seen through your lens, I think Jack O'Connell's is one of the very best. The script by the Coen Brothers is really phenomenal, and it in some ways feels like a distant cousin of 'To The White Sea'. I felt a similar feeling reading both screenplays. They are both relentless and brutal stories, but with Unbroken's coda, it leaves a very different message. It is such an amazing story. 

Roger Deakins
4 days ago
Roger Deakins 4 days ago

I have great memories of 'Unbroken' and I, pretty much, like the result. It is not, and never could be, 'To the White Sea' but it offered some consolation for that project falling through. I  still have hopes that one day I will shoot 'To the White Sea', which, when it fell through, was one of the greatest disappointments of my life. But it is a challenging story at the best of times and these are not that.

BM459
4 days ago

I only discovered recently that the screenplay was available to read online, and what a masterpiece it is. I can only imagine your disappointment. Have you ever received another screenplay that was so visually focused? I doubt it. Maybe the Coens can get it made at Netflix. 'Mank' seems to have been a similar challenge for David Fincher to produce in period accurate black and white with a mono soundtrack, but they agreed to it. Why not a war movie with no dialogue?

Roger Deakins
4 days ago
Roger Deakins 4 days ago

No, 'To the White Sea' is/was a one off!

You might want to read the original novel by James Dickey, who flew bombers over Japan during the war. He also wrote the book and screen play of 'Deliverance'. 

BM459
2 days ago

I think I will. Thank you. The fire bombing of Tokyo is an unfathomable event. Strange that it isn't a more important part of the teaching of the history of the war. I never learned about it in school.

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