Archives » Cinemas

Dunkirk

Syncopy Inc. Directed by Christopher Nolan.

Since our move to Son of the Rock Acres we’re now close to a “proper” cinema, the Kino. It’s not a separate building though but part of Glenrothes town centre, though accesssed from outside. We still don’t go often but the good lady took a fancy to the new film about Dunkirk so off we toddled.

The film dispenses with any preamble or scene setting about the situation leading up to the retreat to Dunkirk and starts with a group of British soldiers moving through the streets of Dunkirk with paper leaflets falling down around them. One looks at a leaflet to see the phrase “We Surround You” and arrows pushing in towards the English Channel – presumably a facsimile of a real German propaganda leaf drop at the time and probably where Dad’s Army took the idea for its opening credits from. Suddenly the men are fired on and they start running – and dropping like flies. Eventually one reaches the beach and the hordes of men waiting there.

We then move to the situation at the Mole (Dunkirk harbour’s long pier) which features Kenneth Branagh as Commander Bolton, in charge of naval affairs there.

The action then switches to the “small boats” being requisitioned by the navy with particular emphasis on one boat. (Mark Rylance puts in a fine performance as the boat’s master but all of the acting was convincing.)

Then we are transported to an RAF patrol of three Spitfires flying to the Dunkirk area with the leader warning his team to keep an eye on fuel levels.

The film intercuts between these four scenarios at (ir)regular intervals and repeatedly shows the same incident but from the several differing viewpoints.

Most of it, though, displays a distinct lack of heroism, men fetching for themselves, queue-jumping, arguing, though others (Royal Engineers contstructing makeshift jetties out of whatever is lying about on the beaches for example) are trying their best to muddle through.

But that is how it would have been. For a soldier Dunkirk must have been anything but heroic. A frantic mixture of hope and fear and endurance with even rescue from the beaches no guarantee of a safe journey home what with the gauntlet of bombers and U-boats still to run.

If anything it is the efforts of the RAF pilots that the film emphasises – despite the complaint after a Stuka attack on the beach of “Where’s the ruddy Air Force?”

I could have done without the swelling strings (a very slowed down tempo for Elgar’s Nimrod) when the small boats started to make their appearance off the beaches, though.

It also seemed odd to me that Rylance’s small boat took its cargo back to Dorset – that’s a long way from Dunkirk and far from the nearest point in Britain. And I had the impression from my reading that the small boats were mainly used to ferry men from the beach to destroyers etc lying off-shore.

The film touches on the point of the soldiers feeling that they had let the country down and dreading the reception they would get on arrival only to find they were being greeted with cheers. It is still strange that the “Dunkirk spirit” is invoked by those who wish to big Britain up. As Churchill said at the time, “Wars are not won by evacuations.”

The second last image – of a burning Spitfire on the beach – seemed emblematic of a Britain that has lost its way and won’t easily find it again. At least in 1940 it only took four years for Britain to get back into Europe.

I saw in the credits at the end the name of one Harry Styles. I knew of the name of course but could not have put a face to it.

Art Deco in Avilés (iv)

Corner Deco:-

Corner Deco, Avilés

More corner deco:-

More Corner Deco, Avilés

La Voe de Avilés. “Rule of three” in the middle of the balconies. Good railings; and that compass dial above the door is a neat touch:-

La Voe de Avilés

Balconied Corner Deco:-

Balconied Corner Deco, Avilés

A more moderne style. Springfield:-

Moderne/Deco, Avilés

There’s a stunning mural of a ship and castellations at upper level here. Art Deco “rule of three” on the corner. I think this was the Play House Cinema:-

Mural, Avilés

More Modern Avilés

Street in Avilés, cinema to right:-

Street in Avilés

More streets:-

Street Scene Avilés

Avilés Street

Modern Street, Avilés

The last above was just off a town square. On the opposite side of the square was a stadium, the Estadio Municipal Román Suárez Puerta, home of Real Avilés C F, now in the fourth tier of Spanish football but which has cahieved the dizzy heights of Tier 2 for a total of 13 seasons, but not since 1992, which was also the season they progressed their furthest ever in the Copa del Rey, Round 5:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

A sign on the stand’s gable end says El Quirinal which I thought at the time was the stadium’s name but is in fact the street’s:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

From (pedestrianised) square:-

Estadio Municipal Roman Suarez Puerta, Avilés

Art Deco in Gronigen (iii)

In a previous post on Art Deco in Groningen, The Netherlands, I showed two photos of a cinema. This year I took more views of that building. This is the rear view:-

Art Deco in Groningen

This is the view from the street that runs beside it back to front:-

Groningen Cinema

Lovely window arch on cinema wall:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen, Window Arch

Detail on window arch, a sculpted head:-

Art Deco Cinemas, Groningen Detail

Great columning and glazing towards front:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen Side View

The glazing has fantastic detailing:-

Art Deco Cinema, Groningen Glazing

Art Deco in King’s Lynn (i) Former Ritz Cinema

Almost the first thing I noticed on getting out of the car in King’s Lynn was a blocky Art Deco building with typical deco glazing. (Note Greyfriar’s Tower behind):-

King's Lynn, Art Deco Former Cinema

It wasn’t till working round the town that I discovered it was the former Ritz Cinema, now a bingo hall:-

Former Ritz Cinema, King's Lynn

Note “rule of three” in the doors and the columns and windows above them. View from main street (again you can glimpse Greyfriars Tower behind):-

King's Lynn Former Cinema

Other side view (from the War Memorial and in front of Greyfriars Tower):-

Former Ritz Cinema, King's Lynn

Old King’s Lynn

King’s Lynn was the next stop after Boston. My first time, in Norfolk which in this part of it was very reminiscent of the Netherlands.

King’s Lynn itself contains a strange mixture of architecture with several buildings surviving from mediæval times.

We passed this old gateway on the way in but photographed it on the way out:-

King's Lynn

This is the Guildhall, the largest surviving English mediæval Guildhall. It’s not really curved I had to stitch two photos:-

King's Lynn Guildhall

King’s Lynn Minster lies just across the road:-

King's Lynn Minster

And just across the other road (the Guildhall is close to a junction):-

King's Lynn

A quaint old street:-

King's Lynn

Greyfriars Tower, King’s Lynn. One of only three surviving Franciscan monastery towers in England:-

Greyfriars Tower, King's Lynn

Without street furniture in the way. The building behind it, with the fire escape, is an Art Deco former cinema!:-

Greyfriars Tower, King's Lynn Again.

Art Deco in Boston, Lincolnshire

Boston has its fair share, perhaps more, of Art Deco buildings.

The West End Cinema doesn’t look so deco from this angle:-

West End Cinema, Boston

But this corner doorway has Art Deco styling:-

West End Cinema, Boston, Corner.

There are Art Deco elements in this side view too:-

West End Cinema, Boston, Side

There was typical 1930s Deco styling on Marks & Spencer’s:-

Marks & Spencer, Boston

Clarks has a vaguely deco look with an undoubted deco sunburst and “M” just above the Clarks sign – presumably a relic of the original occupant:-

Vaguely Art Deco Shop in Boston 8

As does QD Stores:-

Art Deco Style, Boston

Cash Generator was more to the point. Rule of three in and on the pillars:-

Art Deco in Boston

Then there was the striking Cammack’s:-

Cammack's, Boston

Rule of three in the windows, sunburst decoration in name frieze:-

Cammack, Boston, Frontage

Edinburgh’s Art Deco Heritage 16: Dominion Cinema, Morningside

This is a stunner. A fantastic cinema in the Streamline Moderne Art Deco style. It really ought to have been much further up this list, possibly even at the top, but I had no photographs of it. I knew it existed but not exactly where it was in Edinburgh. I wasn’t very familiar with the geography of the city but my son moved there a couple of years ago and on a visit I was exploring the area he lives in.

Imagine my delight on coming across this by accident rather than design. It’s still a working independent cinema, run by a family. This is their website. They also have a facebook presence.

From Morningside Road end of Newbattle Terrace. Great curved column:-

Dominion Cinema, Edinburgh

Closer view:-

Dominion Cinema 2

From Newbattle Terrace, opposite aspect:-

Dominion Cinema 3

Upper detailing and roofline:-

Dominion Cinema 4

Stained glass window by entrance doorway. This is mirrored on the other side:-

Dominion Cinema 5

Column detailing and surround:-

Dominion Cinema 6

Canopy, clock and lettering:-

Dominion Cinema 7

Stitch from across Newbattle Terrace:-

Dominion Cinema 8

Former Majestic Cinema, Inverkeithing

Located in Boreland Road, Inverkeithing, the cinema opened in 1918 but updated in 1931 and has a vaguely Art Deco feel. It’s now an antiques/second-hand shop.

Former Majestic Cinema Inverkeithing

Former Majestic Cinema Inverkeithing 2

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy

This wonderful Art Deco cinema in Aberfeldy, Perthshire (or Perth and Kinross as it has now become is perhaps not what you expect to see in a small town in the middle of Scotland. Still in use as a cinema (plus cafe and bar.) The Birks (birches) is a local beauty spot/steep valley.

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy from Right

Entrance. Like the rest of the cinema (refurbished quite recently I believe) the glazing isn’t original:-

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, Entrance

View from left:-

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy

Side aspect:-

The Birks Cinema, Aberfeldy, side view from rear

free hit counter script