A powerful and emotive new trailer for Sam Mendes’ upcoming World War One drama, titled 1917, was released last week. The film revolves around two young British officers, Schofield (played by Captain Fantastic’s George MacKay) and Blake (played by Game of Thrones’ Dean-Charles Chapman), who are tasked with making it to the front line to deliver a message to stop an attack. Failure to do so will result in the deaths of 1,600 British men, with Blake’s brother among them.
The structure of the film itself is extremely unusual – it is set in real time, tracking the two lead characters over two hours in the effect of one continuous shot. The film’s unique look is thanks to both Mendes and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins. During the New York Comic Con Panel last week, Deakins revealed that he was not aware of Mendes’ desire to present the film as an unbroken shot until he received the screenplay, and at first believed it to be a gimmick. However, it soon became clear that such a method would be integral to creating the powerful impact of 1917. Deakins worked with Mendes to create minutely choreographed long takes to ensure complete synchronisation, thus creating the illusion of being filmed entirely in real time. The result is that the audience is completely immersed in the story, as though they are an invisible third character.
1917 is set to have a limited release on December 25th, before a wide release on January 10th of next year.
Words by Yasmin Bye