Steve McQueen hires Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson for his war movie Blitz

– The director’s film, his first with Apple and whose shooting has just started in London, looks back on the bombing of England by the Germans during the Second World War

This article is available in English.

After garnering some of the greatest acclaim of his career to date for his BBC anthology series small axisBritish director Steve McQueen has finally begun work on another theatrical feature. Blitzwhich has just entered production, will be an ensemble film following the stories of various Londoners during the German bombing campaign on the British capital in World War II, with the most prominent names in the cast being Saoirse Ronan (lady bird, Atonement [+lire aussi :
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), Harris Dickinson (coming off the Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness [+lire aussi :
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interview : Ruben Östlund
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) and Stephen Graham (Boiling Point [+lire aussi :
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, The Irishman). Kathy Burke and The Jam frontman Paul Weller (in his film acting debut) make up the mature end of the supporting cast, with newcomers Elliott Heffernan and Erin Kellyman also in tow. Blitz will also mark McQueen’s first sole feature screenwriting credit.

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The film is a US-UK co-production courtesy of McQueen’s own outfit Lammas ParkApple Studios (which also holds the world distribution rights), New Regency (the US producers of his previous films 12 Years a Slave [+lire aussi :
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and Widows [+lire aussi :
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) and Working Title. McQueen’s movie is on a slate of upcoming Apple releases including Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Ridley Scott’s Napoleonprojects that in years past would typically have had traditional studio backing, but which are now the preserve of deep-pocketed streaming platforms.

The “Blitz” itself was a term first used by the British press to describe the 1940-41 bombing campaign against the United Kingdom, derived from the German term Blitzkrieg. Major cities across the country faced Luftwaffe attacks day and night, and endured major civilian casualties and damage, although the events soon came to be regarded as a symbol of British resilience against Nazi Germany’s territorial aggression. Its most notable cinematic depiction to date has perhaps been in John Boorman’s Hope and Glory, although Terence Davies has staged memorable scenes in his work showing regular civilians enduring the events, where songs of solidarity might break out in the Tube stations used as ad hoc air-raid shelters. McQueen also joins prestigious national colleagues such as Christopher Nolan and Sam Mendes – with Dunkirk [+lire aussi :
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and 1917 [+lire aussi :
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, respectively – in choosing to dramatize these key events in Britain’s military history with a sense of scale and realism. According to a report in British tabloid the DailyMailMcQueen told his cast, “This is a British film, telling a British story, and one of the rare opportunities to do so on a fairly large scale.”

Before his success in narrative filmmaking, McQueen was known for his video art and installations; in 1999, he received the Turner Prize, the most prestigious award given to a British visual artist. His debut movie, Hunger [+lire aussi :
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interview : Laura Hastings-Smith
Ro…

interview : Steve McQueen
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won the Cannes Camera d’Or in 2008, and an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave followed in 2013. He is also in post-production on Occupied City (see the news), a documentary on Amsterdam’s experience under Nazi occupation in World War II, which is expected to premiere next year.

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Steve McQueen hires Saoirse Ronan and Harris Dickinson for his war movie Blitz