Friday, October 26, 2012

The name's Bond.

I have a blow up boot thing that means I can walk! A bit! With crutches! I took advantage of this to spend the day at the movies, making the most of my free movies card and my sore crutch hands.

One of the films I saw was Skyfall, at the big screen where I saw Spiderman (well, one of the times I saw Spiderman). Like when I saw Spiderman, they had film problems. Last time it was the coordination of the 3D images. This time everything was pink for a while, which it turns out is very distracting. Everything was back to normal by the time the actual movie started (there were a very, very many ads, ninety percent of which were Bond themed) so I got to witness the Istanbul opening sequence in proper technicolor.

And I had been to many of the places! I recognised the exotic street corners and bits of mosque wall! I realised that the compositing if locations was done with quite a bit if artistic license, because there was no way some scenes could have happened in the real places, unless there was some time-space stretching going on. But what am I talking about? This is a Bond film. They laugh in the face of reality and probable-sequence-of-events.

Bond films can do this, I think. You can see the filmmakers gleefully rubbing the hands as they contemplate different action scenes. What do you mean, it's unlikely there'll be (highlight the spoilers if you want them) a digger and four VW Beatles on a Turkish passenger train? It's all right! It looks awesome! The audience will accept it! The bar of willing suspension of disbelief is higher for Bond. We want to see a fun movie. We don't really care about the little details, like the fact that Circle and District underground trains do not run in deep-level tunnels. We can forgive, if you give us villains using entire (strangely empty) Jubilee line trains as weapons at Embankment Station, where Jubilee trains do not run. Ha! That beats a puny little laser, Goldfinger.

It's a good movie and I really enjoyed it (though I was slightly concerned that the villain was portrayed as gay, considering various 'moral' debates at the moment. Yay for having gay characters on screen and having a more numerically-accurate representation of society, but not so great that it was portrayed negatively. There's already enough negativity around, and it just solidifies prejudices, doesn't it?).

I've been thinking about plotting lots this week, considering I'm doing Nanowrimo next week, and so I went into Skyfall with a particular eye. The movie follows the beats of a story well - problem, try to solve, doesn't work, try to solve, maybe we have, yes we have! Oh... no, screwed up. Badly. Try to solve... Fall back... Try to solve... Maybe... Yes! It was also interesting in that they address Bond's seeming invulnability - a character who has too much skill or power is too easy to get out of situations, so there's much less tension. I have been struggling with this in my Nanowrimo planning - how do you stop a character from becoming unbeatable, especially in fantasy? In Skyfall, you're no longer sure that Bond will be up to the challenges he faces. You're reasonably sure he won't die in the end, but there are lots of things that could happen that don't include him dying... Tension is higher because Bond isn't so perfect anymore.

And, I have to admit, I cried. This is the second time I have cried in a Bond film. The first time was when a car in one of the Pierce Brosnan movies got sliced in half by a helicopter-mounted circular saw. This time also involved the destruction of a car... No, I don't want to talk about it.

So I'm inspired, and back to the plotting! Must figure out how to heighten the tension and maybe think of a few scenes with explosions...

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