Sam Mendes - Appreciation thread

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  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited January 2023 Posts: 4,554
    I seriously doubt Mendes will come back. But I really like his vision for Bond. He and Forster get my awards for "Best Directing in a Most Difficult Situation."

  • Posts: 6,677
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    I rewatched 1917 and it is a tremendous film - probably Sam Mendes' best. This is truly such an experiential and engrossing film that really puts you alongside the characters. I enjoyed Dunkirk, but there was always something chilly and mechanical about the character work. The difference between Mendes and Nolan is that the latter is preoccupied with the 'epic.' Meanwhile, Mendes is more insightful and poetic. By narrowing the perspective of the film to a few characters, Mendes builds a true emotional connection. In addition, Mendes is also able to make an effective, mostly silent action film. There is a feeling from the opening frame that Mendes is strapping you on a rollercoaster and he is setting you rapidly down a track. This is accomplished in 1917 through the impression of a continuous take, which I found to be truly immersive and rarely distracting. There is meticulous attention to detail here; Roger Deakins' camerawork proving to be elegant and graceful. Thankfully the film never succumbs to 'shaky cam' grittiness; nonetheless, we share in the characters' anxiety.

    Thematically, the 'war is hell' adage is a little trite. However, I cannot think of a better recent film which has so potently articulated this point. There really is no nobility in this fight, the men are not conventionally heroic or brave. These are desperate, scared and overwhelmed young men trying their best to survive. One can hardly fault them for being afraid. If anything, the tension they feel makes the characters more relatable. Dean-Charles Chapman was cheated out of an Oscar nomination and George Mackay provides a really haunting performance. You cannot help relating to his struggle, and wishing him through this ordeal.

    If they go with a younger actor for Bond 26, I could see them adopting the model used in 1917's action sequences to accentuate 007's vulnerability. You could make an argument based on 1917 that Mendes is the man for the reboot. Personally, I think all Craig-era directors should not be considered, but the work by Sam Mendes in this film provides food for thought.......

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    Very good review, @Pierce2Daniel, thanks. Sam Mendes, Deakins and George Mackay for Bond 26. I'd watch that.

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,150
    TripAces wrote: »
    I seriously doubt Mendes will come back. But I really like his vision for Bond. He and Forster get my awards for "Best Directing in a Most Difficult Situation."

    Yeah I would like to have him back because I thought he was great and had a real handle on how a Bond feels, whilst still adding to that and making it something more (he struggled with the plot to Spectre but I think there are all sorts of pressures going into a film like that so I don't blame him solely), whereas I think Fukunaga essentially didn't manage to evoke that Bond feel.
    But he himself said that he'd said it all with Skyfall and had to be heavily persuaded to do one more, and as Spectre didn't turn out very successfully I would say the chances of him wanting to do another one, especially as Craig is now literally out of the picture, are pretty much zero.
  • Posts: 3,088
    mtm wrote: »
    TripAces wrote: »
    I seriously doubt Mendes will come back. But I really like his vision for Bond. He and Forster get my awards for "Best Directing in a Most Difficult Situation."

    Yeah I would like to have him back because I thought he was great and had a real handle on how a Bond feels, whilst still adding to that and making it something more (he struggled with the plot to Spectre but I think there are all sorts of pressures going into a film like that so I don't blame him solely), whereas I think Fukunaga essentially didn't manage to evoke that Bond feel.
    But he himself said that he'd said it all with Skyfall and had to be heavily persuaded to do one more, and as Spectre didn't turn out very successfully I would say the chances of him wanting to do another one, especially as Craig is now literally out of the picture, are pretty much zero.

    I know what you mean about Fukanaga not really being able to evoke that same Bond 'feel' in the same way Mendes could. I do wonder how Mendes would have handled NTTD in an alternate universe and what story adaptations he would have pushed for.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,150
    007HallY wrote: »
    mtm wrote: »
    TripAces wrote: »
    I seriously doubt Mendes will come back. But I really like his vision for Bond. He and Forster get my awards for "Best Directing in a Most Difficult Situation."

    Yeah I would like to have him back because I thought he was great and had a real handle on how a Bond feels, whilst still adding to that and making it something more (he struggled with the plot to Spectre but I think there are all sorts of pressures going into a film like that so I don't blame him solely), whereas I think Fukunaga essentially didn't manage to evoke that Bond feel.
    But he himself said that he'd said it all with Skyfall and had to be heavily persuaded to do one more, and as Spectre didn't turn out very successfully I would say the chances of him wanting to do another one, especially as Craig is now literally out of the picture, are pretty much zero.

    I know what you mean about Fukanaga not really being able to evoke that same Bond 'feel' in the same way Mendes could. I do wonder how Mendes would have handled NTTD in an alternate universe and what story adaptations he would have pushed for.

    Yeah that's a nice thought. In many ways I think NTTD had a more solid overall story than Spectre did, so it would have been very interesting to see it with Mendes' style.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited January 2023 Posts: 5,869
    I think the script and the carry over from Spectre was a hindrance to Fukunaga somewhat so I don't really feel fair comparing Mendes and Fukunaga that much when Fukunaga had to kind of play with Mendes' toys in a very tight narrative corner.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,392
    I think it's still very possible to make a Bond film feel like a Bond film, even if it's a sequel and from another director's work.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,578
    I sort of lit up when I read that news because it absolutely means he won't be coming back to direct Bond anytime soon. Love his non-Bond fare for the most part though (despite these latest projects not being for me).
  • Posts: 1,586
    Finally. Decades later. A real film(s) about The Beatles using their music. Still hoping for Joplin and Hendrix films with their actual music as wel.
  • DenbighDenbigh UK
    edited February 21 Posts: 5,869
    I think this is a very good idea and I trust Mendes. I think the other thing that interests me is the idea that each film covering a different time in their career and will be interesting to explore which one they choose for each different time.

    I really love the film Nowhere Boy, which explores John Lennon's life leading up to becoming 'The Beatles".

  • MaxCasinoMaxCasino United States
    Posts: 4,158
    I find him a bit hypocritical if he wants to film 4 movies at once, yet didn’t want to film the John Logan 2 part Bond scripts for EON. As for the project itself, let’s see what happens. I hope it’s historically accurate.
  • edited February 21 Posts: 3,088
    MaxCasino wrote: »
    I find him a bit hypocritical if he wants to film 4 movies at once, yet didn’t want to film the John Logan 2 part Bond scripts for EON. As for the project itself, let’s see what happens. I hope it’s historically accurate.

    I guess you could argue it would depend on the project. I can see why working on these four films at once would create a more consistent tone/vision that maybe he didn't think Bond would benefit from (I can sort of see why - Bond films are essentially stand alone adventures, each with differing styles and tones, even if they're essentially sequels like DN/FRWL and CR/QOS, or have plot threads which carry over).

    That said he probably more likely didn't want to be tied down by two Bond films back to back and is more committed to this... oh well.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,578
    My guess is he has much more interest lying in these projects, whereas with Bond, it was very obvious all those inventive juices were entirely spent on SF and it was a mistake for him to return for one more.
  • Posts: 2,081
    I thought it was Craig who pushed back on the idea of doing a two part, back to back set of Bond films. A proper modern day Spectre duology of films wouldve been better than what we got, but I would argue that the film Spectre was on dodgy ground from day one.

    As for the Beatles project… great. I would be surprised if Deakins joined him on it though. He may not be up for doing such a lengthy project.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,029
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    My guess is he has much more interest lying in these projects, whereas with Bond, it was very obvious all those inventive juices were entirely spent on SF and it was a mistake for him to return for one more.

    That and I think a Bond project would be a lot more exhausting than a project about The Beatles. Mendes doesn’t have to worry about assembling action set pieces involving Pauly Mac holding onto the side of a helicopter.
  • TheSkyfallen06TheSkyfallen06 Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    edited February 23 Posts: 999
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,644
    A good find @TheSkyfallen06 :))

    It will be interesting to see how Mendes attempts to frame the “four different perspectives.” Will he use the same timeframe for each or will he jump around the timeline?

    My humble suggestion is that he stress the transition of John, Paul, George and Ringo from Beatles to solo artists (i.e., 1969-1974). He could start with their final recording session at which all four members attended (August 20th, 1969) and conclude with Lennon signing off on the legal dissolution of the group on December 29th, 1974.

    Final Group Photoshoot (August 22nd, 1969)
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    John adding his signature to that of Ringo, Paul and George …. And The Beatles are no more.
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    If you've never seen Martin Scorsese's 2011 documentary “George Harrison Living In The Material World” it's worth a look if just for this footage (Paul McCartney and George Harrison at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on December 19, 1974, signing the document that signifies the dissolution of the group. John would sign a few weeks later).
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