Is Skyfall a film in favour of Brexit Britain?

edited January 2017 in Skyfall Posts: 2,135
Skyfall is an undeniably great film – however, there always felt to be an uncomfortable undercurrent of jingoism running through the movie. The Bond series and character in general has always been pitched as a bastion of old British values. Fleming fleshed out the character in the 1950s using Britain’s imperialistic past as the defining characteristic.

Skyfall seems to embrace those values more so than any other Bond film. The hero is a dogged and aged warrior who isn’t quite the force he once was, however, he’s given a chance to redeem himself and earn back some of his old prestige. Wasn’t this the pitch that the Leave campaign really pinned itself upon?

Also in a more literal sense, the villain is a European who poses a direct threat to British values by attacking the English capital and the state’s intelligence agencies in an orchestrated terrorist attack. The major sentiment in the Leave campaign, and what really swung it in their favour, was the emphasis they placed on immigrants and fear of them destroying Britain in both a literal and metaphorical sense.

SF is also a film that is very proud to flout the Union Jack on screen – often with Bond directly in frame.

Now there is a clear argument to counter this. SF was released in 2012 where there was a surge in British pride with the Olympics, the Queen’s jubilee and other events feeding into the film’s decision to embrace it’s Britishness. Even Sam Mendes acknowledged in interviews at the time that he felt the film was playing up the nationalism too much, but when editing the movie he was swept up in the euphoria surrounding Britain at the time. But in hindsight has this allowed the film to be misinterpreted as a result?

Personally, I feel that the references to Britain’s role in SF is less to do with reclaiming some old vestiges of past glories, but more with acknowledging it’s new role. Which may not be as grandiose or significant as it once was, but is still a force to be reckoned with. This argument is far better articulated in the Tennyson scene – but there is a distant feeling within me that Nigel Farage would adore this film, even if he has completely skewered in his interpretation. (Also I’m pretty convinced Bond is a Leave voter)

elib_6281971.jpg
«13

Comments

  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,348
    It is indeed a very patriotic film,which being English,i love about it,and that definitely contributes to its high ranking in my list.

    I don't think it has influenced Brexit,it certainly didn't influence my decision.My decision was based on this small island being over-run by immigrants without any qualifications and just causing mayhem,as well as the EU Dictatorship.

    But 2012 was a big year for Britain,and THAT i'm sure did influence the film.
  • Posts: 10,496
    Agreed, Bond is a patriot. The film just reflects it.
  • Posts: 4,325
    Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli were pretty vocal that they wanted Britain to remain in the EU.
  • Posts: 10,496
    The Russians probably hacked in to their computers to
    make script changes.
  • I’m not in any way saying that the film influenced anyone to vote leave in the referendum.

    What I’m saying is that the film can be interpreted in such a way that it endorses some quaint notion of “British values” that many hinged to last summer.

    Personally, this attribute of the film is quite unappealing to me. SF isn’t a patriotic film for me at all. I’m British and I’ve found the last year intolerable. For me it’s a film that acknowledges Britain’s flawed and mostly superfluous role in the world’s agenda. But it puts forward an argument that despite its growing irrelevancy, the nation still has something to offer.

    The conduit for exploring this idea is Bond himself. For me I view the story through the characters. The affirmation of Britain’s role in the world is really an reaffirmation of Bond’s relevancy as a character and film series in this new decade.

    Whilst Craig and Mendes may be Remainers, they are still susceptible to creating art that be misconstrued.

    There is a quote from Sam Mendes in fact that seems pertinent – he said something along the lines of “Apocalypse Now is a pro-war film when you play it to Marines”. Different audiences take away different experiences.
  • Posts: 4,325
    I’m not in any way saying that the film influenced anyone to vote leave in the referendum.

    What I’m saying is that the film can be interpreted in such a way that it endorses some quaint notion of “British values” that many hinged to last summer.

    Personally, this attribute of the film is quite unappealing to me. SF isn’t a patriotic film for me at all. I’m British and I’ve found the last year intolerable. For me it’s a film that acknowledges Britain’s flawed and mostly superfluous role in the world’s agenda. But it puts forward an argument that despite its growing irrelevancy, the nation still has something to offer.

    The conduit for exploring this idea is Bond himself. For me I view the story through the characters. The affirmation of Britain’s role in the world is really an reaffirmation of Bond’s relevancy as a character and film series in this new decade.

    Whilst Craig and Mendes may be Remainers, they are still susceptible to creating art that be misconstrued.

    There is a quote from Sam Mendes in fact that seems pertinent – he said something along the lines of “Apocalypse Now is a pro-war film when you play it to Marines”. Different audiences take away different experiences.

    You're reading too much into it.
  • edited January 2017 Posts: 3,672
    Its not a brexit movie but some of the visual themes do tend to show GB as a standalone nation. The Union Jack is prominant for example, there is a lack of international partnership/co-operation (does Bond set foot on mainland Europe?), there are several references to WW2/Churchill which obviously was a time when we stood alone (ish) against Europe (the imagary of going underground/in a abunker to avoid the bombs falling) . It is also very traditional in its sets (look at Ms house compared to previous sets), the dialogue also uses traditional British plain English (dont cock it up, take the bloody shot) so I'm not sure about Brexit but it certainly is one of the Bond's that stirs the patriotism.
    IMHO most of the UK cinema audience is patrotic at some level so these themes (when not overly "in your face" ) do work well and contributed to how well SF did within the UK
    PS forgot the poem,
    PPS I think the name Mallory (and the time its mentioned within the film) is also a reference to WW2 but I could be imaganing this
  • suavejmfsuavejmf England
    Posts: 3,557
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    Daniel Craig and Barbara Broccoli were pretty vocal that they wanted Britain to remain in the EU.

    Yep.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf England
    Posts: 3,557
  • stagstag In the thick of it!
    Posts: 937
    I think you're reading far too much into it.
  • Posts: 10,496
    Although I do think the PTS to skyfall, has a strong safety message about
    train travel.
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,348
    Tbh can anyone mention a film where Bond himself is NOT patriotic ??

    He has been called "Her Majesty's loyal terrier" among other things !
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,029
    I blame Canada.
  • Posts: 10,496
    Bond obviously represents The UK in SF. Constantly being told he's lost a step, and not
    much use anymore. The EU is shown as the new thinking of MI6 , all committees and
    red tape.
  • Posts: 3,672
    "Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven;"

    This IMHO refers to GB pretty clearly and it links in nicely re "old days" and "sometimes, the old ways are the best" and "going back in time",
    so age is clearly a theme and, this links well with patriotism
  • barryt007barryt007 Hunting Kara Milovy with a massive elephant gun.
    Posts: 16,348
    Some good points there chaps !
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,652
    "We're sending the fleet to China!"

    I wouldn't read too much into the Bond films' patriotic messages. ;-)
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 3,801
    I blame Canada.



  • Posts: 10,496
    Bond can be seen running away from Parliament, an obvious visual metaphor
    For the public "voting" against what parliament wanted.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    edited January 2017 Posts: 15,652
    barryt007 wrote: »
    Tbh can anyone mention a film where Bond himself is NOT patriotic ??

    He has been called "Her Majesty's loyal terrier" among other things !

    @barryt007, the only one I could think of would be LTK.
    Bond ignores a mission to hunt down the man who harmed his American pal. Also, he told the British agent who referenced her majesty to piss off.

    Other than that though, I think Bond has been fairly loyal to GB.
  • Posts: 11,499
    If anything SP is far more "pro Brexit" movie, the villain wishing to supplant democratic institutions by creating a supra national power.

    By the way how come Raoul Silva, with his Hispanic (or Portuguese?) background be a former MI6 agent?
  • Posts: 10,496
    The UK has been multicultural for decades.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,652
    If Scotland pushes its own nationalist agenda through, Britain hasn't a James Bond any more. :D
  • Posts: 10,496
    Raoul Silva was actually from Birmingham, he only put on an accent to
    Get the ladies ! ;)
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,652
    Farage himself is of German descent.
    Dirty immigrants!
  • Posts: 10,496
    Aren't we all from around the Nile, if we trace our family trees back far enough ?
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,652
    Certainly not!
    I'm from the Garden of Eden. That snake the Bible talks about? Me...

    Back on topic though, I've never thought of SF as a pro-Brexit film, but then maybe I'm not good at reading such things into such movies.
  • Posts: 10,496
    All of Craig's films have had a strong Brexit submessage, the plucky Brit
    Fighting foreign controlled organisations, as in Quantum or Spectre.
  • Posts: 6,801
    I am quite sure that EON does not aim to be political in any of their movies, they seem to go out of their way to not anger anyone, with the exception of Korea, they even changed the Russian menace from the early Connery films.

    I would say it is more pro-Brosnexit.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!
    Posts: 15,652
    SaintMark wrote: »
    I would say it is more pro-Brosnexit.

    Good one, @SaintMark! :D

Sign In or Register to comment.