Cary Joji Fukunaga - Appreciation Thread

So...what do we think of Cary's work on the film?

You can see his fingerprints on NTTD. Especially in the themes (childhood trauma, cycles of violence and nature of time) and the filmmaking craft on display. Though it feels more as though Fukunaga is making a 'Bond film' opposed to something overly personal (such as Mendes with SF).

There is some seriously elegant filmmaking on show here. Also, Fukunaga adds shocks of excitement by employing his rough and tumble, one-camera guerilla-style. That missile silo scene imbues the typically slick Bond with a dirty, visceral edge. It also matches Craig’s brawling style better than any other director he has had in the series.

With Fukunaga at the helm, NTTD aptly balances the franchise’s classic construct yet totally remakes what a Bond movie can be for a fitting, touching end to Craig’s tenure. The film is clearly hinting at OHMSS, but it's really YOLT and TSWLM that Fukunaga is aping. I was quite surprised how silly and gadget-laden the film was. Considering Fukunaga's past work, I thought it would be more earnest and take itself more seriously.

On the basis of this film, I think he should come back for Bond 26 for sure.


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Comments

  • edited October 2021 Posts: 4,353
    I know @antovolk and other IMAX fans will want to check out this Fukunaga interview....It starts around the 16:00 minute mark. I think the decision to go IMAX was perfect. The images are so beautifully rendered in that format. I love that Fukunaga shot the film with such a lush and colour palette.



    Cary also talks about filming scenes for NTTD without evening knowing what they were intended for in the story. It's fairly seamless.

  • I think he handled the themes and character elements very well. Wrapped up the entire DC era in a way Mendes failed to do with SP. He bought some nice creepy horror touches to it too, with that opening home invasion, and Blofeld’s party, and I loved the long take sequence on the stairs in the silo. The action had a much more visceral quality to it than the Mendes films, which was great, although I did find some of the set pieces lacking.

    That said, while he did a great job of bringing the Craig era to a close, I hope he doesn’t return. Fugunaka seems very interested in the psychological side of the DC era, which made him a great choice for NTTD. But I’m hoping for something a bit less introspective next time. Strip things down, get back to basics. Not sure if Fugunaka is the right guy for that. I like the idea of Christopher Mcquarrie or Gareth Evans doing it, and beefing up the action scenes a bit.

    On the whole though I did rate what he did with NTTD, and I’m glad we’ve finally cut through the stigma of an American directing a Bond film.
  • belleswannbelleswann britain
    Posts: 34
    Truthfully I found the film all over the place, choppy and like two or three films stiched together, even the cinematography was a big letdown. What Cary says about not having a finished script even in post production makes a lot of sense when watching the finished film and I don't blame him for that, if a script couldn't be finished in five years he can't be expected to fix it in the time he had left. Where I think he failed was in the look of the film and how unengaging I found the action scenes, what looked exiting in the trailers was dull and boring in the film. The ending is something that I think was out of his hands and had been decided by Daniel and Barbara but even if it was different the film would still be a slog for me and in fairness to Cary I think he played the cards he was dealt, the film wasn't fully his it was him having to put together what was already decided.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    edited October 2021 Posts: 12,409
    I'm over the moon, with Cary and Linus. Cary knocked it out of the ballpark. He exceeded my high expectations. Pretty much seamless, breathtaking direction and cinematography. I would like him to do another Bond film simply because of his superb craftmanship AND because he has already shown versatility as a director. He could do a different kind of Bond film - in tone, I mean. He would not have to stay locked into the heavier, psychological probing look at Bond. He is getting a lot of acclaim for NTTD, and I hope he wins some awards for his hard work. It paid off with a beautiful Bond film that does not lag.

    Having said that, I have doubts he would want to do another. He always seems to be moving on, exploring different things, still growing in his career. I welcome a new director; I am just glad he helmed NTTD.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    Posts: 483
    Maybe Cary becomes the “closer” of an actor’s tenure, pulls all the threads together…. much like Martin Campbell has launched two Bonds.
  • Cary also talks about filming scenes for NTTD without evening knowing what they were intended for in the story.
    That really surprises me. They started writing the script in September 2018 if I'm correct and filming started in April 2019, right? I thought by that time the screenplay had been finished.
  • Barbara gave a recent interview, where her answer for hiring Cary seems to be 'we got him because we needed someone ASAP.' Which kinda sucks. Especially considering that Cary was really enthusiastic about getting the job - even going as far as chasing after it.

    Here's Barbara's comments:

    I think we've always wanted to have British or Commonwealth directors because we felt they would understand the sensibilities of Bond and the humor and the world and everything. But when we had to find someone for this film, Cary, who I'd met before and I've always been a huge fan of his work, he came to mind, he became available. The timing seemed right. And you know, he was a man of the world. He's very international. He's well traveled. He speaks multiple languages. He's fearless. And he's a great filmmaker. So he seemed like the obvious choice at the time. He certainly has delivered a great Bond film.

    Read More: https://www.slashfilm.com/625709/why-cary-joji-fukunaga-became-the-first-american-bond-director-exclusive/?utm_campaign=clip

    This whole British or Commonwealth markerly is getting old. Cary is a great international filmmaker. He's spent the last 3 years making a Bond film and a WW2 TV show in the UK. Before that he made a Spanish language film and Sudanese war film. If you ask me, he'd be perfect for a rebooted Bond. If he were to come back, I'd hope he could strip it back and make a slightly rougher film. NTTD is a very classically made film. I would hope he could make something a little more irreverent.

    He's the perfect choice for a reboot. Though, it be great if he used the cache of NTTD's success to make something personal first.

    Cary-Fukanaga-Monaco-Life.jpg
  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    Posts: 1,557
    @Pierce2Daniel Cary Fukunaga for Bond 7! The guy is damn handsome!
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 4,353
    Cary has narrated a clip from NTTD for NYT. I actually missed the Primo fight was a oner during my first screening, I really noticed it on a rewatch. It's a terrific sequence.



    Also, some other great new interviews with Cary........

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-big-picture/id1439252196
    • Bond and Felix's first meeting in Jamaica was originally in a barbershop. Cary had to come up with Bond trailing Leiter in the car the weekend before filming.
    • Due to Craig's injury, most of Ana De Armas' scenes in Cuba were filmed months before Daniel filmed his scenes.
    • Barbara Broccoli asked him to read Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice (interview here)
    • Barbara Broccoli wanted to introduce the Poison Garden to a nod to YOLT. Safin's island is located in the Kuril Islands, territory claimed by both Japan and Russia (link here).
    • The bullet shots hitting the window whilst Bond and Madeleine are trapped inside was done practically.
    • The car chase originally ended up with the DB5 underwater.
    • Cary wanted the title sequence to nod to the 1960's.
    • Cary likes going to the cinema in Hackney (my kinda guy)

  • RyanRyan Canada
    Posts: 616
    Fukunaga was brilliant. I love that he says that they built the action around the locations. It shows. I felt this film made the best use of its locations in a while. The action itself was incredibly shot. The long takes were most welcome.
  • I was wondering about the DB5 sinking in the title sequence
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    edited October 2021 Posts: 12,409
    SPOILERS in this!
    From 5 days ago, so I suppose most have seen these. But I had not.
    From Cary's instagram - scroll thru them for photos, marked up, brief clip, including 1 from his own phone. Really nice to see these.
  • Posts: 474
    Fukunaga did an excellent job at directing this. The scenery, action, and visual quality. It really looks as expensive as its budget suggests. The pacing was perfect, rarely a dull moment; it felt quicker than it's runtime.

    With a new actor, they may try to get a new director for a reboot, but I'd like to see him do another.
  • BenjaminBenjamin usa
    Posts: 59
    I would also like Cary Fukunaga to direct another Bond film.
  • The one signature & sign that this filmmaker is from Oakland, CA and isn't mentioned nearly enough as it should be, is how Bond escapes the bad guys in the Aston Martin DB5 by performing sideshow techniques that are very popular in the Bay Area city. Spinning the Aston Martin in a doughnut & using the smoke feature as stealth. When I saw that in the first trailer it made me smile & think "You can take the boy out of Oakland, but you can't take the Oakland out of the boy..."

    Awesome director.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 4,353
    Benjamin wrote: »
    I would also like Cary Fukunaga to direct another Bond film.

    Absolutely agree.

    One thing I really liked from Fukunaga was in the action sequences he allowed for quieter tenser moments. Often these were the more stand-out and dramatic beats of the big set-pieces. For example:
    • The best sequence in Matera is when Bond and Madeleine are cornered in the DB5. That pause as she begs him is fantastic. You can see that Bond is heartbroken and angry. There is probably part of him which wants her to die. It's seriously good.
    • In Cuba, the most dramatically emotional scene is on the boat as it begins to sink.
    • In Norway, the scene where Bond has to outwit the motorcyclists is great. It's an example of Bond having to think on his feet and make good of a bad situation. We actually see Bond using his brain over his brawn. We know he needs to outfox these guys.
    • Obviously, the stairwell fight. It's a masterclass in filmmaking. We see the way Bond's brain works as he tries to figure his way to the top of the stairs. We understand how he spies the enemy and prepares to attack. it's also a great move to actually show Bond screw up and take some hits during the scene. It accentuates his humanity and makes the struggle feel more victorious when he reaches the control room.

    That's not even mentioning Cary's beautiful imagery. He really wanted to make a 'romantic and glamorous epic'. I think tonally he really nailed that brief. I'd love to see him do a reboot. I think he'd do something totally different, whilst building on the work from NTTD. For me, I think it's between Fukunaga, Villeneuve and Nolan. Let's see what the next year or two holds for each. Each have other projects planned.

    Bond 26 is surely coming in 2024? Right? 😅😅😅😅😅😅😅
  • Posts: 2,268
    One thing I really liked from Fukunaga was in the action sequences he allowed for quieter tenser moments. Often these were the more stand-out and dramatic beats of the big set-pieces. For example:
    • In Norway, the scene where Bond has to outwit the motorcyclists is great. It's an example of Bond having to think on his feet and make good of a bad situation. We actually see Bond using his brain over his brawn. We know he needs to outfox these guys.

    I also think that moment in Norway where the cars appear over top the bridge behind Bond and Madeleine is a brilliant shot. You know those cars are going to turn around, you know they've spotted Bond behind the wheel...but you hope they haven't. Sure enough...
  • BenjaminBenjamin usa
    Posts: 59
    Benjamin wrote: »
    I would also like Cary Fukunaga to direct another Bond film.

    Absolutely agree.

    One thing I really liked from Fukunaga was in the action sequences he allowed for quieter tenser moments. Often these were the more stand-out and dramatic beats of the big set-pieces. For example:
    • The best sequence in Matera is when Bond and Madeleine are cornered in the DB5. That pause as she begs him is fantastic. You can see that Bond is heartbroken and angry. There is probably part of him which wants her to die. It's seriously good.....

      For me, I think it's between Fukunaga, Villeneuve and Nolan. Let's see what the next year or two holds for each. Each have other projects planned.

      Bond 26 is surely coming in 2024? Right? 😅😅😅😅😅😅😅

    That first scene you mention is amazing and heartbreaking. For understandable reasons Bond has completely misunderstood the situation. But he's not completely sure, which is why he ultimately puts her on the train, and that comes through for me too.

    Regarding the directors, I feel that Nolan already made his semi-Bond with Tenet. I liked Tenet okay for what it was, but I felt very little emotion throughout the whole run time of that movie. Nolan's movies are sometimes like clever machines to me. Brilliant at times, but they often leave me cold. Also, Nolan would be very expensive. Like Spielberg, I believe Nolan gets c. 20% of first dollar gross. That figure doesn't work for EON, and is the reason Spielberg didn't direct a Bond back in the 70s and 80s.

    I'm looking forward to Villeneuve's Dune, which was a favorite novel of mine when I was a teenager long ago. But his one movie that I've seen so far, Bladerunner 2049, sometimes also left me in admiration of its craft, but also not as emotionally moved as I would have liked. The best element about 2049 for me was the cinematography by Roger Deakins. V would be less expensive than Nolan, but still very expensive. 10% of first dollar gross?

    I know NTTD is controversial. But for me personally Fukunaga has proven himself, with a masterpiece right out of the gate. Being a younger director with fewer big movies to his credit, my guess is that even after this big success he's still more affordable than most of the other big name directors. If I were in charge at EON, I'd try to sign him on to a 2-picture deal, with an option for renewal.

    As we know, John Glen directed 5 Bonds in a row in the 1980s. I know those movies aren't everyone's cup of tea, but wouldn't it be nice to get 3-4 movies in this decade? Having one director going from movie to movie might help with that, and reduce inconsistencies.
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 355
    At this point, I am all in for Fukunaga directing further films, and at least the next one.

    I think he managed to actually be the only director to make a sequel to CR that stands tall with that one. This should have been second, in place of QOS. All the three others films, despite some nice moments, aren't true accomplished Bond films as much as NTTD is.

    Also what I like about this guy is he gives a Terence Young vibe. He dresses sharply, is well groomed, and seem to have a lifestyle akin to Bond. It kinda feels like a full circle (of the directors) to me.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,096
    Cary has narrated a clip from NTTD for NYT. I actually missed the Primo fight was a oner during my first screening, I really noticed it on a rewatch. It's a terrific sequence.



    Also, some other great new interviews with Cary........

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-big-picture/id1439252196
    • Bond and Felix's first meeting in Jamaica was originally in a barbershop. Cary had to come up with Bond trailing Leiter in the car the weekend before filming.
    • Due to Craig's injury, most of Ana De Armas' scenes in Cuba were filmed months before Daniel filmed his scenes.
    • Barbara Broccoli asked him to read Ian Fleming's You Only Live Twice (interview here)
    • Barbara Broccoli wanted to introduce the Poison Garden to a nod to YOLT. Safin's island is located in the Kuril Islands, territory claimed by both Japan and Russia (link here).
    • The bullet shots hitting the window whilst Bond and Madeleine are trapped inside was done practically.
    • The car chase originally ended up with the DB5 underwater.
    • Cary wanted the title sequence to nod to the 1960's.
    • Cary likes going to the cinema in Hackney (my kinda guy)


    Thanks for the info mate.


    Looking at Greg Williams video of Ana De Armas, you can see at around 3.27 that it's a stand in for Daniel filming some of Ana's scenes

    I have problems with NTTD, but it's a great film and the action is truly epic. I would be happy to have Cary back with a clean slate for Bond 26, he's a hugely talented director
  • Cary was at the BAFTA screening of Dune last night. I think we have the director and cast of Bond 26 sorted 😉

    FB7qKTKUUAAouXw?format=jpg&name=large
  • 00Heaven00Heaven Home
    Posts: 457
    Some of you are conveying it better than I have... I've tried to think about what words I could use to describe this movie and failed quite miserably over the last few weeks. The closest I really think I can come to is "flawed masterpiece". There's an awful lot of flaws in there but there's so much to love as well and it was crafted (and acted out by the actors) with a visible passion - it really shines in that regard. Had it been tightened up a few places here and there, it'd probably be right up there with my favourites. Yet surprisingly none of those flaws are what I believe to be a reflection on Cary or Linus as I think one needs to look at the script and the story overall for that (without going into spoilers as I'm cognisant this is a no spoiler thread)

    So for Cary... I absolutely want him to return. Where I do have a little bit of a question mark is over the action sequences. I'll put the next bit in a spoiler tag just for safety's sake.
    Matera's car chase felt a little shorter than I thought it might be (though I'm not too sure this is a valid criticism when talking solely about the execution of a set piece) and I think the Norway car chase was a little lacklustre but that could be due to the lack of variety (a different set piece was required here, perhaps?)

    But all of this is made up by Bond showing his instinct and survival skills a short time later along with that one tracking shot near the end on the stairs. Cuba was a great sequence too - fun, I would say, if anything.

    And that brings me onto my next point... I enjoy how this film contrasts it's fun and badass moments with it's very dark and serious ones.

    Had they got that all wrong then the outcome would be different. I, for one, am very happy with what Cary put out in the end because I think he really understood and embraced it.
  • Junglist_1985Junglist_1985 Los Angeles
    Posts: 483
    Agreed! Cary really directed the hell out of NTTD. In the hands of another director, we easily could’ve gotten an inferior film. I’m all on board with him returning. He even has a whole plan to introduce a new Bond already!
  • edited October 2021 Posts: 12,590
    The best sequence in Matera is when Bond and Madeleine are cornered in the DB5. That pause as she begs him is fantastic. You can see that Bond is heartbroken and angry. There is probably part of him which wants her to die. It's seriously good.

    Loved that bit. Kind of a perfect marriage of classic Bond and Craig Bond, using the bulletproof spy car for a character beat.

    I liked how they handled the DB5 in that chase too, the whole sequence was a real highlight. Usually when he’s in a bulletproof car you just see sparks flying off it, like in DAD or SP, and he ends up feeling invincible as a result. But the DB5 still took a beating in that chase. Created a nice sense of tension. It’s just about saving his skin, but how much longer can it hold up?

    I’ve been vocal about thinking that car has been overused, but when you think about it, it had never had a really good chase before, had it? The GF one is fine, but a bit dated and rudimentary, in that early Bond car chase sort of way. And then after that it just had cameos. It was nice to see that icon in a proper intense car chase.
  • Posts: 355
    Did you see Beast of No Nation? He is a visionary director with sharp focus on the characters and the visuals. It's easy to tear apart a blockbuster like NTTD, but these are very hard to put together, so they will always have some cracks, unless they are factory produced on green screen, Marvel style.
  • JamesBondKenyaJamesBondKenya Danny Boyle laughs to himself
    Posts: 2,729
    he's an overrated director that's getting his 15 minutes a fame. but he did a decent job i guess. NTTD is gonna be just remembered as the last of Craig's not much more. the main villain was terribly written as was the plot.

    while the writing can't be defended, there is more that a director does than just that. Especially when they are brought on so late. An example of incredible direction is when bond's car gets Tboned in matera. The shot slowly moves out to bells signaling Bonds demise. Daniel Craig perfectly captures the stoic melancholy his character feels. Madeline keeps escalating her fear as she realizes James is going to do nothing. The bullets keep hitting the car. Primo comes up and keeps shooting at the window. Then we get a close up and see the glass moving, almost about to break. Madeline is almost in tears. The audience is at the edge of their seat and then...... Bond does donuts with miniguns. A legitimately perfectly directed scene.

    I would think twice before writing off his directoral talent
  • SeanCraigSeanCraig Germany
    Posts: 719
    I think he did an awesome job with NTTD and it would be a blessing for the film series if they'd bring him back.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    edited October 2021 Posts: 5,609
    he's an overrated director that's getting his 15 minutes a fame. but he did a decent job i guess. NTTD is gonna be just remembered as the last of Craig's not much more. the main villain was terribly written as was the plot.

    while the writing can't be defended, there is more that a director does than just that. Especially when they are brought on so late. An example of incredible direction is when bond's car gets Tboned in matera. The shot slowly moves out to bells signaling Bonds demise. Daniel Craig perfectly captures the stoic melancholy his character feels. Madeline keeps escalating her fear as she realizes James is going to do nothing. The bullets keep hitting the car. Primo comes up and keeps shooting at the window. Then we get a close up and see the glass moving, almost about to break. Madeline is almost in tears. The audience is at the edge of their seat and then...... Bond does donuts with miniguns. A legitimately perfectly directed scene.

    I would think twice before writing off his directoral talent

    Well said, and I agree with @SeanCraig too.

    Also, lol, blaming the director and then going on to only criticize the writing... I understand those lines are muddied these days, but please, at least be accurate and join the chorus blaming P&W for everything.
  • Posts: 7,342
    I think Cary has all the right chops to become one of the most sought after directors in Hollywood. It all depends on choosing the right projects of course, but he has the technical know how for sure as well as what seems to be a liesble personality.
  • goldenswissroyalegoldenswissroyale Switzerland
    Posts: 3,108
    The whole PTS alone is enough for me to state that I'm very happy with Fukunaga as director: The tension in Norway (VERY good), the moment where Bond is standing in front of the grave (touching) and suddenly the explosion with the changed sounds when he is on the floor (smart and very effective) and then the action kicks in (the moment on the bridge, the jump to Primo on his bike, and then later the often mentioned moment where they are "captured" and surrounded in the DB5. This moment is easily a top ten moment of the franchise for me. So intense: The direction and the acting are absolutely stunning there. I can't get that moment out of my head for weeks already.
    Thank you, Cary Fukunaga.
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