SPECTRE: And its underlying theme (Let us discuss this underappreciated part of cinema)

edited October 2015 in SPECTRE Posts: 11,119
I think the theme of movies is something we don't really discuss much. Yes, I can name a few arthouse movies or New York Cinema movies that have a deeper underlying theme that most of the people usually tend to forget.

A FEW EXAMPLES:
'Little Children' (2006): Directed by Todd Field, this beautiful suburbian movie is about grown-ups and their kids. But most importantly it's about grown-ups behaving like little children and their children.
'Crash' (2005): Directed by Paul Haggis, this is one of my favourite movies that shows us what fear and lack of knowledge can do in a multiculural society. Which is not good.

'CASINO ROYALE'
But ever since 'Casino Royale' premiered, I truly believe that the underlying theme of the Craig-era Bond films have become more important. 'Casino Royale' was all about the dirtyness of money and how much bankers are actually villain thugs. Thugs that do everything for big Dollar signs. And Le Chiffre is willing to do everything for that. Only two years later, in 2008, the entire worldwide system of banks is in grave danger.

'QUANTUM OF SOLACE'
Then we have 'Quantum Of Solace'. Many Bond fans think this was the weakest of Craig's films. But when it comes to the underlying themes, I immediately saw it: Rich, Donald Trump-like philantropists and millionaires can actually be villains too. They say, they want to better the world. They say, they want to not only think, but also to act greener. But it's all nothing more than a cloak for power and money. And in reality many people get hurt by it, turning parts of the world into dry deserts.

'SKYFALL'
Lastly, 'Skyfall' truly excells in giving us an underlying theme. This is the film that is all about the net value of modern day espionage ánd the dangers that come with people who don't take government-run espionage seriously! Moreover, what happens to spies that are being cast away like scum? Or other cyber-programmers working for governments? One can name off course guys like Julian Assange, who don't feel respected by their past employers and who eventually decide breaking up the whole intelligence community via WikiLeaks is a good vengeful deed.

CONCLUSION
Well, after having seen this picture of Julian Assange, I can tell you this:
800px-26C3_Assange_DomscheitBerg.jpg
The newest Bond-film 'Skyfall', but also its two predecessors 'Casino Royale' and 'Quantum Of Solace', are three quite intelligent Bond films. The new Craig-era of Bond films is doing so much more than just giving us an entertaining Bond evening in cinema. It is also turning us into deeper, more loyal fans, by discussing exactly these kind of topics, by actually finding the underlying themes of movies. Do we have Barbara Brocolli and Michael G. Wilson to thank for that? Let us discuss this subject even deeper :-).

PS: Can someone please cite 'M's poem, the one she was reading aloud from Tennyson :-)?
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Comments

  • SandySandy Somewhere in Europe
    Posts: 4,012
    That's a very interesting perspective and one I share. I think it's probably the most interesting part of the Craig era and is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much (all 3 of them). I really wanted to make a complete comment right now but I really need to sleep, more on it tomorrow I-)
  • @Gustav_Graves:

    "Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
  • @Gustav_Graves:

    "Though much is taken, much abides; and though
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
    One equal temper of heroic hearts,
    Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
    To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

    Thanks man ;-). I really wonder......what if Ian Fleming would still be alive and read all this....
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!Moderator
    Posts: 1,699
    "I see a bloody big boat..."

    Nah, just joshin'. ;)

    Although CR, QOS and SF are intelligent films - with possibly political subtexts (QOS is certainly no shrinking violet there) - methinks one can go overboard with this sort of thing. They are still Bond films, after all...
  • St_George wrote:
    "I see a bloody big boat..."

    Nah, just joshin'. ;)

    Although CR, QOS and SF are intelligent films - with possibly political subtexts (QOS is certainly no shrinking violet there) - methinks one can go overboard with this sort of thing. They are still Bond films, after all...

    It is a matter of nterpretation dear St_George ;-). Bond films are still.....films as well. That is how I prefer to judge the Bond films too: As a film.

    And being a true lover of cinema, and especially smaller arty movies, one can see this kind of themes in movies. At the same time, movies are great entertainment for which popcorn is a great snack to use.
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!Moderator
    Posts: 1,699
    You don't have to defend your thread, Gustav - it's a perfectly decent and respectable one.

    I was just teasing. Mostly... ;)
  • This is interesting. And I agree that the last three Bond films have delved deeper into more real-world situations than in the past.

    I think the application of this could have been done much, much better in 'QoS'. With so much focus on the action scenes, there was no time to really get into the idea of the rich and powerful people of the world doing more than just hosting fundraisers for green causes and taking in nights at the opera.
  • St_GeorgeSt_George Shuttling Drax's lovelies to the space doughnut - happy 40th, MR!Moderator
    Posts: 1,699
    This is interesting. And I agree that the last three Bond films have delved deeper into more real-world situations than in the past.

    I think the application of this could have been done much, much better in 'QoS'. With so much focus on the action scenes, there was no time to really get into the idea of the rich and powerful people of the world doing more than just hosting fundraisers for green causes and taking in nights at the opera.

    QOS was - rightly or wrongly - pretty critical of traditional US foreign policy (the divide-and-rule, hawkish style of it), especially when it comes to foreign policy in the Americas. And it was very unsubtle about that. So there's a strong political undercurrent there. CR and SF are more subtle than that when it comes to politics - in fact, comparatively speaking they're hardly political at all; OP and FYEO, for instance, could be said to be more political than either of them...
  • St_George wrote:
    This is interesting. And I agree that the last three Bond films have delved deeper into more real-world situations than in the past.

    I think the application of this could have been done much, much better in 'QoS'. With so much focus on the action scenes, there was no time to really get into the idea of the rich and powerful people of the world doing more than just hosting fundraisers for green causes and taking in nights at the opera.

    QOS was - rightly or wrongly - pretty critical of traditional US foreign policy (the divide-and-rule, hawkish style of it), especially when it comes to foreign policy in the Americas. And it was very unsubtle about that. So there's a strong political undercurrent there. CR and SF are more subtle than that when it comes to politics - in fact, comparatively speaking they're hardly political at all; OP and FYEO, for instance, could be said to be more political than either of them...

    I was surprised that when I mentioned that parts of QoS were based on real events that friends of mine didn't know about them (a "corporation" taking over water rights in a poor country, deposing a democratically elected President because his wage laws made corporations less profitable). And what's shocking to me is this is the stuff that's a matter of public record! Imagine what's gone on that we don't know about...
  • Posts: 154
    Not only the last three films, but the old ones too (Thunderball, anyone? What about From Russia with Love and Dr. No?).

    In a certain way, The Man With The Golden Gun responded to the 1973's energy crisis political issues.
  • Most Bond films have a political/current issue themed tint to the narrative lurking somewhere in the film, covertly or overtly. To say this is new to Craig's era isn't exactly true - I mean, the cold war was a massive back bone to the narrative to many Bond films. It's true as you say the villains and their villainous endeavours often do reflect the current concerns or issues at the time e.g. cold war, government infiltration, embezzlement, nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and possession thereof, unbridled science, advancement in the weapons industry and corresponding black market arms dealing, espionage and spies, secret government armed forces elite units, the threat of communism to the west (economic, militaristic etc), dictatorships and secret cabals, hazards of gambling culture, monopolization, the space race, arab threat to the west, secret societies and their influence, immoral media and moral panics, computer hacking and disinformation, government coverups etc etc etc - Not forgetting the hazards of skiing on mountainous terrain without a parachute lol
  • St_George wrote:
    This is interesting. And I agree that the last three Bond films have delved deeper into more real-world situations than in the past.

    I think the application of this could have been done much, much better in 'QoS'. With so much focus on the action scenes, there was no time to really get into the idea of the rich and powerful people of the world doing more than just hosting fundraisers for green causes and taking in nights at the opera.

    QOS was - rightly or wrongly - pretty critical of traditional US foreign policy (the divide-and-rule, hawkish style of it), especially when it comes to foreign policy in the Americas. And it was very unsubtle about that. So there's a strong political undercurrent there. CR and SF are more subtle than that when it comes to politics - in fact, comparatively speaking they're hardly political at all; OP and FYEO, for instance, could be said to be more political than either of them...

    I was surprised that when I mentioned that parts of QoS were based on real events that friends of mine didn't know about them (a "corporation" taking over water rights in a poor country, deposing a democratically elected President because his wage laws made corporations less profitable). And what's shocking to me is this is the stuff that's a matter of public record! Imagine what's gone on that we don't know about...

    Good points. The problem is that some people find real yet subtle events such as the two you mention to be too pedestrian for their tastes. Some Bond fans are still yearning for Bond OTT tick the box cheesefests and won't think much of less than that. I argued the water theme of QOS was very understandable, we use it for so much and it's taken for granted. But when you don't have it to wash yourself or dishes with, when you have to boil it first and wait for it to cool before drinking it and you're thirsty...well, my point about that fell on the deaf ears of the "QOS sucks" crowd.

  • Posts: 528


    I've seen "SKYFALL" once . . . and never again.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 It was this or the priesthood.
    Posts: 28,231
    DRush76 wrote:

    I've seen "SKYFALL" once . . . and never again.
    And that contributes to this thread how?
  • Posts: 7,599
    DRush76 wrote:

    I've seen "SKYFALL" once . . . and never again.
    And that contributes to this thread how?

    He must have missed any theme, I gather. :D

  • Posts: 12,020
    Certainly an interesting thread, well put across. I am certainly enjoying the Craig films with there more realistic edge too them. There are corupt governments out there so why not incorporate the theme into the movies.
  • RogueAgent wrote:
    Certainly an interesting thread, well put across. I am certainly enjoying the Craig films with there more realistic edge too them. There are corupt governments out there so why not incorporate the theme into the movies.

    So, which of these three Bond films is doing its best job of bringing about the themeology of the movie?
  • Posts: 12,020
    In terms of the shadowy bigger picture? I would say QOS. It is just a shame Forster did not elaborate it more?
  • DRush76 wrote:

    I've seen "SKYFALL" once . . . and never again.
    Your loss.

  • I enjoyed the undertones of Skyfall, but I guess I'm getting like Bond himself, wherein what the politicians do is becoming more and more of an annoyance than anything else.
  • I enjoyed the undertones of Skyfall, but I guess I'm getting like Bond himself, wherein what the politicians do is becoming more and more of an annoyance than anything else.

    I thought MP Claire Dowar (played by Helen McGrory), was a rather irritating person. I think she portrayed that kind of snobby politician that thinks she knows everything. Given the latest declaration scandals in London politics, I found M's performance truly outstanding and a real smack in Dowar's face :-).
  • Ms. McGrovy really did a fine job, I thought, with that role, playing someone it was easy to dislike. Sadly, I agree; all too many of our "leaders" seem to be of her character's caliber.
  • Yup.....especially in today's politics. Look to what's happening in the USA, with the 'fiscal cliff' negotiations.
  • I thought M was just as bad as Mcclorys character in that scene. Yeah the politician was being a snobby know all but then M was being annoying too. She's angry that she was forced to go there when really if the head of MI6 messes up so badly (losing the list, etc), then yeah they should have to answer for it.

    Anyway apart from in the courtroom scene I didn't think there was much of a theme in SF. QOS is the only recent Bond film that was really political I think.
  • Posts: 11,119
    I am a big movie fan in general, not just a James Bond fan. So a movie fan like me likes to compare movies....especially the themes of movies. I think I have mentioned before on this forum that I was thinking about 'Skyfall' when I watched Kathryn Bigelow's new movie 'Zero Dark Thirty'. Also, the CIA operative Maya played by Jessica Chastain reminded me a lot of the new, more realistic MI6 operative James Bond played by Daniel Craig.

    Now I truly understand why these two movies have so much in common, theme-wise. I was reading this article on CNN in preparation of tonight's Golden Globe Awards: [url]http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/13/opinion/kurtz-cia-star/index.html[url/]. Especially this part was striking for me:

    "Maya is about to become the most famous CIA operative since Valerie Plame.

    Except that's not her real name. We're not allowed to know her real name. Maya is the name of her character in the film "Zero Dark Thirty", which is already generating controversy for its depiction of the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

    This has an only-in-Washington feel, a collision between our celebrity culture and the need to protect our spies from having their identities exposed. So the operative somehow becomes a movie star (played by Jessica Chastain) while remaining in the shadows."


    Where did we hear that before ;-).[/url]
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,042
    DAD was kind of political...
  • Posts: 11,119
    echo wrote:
    DAD was kind of political...

    Political.....in an absolutely cheesy way. It felt like the Iron Curtain was back by choosing North Korea as some kind of arch nemesis who's actually capable of....destroying nukes from outer space. And all because suddenly North Korea is such a big world threat.

    Man, I was shitting my pants. Absolutely unbelievable and by no means an accurate portrayal of North Korea and the post 9/11 world we live in right now.

    No, the Danny Craig movies are doing that a hundred times better :-).
  • Posts: 315
    Political in a round about way. I think they moved from the politics of country a long time ago. The movies have been about groups trying to incite a war between super powers, using chemical/biological agents,or trying to control one resource-gold, drugs, water etc.. Quantum addressed it, however ham-fisted you might think. Water will become the new oil, if it hasn't already. Climate change has seen to that. T. Boone Pickens, the rich energy guy, has been buying water rights in Texas and Oklahoma for a few years. As has Monsanto-the nasty chemical and ag people. Neither is doing so because they are philanthropic.
  • edited January 2013 Posts: 2,782
    I saw it differently...in the UK we have big questions on how society treats the aged here...an ageing population, the retirement age increased, care homes being exposed, hospital staff dismissing the elderly with awful care...with Sam being a bit of a socialist it's pretty obvious his political stance in Skyfall...look after the old they are your future.
  • Posts: 11,119
    I saw it differently...in the UK we have big questions on how society treats the aged here...an ageing population, the retirement age increased, care homes being exposed, hospital staff dismissing the elderly with awful care...with Sam being a bit of a socialist it's pretty obvious his political stance in Skyfall...look after the old they are your future.

    I saw it differently. 'Skyfall' is much more a 'goodbye to the old' and one big hello to 'the new'. Judi Dench' 'M' is gone, hail Ralph Fiennes' 'M', a young, vibrant ex-agent that infiltrated the IRA. Lovely.

    Treat the elderly with care? Maybe. But it's much more about fingerpointing to the elderly by saying: "Look after your youngsters first, because THEY are the future. Not you".

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