Sebastian Faulks ridicules 'distasteful' Bond film 'Skyfall'

edited July 2013 in Skyfall Posts: 2,498
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/jamesbond/9826812/Sebastian-Faulks-ridicules-distasteful-Bond-film-Skyfall.html

Apologies if this has already been posted. A new link would be good, if this is the case.

Faulks gets alot wrong about Fleming's Bond. I do agree with him concerning one thing though, regarding Naomi Harris. I don't think that she acted particularly well in Skyfall. I don't know if I'm that happy about having her play Moneypenny. I've felt this way since I first saw Skyfall.
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Comments

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,202
    Which is worse, Bond's haircut or Severine's death?
    You choose.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 5,719
    Hmmm, that's a tough one; that was one BAD haircut ;)
  • Posts: 1,817
    "I thought I would invest him with some serious thoughts. It didn't work. It was unconvincing. It made him look not thoughtful but slightly gay."

    What does he means by that? Fleming's Bond, reflecting on Mexican he murdered at the begining of GF would be gay by his account? I'm sorry... but that only shows a crude sterotype. According to Faulks the only way Bond could show some introspection is by changing his sexual orientation... I'm glad I've never read his book as he demostrates no understanding of the character Fleming wrote.
  • edited July 2013 Posts: 4,622
    Well, this bit I can't diagree with.
    "I found the last film pretty distasteful. One [of the Bond girls] couldn't act and the other had been previously exploited as a sex worker. And Bond walks into the shower and makes love to her. Casino Royale was much better," he told an audience at India's Jaipur Literature Festival.

    And same with this bit. Fair comment I think.
    "...he said both Skyfall and Quantum of Solace had made a error by attempting to portray the spy as a more human character with a richer inner life.

    "The films' attempts to show a deeper and sensitive side to James Bond have not been successful because that's not how he works. He doesn't have much of an inner life and when you try to give him one the whole thing stalls," he said. "

    I might add the whole thing stalls, when you try to do it on film. Bond's "inner life" such as it is, works better in the books IMHO of course. On film its a crashing bore and almost comes across as pretentious.
    The charming but very focused and deadly agent on mission, sans issues, works best on film IMO, you know, like how that Connery guy used to play the character. Just sayin.
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    Posts: 4,235
    timmer wrote:
    Well, this bit I can't diagree with.
    "I found the last film pretty distasteful. One [of the Bond girls] couldn't act and the other had been previously exploited as a sex worker. And Bond walks into the shower and makes love to her. Casino Royale was much better," he told an audience at India's Jaipur Literature Festival.

    Zero understanding of Fleming's characters by Faulks. Look at Honey Ryder or even Domino.
  • Posts: 2,498
    I thought that CR was the better film but I don't agree with what he said about how the film stalls when they show more of Bond's personality. That's rubbish I think.

    In addition, I think that the literary Bond would have walked into a shower and made love to an ex sex worker too.

    Harris isn't a great actress though. I wish they had have cast someone else as Moneypenny. I really do.
  • edited July 2013 Posts: 5,767
    Bounine wrote:
    Harris isn't a great actress though. I wish they had have cast someone else as Moneypenny. I really do.
    I dare say it´s not her fault. She gave a great performance in Miami Vice.


    "I thought I would invest him with some serious thoughts. It didn't work. It was unconvincing. It made him look not thoughtful but slightly gay."
    Since I haven´t read any of Faulks´ books I won´t say anything about his abilities as a writer. Otherwise I would say his above statement is more than anything else a display of his own limitations as a writer.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Harris is actually a good actress. Her roles in other films are pretty good actually and I'm pretty sure she's going to kill it in the new Mandella movie. That being said, the only thing I agree with Faulks on is, CR being the better movie other than that everything else he said is complete rubbish and the man clearly knows very little about the character and the mythology. Just because one writes a crappy novel on the character doesn't make one an expert let alone a credible one at that.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,756
    I really liked Naomie Harris as Eve/Moneypenny. A lot, actually. She had one stupid line that was hard to pull off (beetles), but other than that I thought she was great. Very nice chemistry with Craig and I thought she was a perfectly good actress in that role.

    And no,. I don't agree with Faulks.
  • edited July 2013 Posts: 6,601
    doubleoego wrote:
    Harris is actually a good actress. Her roles in other films are pretty good actually and I'm pretty sure she's going to kill it in the new Mandella movie. That being said, the only thing I agree with Faulks on is, CR being the better movie other than that everything else he said is complete rubbish and the man clearly knows very little about the character and the mythology. Just because one writes a crappy novel on the character doesn't make one an expert let alone a credible one at that.

    This...just the Harris part I partly agree with. She always looked too much like she was acting (which shouldn't be the case) and not as a natural character.

  • It's just a film sebastian, a badly edited one, but never the less, it's just a film. Who knows how much of Harris' character was left on the editing suite floor, why don't you just Faulk off?
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    edited July 2013 Posts: 11,756
    It's just a film sebastian, a badly edited one, but never the less, it's just a film. Who knows how much of Harris' character was left on the editing suite floor, why don't you just Faulk off?

    =)) Gee, I bet he's never heard that one. ;)
  • Posts: 2,498
    Oh, I've seen Miami Vice and I don't remember any real bad acting in that. Farrell isn't a wonderful actor but he's not bad either. Okay, maybe Harris was just lacklustre as Moneypenny.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.
  • Posts: 12,951
    I find Faulks arrogant to say the least. What he says about Naomie Harris is downright insulting. Sure she had a few iffy lines at the beginning. But she certainly can act.
  • LicencedToKilt69007LicencedToKilt69007 Belgium, Wallonia
    Posts: 523
    I totally disagree with S. Faulks. Even though I'd be glad if 007 -24th becomes "Devil May Care".

    The film, Skyfall, had few silly moments but the average certainly means quality in the line of previous films, particularly Naomie Harris'es Moneypenny. A tasteful interpretation.
  • Posts: 686
    Dragonpol wrote:
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.

    @Dragonpol I wonder if Barbara Broccoli found it to be distasteful since she complained about the past sexual exploits of Bond.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    Ludovico wrote:
    I find Faulks arrogant to say the least. What he says about Naomie Harris is downright insulting. Sure she had a few iffy lines at the beginning. But she certainly can act.

    Yes, arrogance seems to be his main stock in trade. He has little to be arrogant about, though as his novel is well nigh unreadable. He did seem very blasé about the writing of Devil May Care "...as Ian Fleming" and this showed through in his parody of a Bond novel. Monkey's paw, indeed!
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.

    @Dragonpol I wonder if Barbara Broccoli found it to be distasteful since she complained about the past sexual exploits of Bond.

    I do not know. Each to their own, I suppose. The literary James Bond used to visit prostitutes - one would have thought that he hardly needed to!
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited July 2013 Posts: 893
    How about Christopher Hitchens ridiculing Sebastian Faulks!

    Writing in the Financial Times, Christopher Hitchens complained that although Faulks claimed to be writing 'as Fleming', it fell short of doing so: "This pot-boiler takes several times as long as most Bond classics. There is almost no sex until the very last pages. There is almost no torture – an absolute staple of a Bond narrative – until the very last pages."[7] Hitchens admitted that Faulks had referred to elements of Fleming's novels, so that "those who have a canonical attitude to Fleming will be able to collect their share of in-jokes and cross-references";[7] similarly, "wispy fragments of Vesper Lynd and Honey Ryder drift in and out of shot and memory in much the same way".[7] Hitchens concluded his review of the novel by considering that Bond had been "cheapened" in the novel

    “Shaky, not stirring... Fleming himself used to claim that he marched the plot along fast enough to silence all the doubts about its credibility – a guileless yet brilliant tactic. But Faulks takes fatally too long to smuggle his own effort past the customs. Except for absurd coincidences that really do stretch one’s credulity, such as Bond running into the monkey-pawed villain just before being briefed about him, everything is laboriously spelled out.”

    “Only inattention, after all, not haste, could make a writer of this stature describe a telephone call as having been put through ‘without demur’.”
  • Posts: 686
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.

    @Dragonpol I wonder if Barbara Broccoli found it to be distasteful since she complained about the past sexual exploits of Bond.

    I do not know. Each to their own, I suppose. The literary James Bond used to visit prostitutes - one would have thought that he hardly needed to!

    I somewhat disagree with that statement. I believe we learn that Bond visited prostitutes prior to CR possibily in his youth, but I cannot recall where he engaged with prostitutes beyond that. He did visit the brothel in TMWTGG but did purchase services.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited July 2013 Posts: 9,117
    I'll agree with him on Harris - some of her delivery is painful ('Its some sort of sadistic game' is my personal highlight) although I think maybe it might be more down to being a little overawed given the rest of the cast rather than her actually being just a bad actress (which she's not).

    As for the rest; if I were you Seb I'd be very careful about bandying around criticism of the Bond universe. As the bloke who took a bigger dump on the character than Tamahori with The Phantom Menace of Bond books your opinion on matters Bondian is not even on a par with that of the Double Take Pigeon.
  • Posts: 12,951
    007InVT wrote:
    How about Christopher Hitchens ridiculing Sebastian Faulks!

    Writing in the Financial Times, Christopher Hitchens complained that although Faulks claimed to be writing 'as Fleming', it fell short of doing so: "This pot-boiler takes several times as long as most Bond classics. There is almost no sex until the very last pages. There is almost no torture – an absolute staple of a Bond narrative – until the very last pages."[7] Hitchens admitted that Faulks had referred to elements of Fleming's novels, so that "those who have a canonical attitude to Fleming will be able to collect their share of in-jokes and cross-references";[7] similarly, "wispy fragments of Vesper Lynd and Honey Ryder drift in and out of shot and memory in much the same way".[7] Hitchens concluded his review of the novel by considering that Bond had been "cheapened" in the novel

    “Shaky, not stirring... Fleming himself used to claim that he marched the plot along fast enough to silence all the doubts about its credibility – a guileless yet brilliant tactic. But Faulks takes fatally too long to smuggle his own effort past the customs. Except for absurd coincidences that really do stretch one’s credulity, such as Bond running into the monkey-pawed villain just before being briefed about him, everything is laboriously spelled out.”

    “Only inattention, after all, not haste, could make a writer of this stature describe a telephone call as having been put through ‘without demur’.”

    Always pleasant to read Hitchens. Glad he made.mince meat of Faulks.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    edited July 2013 Posts: 13,282
    This has been discussed before but only in this thread:

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/3487/skyfall-fans-reactions-guaranteed-spoilers/p74

    May as well give it its own topic, though he said these remarks at the start of the year.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    Samuel001 wrote:
    This has been discussed before but only in this thread:

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/3487/skyfall-fans-reactions-guaranteed-spoilers/p74

    May as well give it its own topic, though he said these remarks at the start of the year.

    Yes, I thought they were familiar...we seem to catch up rather late here on MI6 Community.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Schloss Drache
    Posts: 14,032
    I'll agree with him on Harris - some of her delivery is painful ('Its some sort of sadistic game' is my personal highlight) although I think maybe it might be more down to being a little overawed given the rest of the cast rather than her actually being just a bad actress (which she's not).

    As for the rest; if I were you Seb I'd be very careful about bandying around criticism of the Bond universe. As the bloke who took a bigger dump on the character than Tamahori with The Phantom Menace of Bond books your opinion on matters Bondian is not even on a par with that of the Double Take Pigeon.

    Great post.
  • Posts: 11,175
    I think it's interesting that Fleming's biographer liked it and disagreed with Sebastian. Shows its ultimately all opinion.
  • CommanderRossCommanderRoss The bottom of a pitch lake in Eastern Trinidad, place called La Brea
    Posts: 6,838
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.

    @Dragonpol I wonder if Barbara Broccoli found it to be distasteful since she complained about the past sexual exploits of Bond.

    I do not know. Each to their own, I suppose. The literary James Bond used to visit prostitutes - one would have thought that he hardly needed to!

    I somewhat disagree with that statement. I believe we learn that Bond visited prostitutes prior to CR possibily in his youth, but I cannot recall where he engaged with prostitutes beyond that. He did visit the brothel in TMWTGG but did purchase services.
    He does together with Tiger Tanaka.

    On Faulks: his was the first non-Fleming I read and it almost was my last. the only reason I tried Carte Blanche as well is that I knew it could not possibly be worse then TDMC.

  • edited July 2013 Posts: 686
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    Perdogg wrote:
    Dragonpol wrote:
    As if Faulks would know a good Bond novel or film - Devil May Care (2008) is surely a testament to that fact.

    @Dragonpol I wonder if Barbara Broccoli found it to be distasteful since she complained about the past sexual exploits of Bond.

    I do not know. Each to their own, I suppose. The literary James Bond used to visit prostitutes - one would have thought that he hardly needed to!

    I somewhat disagree with that statement. I believe we learn that Bond visited prostitutes prior to CR possibily in his youth, but I cannot recall where he engaged with prostitutes beyond that. He did visit the brothel in TMWTGG but did purchase services.
    He does together with Tiger Tanaka.

    On Faulks: his was the first non-Fleming I read and it almost was my last. the only reason I tried Carte Blanche as well is that I knew it could not possibly be worse then TDMC.

    The brothel that Bond and Tiger visited was shutdown. Tiger tells Bond that Prostitution was made illegal and that the "whore-house" was a national monument.
  • Posts: 802
    Faulks' abortion of a Bond novel was about as popular with aficionados as a pork chop in a synagogue!
    His audacity in criticising one of the top three Bond films of all time (FRWL, OHMSS, SF - put them in any order you like) beggars belief and as fare as the delectable Ms.Harris is concerned, he should simply keep his mouth shut. She is smoking and I love her as Moneypenny.
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