Marc Forster still defending his work on 'Quantum of Solace'

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  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 16,339
    Skyfall's cinematography & editing were absolutely top shelf.
  • DarthDimi wrote:
    would it help if Q's re-entry line were replaced by "I sure hope that old man got his tractor beam out of commission." ? ;-)

    No, it most certainly would not! I loved that line from Q and thought the usual humiliation of Gray was more hilarious than what we got in Spy. The "take me around the world again" was pathetic though in comparison to "KTBEU, sir". They had to stick one more groan worthy moment in, as if we weren't punished enough by then :))
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,432
    chrisisall wrote:
    Skyfall's cinematography & editing were absolutely top shelf.

    It certainly was. It was great to see some genuinely beautiful framing, evocative of the Young films.
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    I read an interview recently that really got my goat about Bond.


    Thing is many Bond fans and particularly film reviewers don't know what the hell they're talking about. Don't tell me you want to see the "Bond we all know and love" and in the next sentence Bash Bond because his character and attitude has changed somewhat in QoS and in SF compared to a more layered character in CR.

    Was QoS really marketed as a revenge story? Really think about that question. Maybe it was maybe it wasn't but it's certainly what people and fans were mostly expecting. That being said, the film itself plays out in a way where it clearly isn't a straight up revenge story; it's more layered than that. I give QoS credit for actually having the balls to be different and to shake things up considerably, particularly interpreting and conveying Bond differently to how we've always and traditionally seen him.

    Many people who have been in relationships that have dissolved for whatever reason react differently and when there was love abd trust involved it can really make a person's world crumble. CR has Bond eventually trusting and falling in love with Vesper, he even quits his job for her and then later finds that not is all as it seems and then she dies on him. By the end if CR and throughout the majority of QoS Bond is angry in fact he's pissed but whereas, he's convincing Mathis and M that Vesper this and Vesper that, he needs someone to blame, the truth is, Bond is more angry at himself for being in the emotional state that he's in. The only person that really knows this is Mathis. M is too busy harping on about trust and everything else to see that Bond isn't blinded by inconsolable rage but is trying desperately to remain focused on his job so much so that he loses himself in his work to try and get things done and to numb the pain of a broken heart and to feel less like a fool for falling in love and wanting to give up his career for someone.

    On the surface, it looks like Bond is globe trotting killing and beating people up but that's far from the truth as evidenced by what we see. Bond is looking for answers regarding Quantum and in doing so will potentially have his mind furnished with the whole Vesper ordeal alongside any other similar setups as we later find out to be true by the time the film makes its way to Russia or wherever the hell he finds Yusef.

    Bond's mood as a direct continuation from CR is more than apt and perfectly appropriate and I would expect nothing less. Yes, he's wretchedly miserable but put into context this perfectly acceptable. Compare that to TND where Bond inadvertedly has a woman he once was falling in love with killed by her own husband, momentarily mournes her death, kisses her corpse and minutes later is smiling like a schoolboy who touched a girl's panties for the first time, pushing buttons for his remote control car.

    That being said, we're moving closer and closer to the "Bond we all know and love" right?
    Who is the "Bond we all know and love"??? Because it seems people and the media throw that term around carelessly and when we see signs and behavioural patters of Bond reaching this status it's now a problem; Bond has regressed. BS!

    Bond is an interesting character. He's not wearing white hats and riding the special horse. He's a man traumatised from events that have happened to him which he uses to make him all the more effective at his job. He's a man of experience that can't allow himself the freedoms of certain dispositions that ordinary people are able to express. If a multidimensional character is broken down into a figure of less dimensions and comparable shallow depth, that's pretty damn interesting, just so long as we are shown how this character ends up becoming this way and imo the Craig Bond movies are doing a very good job doing this.

    I'm not saying or suggesting Bond as a character should be void of depth because in all of the 50 years we've had him for, Bond has always had depth to a degree but certain hypocrisies from fans and the media clearly indicate that their expectations of the character are sketchy at best.

    Anyway, the overall directorial style and editing of QoS leaves a lot to be desired but conveying the protagonist's arc, not only was it handled really well but it was very much needed. One if the reasons given for this reboot was to see who James Bond was before.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 5,767
    DarthDimi wrote:
    True enough, @boldfinger, but it starts losing its appeal once multiple DP's use it almost as if it's a mandatory thing, as if it defines 'cool filmmaking' or even worse 'good filmmaking'. And it gets worse still when some DP's use it because they are otherwise no longer able to shoot certain things well. It's easy to crowd the place with cameras and record as much footage as you can so that afterwards you can pic the half-second shots that will blend nicely into a 20 second scene. It's a lot tougher to seek out that one camera angle that allows for a 20 second shot without redundant vibrations and whatnot. ;-)
    I´m absolutely with you, @DarthDimi, except for me it´s not about what is more difficult, but just about cool, and I truly find that every time I watch QoS. Not so with Bourne2/3 ;-) .



    chrisisall wrote:
    Skyfall's cinematography & editing were absolutely top shelf.
    By no means. Much too polished and mainstream.



    RC7 wrote:
    If you'd read my post completely you'd have recognised my note about Verite originally being the bi-product of bulky camera equipment.
    I had read your post completely, @RC7, and my understanding doesn´t change, I beg your pardon. You made a clear statement about handheld camera having a purpose of suggesting more reality. I referred not to Saving Private Ryan, but more to NYPD, or Bourne2/3, in whose context publishers wouldn´t stop at the time talking about the level of realism. And it was in that context I used my assertion. I´m sorry if we were talking at cross purposes.
    RC7 wrote:
    the problem is it's become shorthand for delivering frenetic action.
    Yes, it certainly has.

    RC7 wrote:
    boldfinger wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    What I dislike most is when a director chooses the said style out of pure laziness.
    Technically, that is unlikely to occur, simply because it´s much easier to produce smooth shots. I suggest you watch the making-of docs from JJ Abrams´ first Star Trek movie, and from The Bourne Ultimatum. Abrams is filmed while operating the camera and bouncing it, to get a certain shaky effect he wanted. He had to do it himself, because noone else managed to produce the kind of shaking he wanted. In TBU, the roof chase in Tangiers is filmed with cameras on wires, pretty much like Jackson did in LOTR. No camera was shaking during that shoot.

    Again, you miss my point. Shooting handycam in close-up allows the director to dismiss the geography of the scene in all but a wide shot. Therefore they can shoot any number of takes and angles very quickly. The reason a Stanley Kubrick film took so long to produce was because his attention to the Mise en scene was acute. Most directors these days don't particular care for multiple set-ups when they can, as you say, pick up the camera and add 'bounce it around' a bit, to save time actually figuring out how to cover something in an original way.
    I´m afraid I´m missing your point again. I strongly doubt that Abrams ever had ambitions similar to Kubrick. And Michael Mann shows clearly how clever a hand-held shot can incorporate multiple details. Of course a lot directors don´t produce that class, but neither do many directors with other techniques.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    @doubleoego- yours are among the few posts I avidly read because of the depth and sensiblities. The above is no exception. I've broken my views down by paragraph reference-

    1. By the time QOS ended, Bond was well on his way to being an experienced agent. M acknowledges that his mission ended up being successful as far as her expectations set forth at the beginning. How he got from point A to point B is debatable and not something I'm going to get into right now with so much on the table here. Anyone who can't clearly see Bond starts off Skyfall right away as the agent we've known for 50 years worth of films and is consistent as far as all the usual traits and refinements, is utterly clueless to say otherwise just because his near death and recovery here was something new and carried a certain level of "baggage" that was a bit inconsistent with the Bond we saw at the end of QOS. His angry response to M upon returning was perfectly in line with her contrariness towards him in this respect and her habit of bad decision making that was her eventual undoing.

    2. I think an element of revenge towards QUANTUM over Vesper's death was on the table as a possibility and an obvious point of reference between the two films, but was it marketed that way? I'd say the word "justice" printed on the back on the DVD was more the idea. Plus we learn early on that QUANTUM represents a threat that goes way past Vesper's betrayal. He's got other reasons to consider his mission as justice and not an entirely personal one. LTK was the true revenge story in the series as presented.

    3. "The truth is, Bond is more angry at himself for being in the emotional state that he's in. The only person that really knows this is Mathis. M is too busy harping on about trust and everything else to see that Bond isn't blinded by inconsolable rage but is trying desperately to remain focused on his job so much so that he loses himself in his work to try and get things done and to numb the pain of a broken heart and to feel less like a fool for falling in love and wanting to give up his career for someone".

    Thoroughly well stated and perfectly sensible. Nothing to add there. This is exactly what it is.

    4. Only M and the combined British and American intelligence apparatus' think Bond is completely out of control and looking to kill everyone. Unfortunately the script is lousy at times when it comes to instances such as Bond not stating to M "well, yes I threw the Special Branch guy off the building but I didn't shoot him, it was Greene's man" that lend to these critical opinions that miss the bigger picture. It's a bit contrary to Bond's capture of Mr. White, if it was purely revenge then why bother to do this? The point about senseless killing was made by M after he killed Mollaka. I don't think he was trying to necessarily kill Slate but it happened during a violent struggle. His not saying something specific here as well is another problem in the script, but all of this is eventually if not immediately understood if one isn't looking to be critical out of a personal agenda. My 13 year old son gets more of these things than these mature adults bashing it don't, so what does that say for them?

    5. The Paris scene is quite touching and all, but it gets quickly dismissed. Was it right to do so? I guess that's debatable. Let's just say for the moment that the Brosnan era didn't exactly take too many chances regarding thinking outside of the box when it came to emotions and it usually failed when it did, TWINE as an example. The idea of revenge for Brosnan's Bond was quickly quashed in GoldenEye, and remained as a latent motive never thoroughly examined as this era was more about fun and popcorn.

    6. CR began the progression of character and I have to ask, exactly what was the idea of "regression" past the impressions that he was out of control in these two films? That idea I don't see as explained in paragraph #4. I agree, complete BS to say otherwise regarding these two films, but what we're hearing nowadays is more in reaction to what I'll get into next. Perhaps more hidden agenda justifications?

    To summarize the rest, cinematic Bond has always to some extent been a complex character not immune to emotion. Fleming's source works reveal such a character. Some eras have tried to exploit that take, others have not. These two films have. The CR/QOS Craig films have been far more introspective than the recent Skyfall, which largely sees Bond approaching the mission as a professional. It's not about inexperience, true life changing love, nor the pursuit of personal justice we get here, Skyfall is all about the business at hand from Bond's point of view. And perhaps without M and the farewell to Dench being so key, we would not have gotten the brief detour into the pages of Fleming's world weary agent and touching on the death of his parents and resulting childhood which deeply affected the orphan as Vesper first mentioned. Nowadays, we've reached the stage where the current trend is "enough already", let's get on with no more personal references and I agree with this. People don't want Fleming Bond endlessly examining himself and his motivations in a tangible, on screen way. We know how Bond got this way and now its time to let go of these things and move forward.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 6,396
    2. I think an element of revenge towards QUANTUM over Vesper's death was on the table as a possibility and an obvious point of reference between the two films, but was it marketed that way? I'd say the word "justice" printed on the back on the DVD was more the idea. Plus we learn early on that QUANTUM represents a threat that goes way past Vesper's betrayal. He's got other reasons to consider his mission as justice and not an entirely personal one. LTK was the true revenge story in the series as presented.

    You've touched on something here that was a gripe of mine when I first saw QoS and is often a problem between those people making the film and those marketing the film. Both trailers insinuated that QoS was a film about Bond's revenge. "It would be a pretty cold bastard who didn't want revenge for the death of someone he loved" and "I don't think the dead care about vengeance" were soundbites which punctuated the narrative of the trailer.

    I do wonder when footage is passed on to the marketing people if instructions or at least guidance is given on how the trailer should be cut together i.e. "only this footage is to be used", "...this is the tone of the film", "the story is about..." etc.

    So often a film's trailer can misdirect it's audience into thinking it's about one thing when in reality it's about something else entirely.

    In the case of QoS it could have been down to the fact that even Forster didn't know what type of film he was making until he entered post production.
  • @Willy- it's very common for a trailer to misdirect the true story so no surprise there. It's all marketing. Case in point- have you ever seen a film where all the best parts and lines were in the trailer? I have for sure and the rest was utter dreck. I didn't find the QOS trailer to be so, but your point is well taken with 2 mentions of revenge which does indeed wind up more about justice for Vesper when QUANTUM gets exposed and the main culprit for Vesper's demise is finally delivered into the hands of justice. It's a good thing for Kabira that he was honest with Bond, there is no doubt judging by his tone and manner that revenge would have otherwise been served up swift and cold.
  • Posts: 6,396
    @SirHenry - Most famously in the Mission Impossible trailer which gives away the entire ending of the film. What were they thinking?? I also remember seeing the trailer for Alien Resurrection in '97 and thinking 'Wow! It looks like Aliens'. Could I have been further from the truth?!
  • SharkShark Banned
    edited August 2013 Posts: 348
    RC7 wrote:
    The 'shaky-cam' style is 'Cinema Verite', a documentary style adapted to draw the viewer into a seemingly more realistically documented world.

    It's pseudo-Cinema Verite. If you want the real thing, watch BATTLE FOR ALGIERS or Z. Hollywood just took the style, and removed it from its genuinely felt political impulses, and use it as another tool in the inventory for selling their product. A reliance on whip-pans, quick zooms, rack focus, rapid editing and shaky handheld cameras-- its lost its meaning. It's like the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK genetically engineered into the late 20th century - just for entertainment and a quick buck.

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,432
    Shark wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    The 'shaky-cam' style is 'Cinema Verite', a documentary style adapted to draw the viewer into a seemingly more realistically documented world.

    It's pseudo-Cinema Verite. If you want the real thing, watch BATTLE FOR ALGIERS or Z. Hollywood just took the style, and removed it from its genuinely felt political impulses, and use it as another tool in the inventory for selling their product. A reliance on whip-pans, quick zooms, rack focus, rapid editing and shaky handheld cameras-- its lost its meaning. It's like the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK genetically engineered into the late 20th century - just for entertainment and a quick buck.

    I completely agree. I was merely attempting to state it's origins, as it appeared some people just assumed it was a style that had inadvertently found it's way into the mainstream for no particular reason other than to add a sense of dynamism (which ironically it doesn't).
  • doubleoegodoubleoego #LightWork
    Posts: 11,090
    Thanks @SirHenry.
    Yes, the contents of your post pretty much hit the nail on the head and elaborates on what I wanted to address. I'd be really interested to know how the film would have turned out if more time was dedicated to completing the script under normal circumstances but as it is, the writing makes a number of things initially unclear but not impossibly difficult to follow abd understand abd overall, the film, I think, presents an underappreciated interpretation of Bond as a character and an underappreciated performance from Craig too.
  • Posts: 5,767
    Shark wrote:
    RC7 wrote:
    The 'shaky-cam' style is 'Cinema Verite', a documentary style adapted to draw the viewer into a seemingly more realistically documented world.

    It's pseudo-Cinema Verite. If you want the real thing, watch BATTLE FOR ALGIERS or Z. Hollywood just took the style, and removed it from its genuinely felt political impulses, and use it as another tool in the inventory for selling their product. A reliance on whip-pans, quick zooms, rack focus, rapid editing and shaky handheld cameras-- its lost its meaning. It's like the dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK genetically engineered into the late 20th century - just for entertainment and a quick buck.
    The thing is, there is not just "the shaky cam style". I haven´t seen Battle for Algiers, or Z, and I will try not to talk myself any further into the mud with origin discussions. Fact is (to take note of the thread title), the camera and editing style of QoS, while on first viewing rather similar to Bourne2/3, is in reality a different thing, even though it may have been edited by the same guy. Both QoS´ and Bourne2/3´s editing don´t convey any realism to me. But both of them can look great on their own.

  • I got around to watching World War Z last night and it's no where near the disaster that everyone was predicting it to be. In fact if people went in not knowing the film's production history I think it's near impossible to see the cracks.

    However, despite not being a complete wreck it's far from being a great movie. I'm a zombie film novice but the film does feel watered down and if anything is more of your typical summer action movie fare. It's a shame because the more quietier creepy and intense moments (the stuff in the supermarket/apartment block/W.H.O building) by far outshine the more frequent louder sequences.I also have never read Max Brooks book but from what I know the film sounds like a wasted opportunity. A more satirical film looking into how the world's Governments react to a zombie pandemic would have been a more enticing ordeal. There is talk of this in the Isarel/Korea scenes but it's a mere glimpse into what could have been a more compelling film. Instead we get silly plane crash sequences (throwing a grenade on a plane is inexcusably stupid - how Gerry even survives the ordeal is even more stupid) and bloodless battles.

    Despite this the action stuff in the whole is good. There is a lot of eye-candy throughout. The Israel scene in particular is fantastic - all those bodies clamouring over the wall is really something else aesthetically. But the movie works best when it's more quiet and intense. This is a real testament to Forster who makes these scenes really intense and exciting. Even in the action stakes he has improved massively and the whole thing is a lot less shaky and nauseating. However, the action can still be hard to follow and difficult to comprehend spatially.

    Brad Pitt is also good despite a rather underwritten role. I feel the real political bite the film could have had disappeared with all the problems it had in post and in the end it does feel a little bit made-by-committee. But it's still a good intense ride even if it is a bit unsatisfying.

    I think Forster's Bond days are behind him and having seen WWZ I can't say I'm too devastated. Bid-budget films aren't his bag, he made a name in the arthouses and he excels there. When placed in the multiplexes, Forster has a tendency to prove a very divisive filmmaker.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,598
    @Pierce2Daniel, get around to checking out the unrated edition of WWZ when the film is out on DVD/blu-ray on September 17th. I'm excited for it. It adds more footage, apparently, and I'm under the impression some language and blood will be thrown in, but I loved what I saw in the theater, so no complaints here. I was an easy man to please this summer, with only 'Elysium' and 'The Conjuring' being low points for me.
  • WWZ was far from a total success story for me. for me the summer belonged to Iron Man 3. We got a clever, twisty-turny thriller that was often genuinely funny and exciting. Also we got a great insight into Tony Stark as a character.

    Intro Darkness should have been the film of the summer but JJ let us all down by just reheating the first movie.
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