Tag Archives: Roger Deakins

Skyfall (2012) or livewithfilm takes notes from Bond’s talent for queue jumping…

13 Nov

After what seems like the whole of the UK caught Bond’s latest bust-up on its opening week, livewithfilm thought it should probably catch up and headed to the BFI IMAX. Such a trip dealt this blogger an odd hand as – with the favoured son of MI6 careering his way around London – Bond at one point decided to drive past the very cinema livewithfilm was sitting in. Perhaps his Aston Martin DB5 was an elaborate ruse to beat the nationwide rush for tickets…

With Judi Dench frostily glaring across the screen as MI6 chief M and muscular Daniel Craig set to save his country from the evil clutches of malevolent super-crim Javier Bardem, the stage seemed set for a by-the-numbers return for Bond. Yet Skyfall is not the spy as we know him. Steered into unknown territory by the acclaimed talents of director Sam Mendes and director of photography Roger Deakins, Skyfall sets a magnificent new dawn for Bond who remains at once nostalgic for his fifty preceding years and bold enough to hold his own for the next half century. After crashing out of a heart racing opening chase that rivals the Russian dam bust of Goldeneye (1995) and mirrors Brosnan’s final bungee dive, Bond is left to drink his sorrows away presumed dead. Yet as Bardem’s Silva wages a very personal war against a particularly matriarchal M, Bond is drawn back to protect his old boss.

Forcing Britain’s beloved spy to encounter a range of homoerotic and oedipal themes, Bardem subversively dominates Skyfall. A giggling hybrid of Andy Warhol and Hannibal Lector with an entrance to rival Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Silva is a furious reflection of Bond. In this landmark year for the secret agent, it is fitting that Bond – relentlessly criticised for his archaic and sexist spy lifestyle – is forced to confront himself in this manner. Deconstructing entrenched expectations in an approach akin to Nolan’s recent Batman reinventions, Skyfall takes Bond to new heights through a timely ‘self-aware’ reinvention. Craig once again deftly fills the tux alongside franchise stalwart Dench, new addition Ben Whishaw’s Q suitably matching up to the oft-credited pair. Most crucial of all though, Deakins and Mendes inject originality into Skyfall that almost erases all memory of Quantum of Solace (2008) to reinvigorate Bond for future duties.