Monday, 5 August 2013


2012 - Dir.: Sam Mendes

Shown at The FeckenOdeon on 31st August, 2013

This is James Bond’s 23rd film appearance in 50 years... which, assuming that he’s in his 30s in the first film, makes him at least 70 years old and, considering his lifestyle, he’s looking remarkably trim. In fact this film is widely considered to be one of the best Bonds ever. This is a full-blooded, joyous, intelligent celebration of a beloved cultural icon, with Daniel Craig taking full possession of the role still inevitably identified with Sean Connery. Lots of things have changed in 50 years - Q and Miss Moneypenny are practically kids. M has not only changed sex but is preparing to retire - and "Skyfall" at last provides a role worthy of Judi Dench. At 77 she is all but the co-star of the film, with a lot of screen time, poignant dialogue, and a character who is far more complex and sympathetic than we expect in this series. The film is guided by a considerable director (Sam Mendes) who delivers not only a terrific Bond but a terrific movie, period. Mendes, better known a a theatre director, abandons any arty pretence and gives us a well shot, well told story - here is James Bond lifted up, dusted off, set back on his feet and ready for another 50 years.
● Daniel Craig was 43 when Skyfall was made and has said that he fears that he’s getting a bit old for the physical demands of playing Bond. Sean Connery gave up the role at the age of 53 and is now 82 - the same age as Honor Blackman.
● The film's opening sequence shot in Adana and Istanbul in Turkey took around two months to film, three months of rehearsals, four months of preparation, 200 crew members from England and another 200 local crew in order to produce around 12-14 minutes of screen time. For the motorbike chase Coca-Cola was sprayed on the tarmac of the streets in Istanbul to keep the bikes from sliding.
● The Paddock Tank (aka the Exterior Tank) at Pinewood Studios doubled as the exterior of the Shanghai Golden Dragon Casino. The set was lit by three-hundred floating lanterns and two thirty-foot high dragon heads.
● Work on the film was halted for several months because MGM went bankrupt. A financial deal and a tie up with Columbia/Sony rescued the project, time was made up and Skyfall was released as planned - in time to celebrate Bond’s 50th anniversary.
● The Aston Martin DB5 car is the same one used in Goldfinger.

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