Just noticed that my blogging count for this year is right on the number of posts last year: 73. So I thought, onwards and upwards, lets keep it up and keep pushing the limits! As you can see with the archive, last year wasn't even as many as 2010, when I had 77 posts. It's that thing which many a creative person gets to - the creative block/writers block etc. When you don't feel like it (and it isn't strictly essential) why do it?
Eventually I end up breaking the blogging drought (like this one at the beginning of this month about the Mentawai people). Today I want to talk about something I watched yesterday: Skyfall. In many ways it is in the same situation as I. At a milestone (50 years) and choosing to continue, onwards and pushing the boundaries that define the franchise.
You either think it's incredibly lame or really cool but I thought Skyfall was a screenwriters' break from the formula. As a person who has watched all the Bond movies (dad is really into the Bond franchise) except Quantum of Solace, there are few that actually go beyond the usual 007 scenario to actually interrogate who Bond actually is.
In one of the films (On Her Majesty's Secret Service) Bond gets married then his wife gets killed almost instantly - one of the few times that actually delved into Bond as a person, not the womaniser, adventure craver that he often is. Brutal and breaking, did it show how little chance that Bond can be a regular person?
Most of Skyfall was a perplexing mixture of a truly psychological villain and a setting all too familiar but at the same time foreign to the Bond franchise - London and the UK. The brief escapades to Turkey and Shanghai alluded to the usual rush but then literally quietened down to the recesses of Scotland. Forging the past of James Bond and whittling out the relationship between M and 007 would have been a real work of creative wit.
Add the tumultuous situation of the political pressure at M's seat of power and then you have the real deal. It had hints of the subtle jiving of JK Rowling's Harry Potter at the British government and, in general, of institution. That is, if you choose to read it that way.
Without spoiling anything, I reckon Skyfall is a game changer for the franchise. This is the 50 year mark and with an extremely different world of criminality as a subtext, Bond will have to reinvent himself to make it work. They ended this chapter of James Bond with great poetic effect and double take moments that made you think over. Goodness, they even broke out a poem right in the midst of crisis.
I thoroughly enjoyed this indescribably different take on 007.
Feel free to let me know what you thought of it/this rather high rating in the comments.