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Dec 6, 2012

Skyfallen (1)




The name is Craig, Daniel Craig. You know me from the Bond movies, and you are looking at me in the opening sequence of Skyfall, the latest installment, n° 24, to be precise (if you include the '67 non-Broccoli production of "Never say  never again"), opening worldwide this year to commemorate the 50th birthday of our franchise. Sorry, I got this wrong, this is not from the opening sequence, the paneling is all wrong, and the bullet hole is wrong too, since we won't start shooting until we've left this tacky place where a disk (disk!) of all the names of all MI6 agents was stolen needlessly and several good men have lost their lives already, so that they are now dumpling in their own blood on the ground. Fairly icky. One colleague wasn't completely dead but M, my boss, Judy Dench (or Drench, I always get the spelling wrong) ordered me via satellite and internet and ear piece (the connectivity we know so well from the Bourne franchise) to abort all resuscitation efforts and go after the disk pronto. My dying colleague rolled his eyes. The disk! 


Hi, me again. I'm in hot pursuit of the bad guy (not Dr. No or Goldfinger, just some lowly operative) who had the bad idea to steal the disk (disk!) with all the names and so on that somebody had the bad idea to take to Istanbul for no particular reason.


Hi, I'm Ola Rapace. As my Wikipedia entry can tell you, I'm a man of few words who was also married to Noomi (or Naoomi, I can't get the spelling right) Rapace, the star of the Tatoo Girl and Prometheus flicks. Rapace means "bird of prey," in Italian and perhaps in French. We (Noomi and I) chose our surname after we got married and before we got divorced. That's nifty, hey? I was once arrested for the possession of cocaine. And, oh, I'm the character who just stole the disk (disk!) with all the names of all the British spies. I know, this will end badly. In the meantime, I had a chance to double-check on the Wikipedia entry and can assure you that "rapace" does not mean "bird of prey" in French. Instead, it means "greed," or "avarice." So much for Wikipedia. One wonders who writes these entries. That couldn't have been me, right, since I'm a man of few words.


Hi, this is me again. I'm on my way to the train station, where I will "board" ("board") the train that'll take me and Daniel outside of this mega-city in just under one minute. We will fight on top of the train as if these were the old days, interrupted once in a while by a low tunnel that forces us into a flat-lying position on our washboard tummies.  


I'm Naomie Harris in real life and (spoiler alert!) Eve Moneypenny in this flick, although you won't know until the end when I resign from field work and take up secretarial duties in the antechamber of Ralph Fiennes office. We're in hot pursuit of Ola, who's outfoxing us as we speak.


Hi again. Yes, you can see what I'm doing. Let me tell you that we're still under the remote tutelage of Judy Dench, who's connected to us via satellite and ear piece, and she will order me to take a shot at Ola, soon, while he's engaged in the obligatory fist fight on top of this train; I told Judy I have no clear view, but she, with her raspy voice, ordered me to "Take the shot, take the shot" anyhow. I will hit Daniel, of course, who'll drop off the train (which is conveniently crossing a river bridge) and Daniel will fall, fall, fall, into a waterfall of a height that probably doesn't exist in Turkey, and then fall further, and then disappear from view, but we all know that he can't be dead since the show must go on.


Hi, I'm Thomas Newman, the composer of the score. I'm the ninth composer of the franchise almost in the same sense as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony was his ninth symphony. In these fist fights between Daniel and Ola, they are just about to enter yet another low tunnel, it's very dramatic, and I thought it a good idea to adapt a few bars from the first movement of Beethoven's 3rd symphony (dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah) for the purpose, to good effect, I hope. 


Hi, I'm Judy Dench (or Drench, I can't get this right). I've just ordered Naomi to "take the shot," and Daniel is feared dead now. Shit. Note the porcelain bulldog on the desk (to the left) that I will bequeath to James when he's returned from the dead.


Hi, this is me again. I know, I know, my relationship with Daniel and Pierce was always precarious. Somehow, neither the script nor I could ever find the right tone, or approach, or whatever, whether I ordered them around, brutalized them verbally, inserted a split second of reticent tenderness, tried to be reasonable, whatever, there never was any chemistry, or fluidity, or understanding, whatever we tried, it never made sense. So I'm glad (spoiler alert!) to announce my forced retirement at the end of this episode.  Note the porcelain bulldog on the desk (to the left) that I will bequeath to James when he's returned from the dead.


Hi, this is us again. Yes, Daniel is back, he has risen from the dead in inexplicable ways. We skip a few minor detail, but you should know that Dr. No (or whatever his name is) has blown up our shiny and monstrous new offices on the Thames and forced us underground into the basement of our former offices. The whole thing stinks. This was an inside job.


Hi, this is me again, here in the new office of the new-new Q. Yes, Q is back, and how. I'm glad that Q has found larger office space, apparently succumbing to the biting criticism of Michael Ampersant, who, in his outrageous new novel, Green Eyes, complained so eloquently that Q's previous office was not credible in its layout and lack of space.


Intermission (Green Eyes, opening of Ch. 43):

Every soap has its homme à tout faire, be it James Bond ("Q"), or us ("Jack"). Talking James Bond, if you ever watched the earlier movies, from before Q’s retirement (they have a new-new Q in the latest one, they’ve apparently heard our cry, hold on) you may have realized that Q’s laboratory was too small, there was no way that anybody could combine a shooting range for war heads with a workshop for mortal umbrellas with an assembly line for Aston Martins anywhere outside the Pinewood Studios (the new-new Q now holds office in the most-spacious British National Gallery, in front of “The Fighting Téméraire,” arguably Turner’s most famous painting). 


Hi, I'm The Fighting Téméraire, arguably J.M.F. Turner's most famous painting. Daniel is looking at me right now. Daniel will soon make a disparaging remark about high culture, a discouraging evolvement in view of Bond's original cultivatedness and unspyish learning. 
Continues here.

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