August 3, 2015

SPECTRE OHMSS CONNECTION

Possible spoiler: A new trailer for the upcoming James Bond film, SPECTRE, features an old favorite! I must say that I was very optimistic about the new movie when I saw the first trailer, which seemed to focus on character and atmosphere. The return of the Skyfall team seemed to promise another deeper, more literary Bond. I'm slightly less optimistic now that I've finally caught up and seen the new trailer (below), which seems to have pushed our attention into the action-corner of the 007 universe. Hopefully Mendes will remember his priority from the last project to not let action take over for its own sake and move the audience away from the emotional journey of the characters. “If you’re not engaged with the characters, the action is meaningless, however good it is,” Mendes said in his commentary. “To me, you have to put the characters in a credible and believable situation – you have to make it almost impossible for them to survive – and then show how they survive. That’s the challenge.” Tone-wise, I thought Skyfall was a great return to On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the 1969 classic that was voted best Bond film of all time. I easily put OHMSS and Skyfall at the top of my list. Why? Because both stories do a great job eliciting empathy. We care about Bond. And in terms of literary archetype, both films do a better job tracking both internal and external journeys. So, what interested me about this new SPECTRE trailer? Listen at 1:12 and 1:44 and you'll hear phrases from John Barry's great theme from OHMSS -my favorite Bond music. Barry's work seemed to capture that film's themes of courage, vulnerability, longing, and loss. And since Skyfall included a musical nod to the Goldfinger score, perhaps we are seeing a new trend to create more continuity within the franchise. I've been wondering if the new film will echo any narrative elements from OHMSS, or perhaps set them up for the following movie, but I've purposely stayed away from spoilers and speculation. We'll just have to see in November. And I can't wait! Bonus: listen to the trailer at :18 and you'll also catch the opening strains of Thunderball. Addition: Thanks to agent Chris Bentley for pointing out the descending bass line from OHMSS (now in brass) starting around 1:12 in the trailer. See my review of Skyfall here. Ian Fleming's original Spectre trilogy will be re-released on October 1st. Enjoy!


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