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Giles Coren on the New James Bond <spoilers>(49 Posts)
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Yes to Giles. Nail on the head. I cringed so hard at the shower scene. It was just awful. It's like 'I'll look after you, I'm much nicer than all the other blokes, look this isn't real rape' kinda stuff.
And I KNEW they would kill of M. And the MoneyPenny thing. Just
Although, we watched Arthur Christmas yesterday and DH - who had watched some of it previously warned me 'there are two REALLY sexist comments in this film.'
And he was right. There were. But I also love the fact HE picked up on them.
Found this thread whilst searching for Victoria Coren's MN chat but am delighted to see that GC has written something anti-misogyny for once.
There were so many things wrong in the film that it actually makes you weep a little for humanity.
The shower scene was horrendous. I actually didn't make the connection between her past and the sheer cruelty of then getting into the shower with her: it just struck me as the kind of stupid male behaviour that has been glamourised for as long as I've ever known. She's naked, she was kind of expecting you anyway...why not turn this into an opportunity for sex? I know it's not meant to be reality, but seriously, if an essentially random man gets into the shower with you uninvited, in any context, this is a precursor to some form of rape/violence/assault.
Words fail me where her death is concerned and I do wonder what the fuck Macallan thought they were doing there. Here is a place to contact their PR team if you feel the need. I am considering a complaint to them. Personally I won't be buying their products again. (I did previously buy them regularly.)
The Moneypenny twist was just disappointing. She went from being a kick-ass field agent, his equal, to sitting at a desk outside M's office. The lack of imagination there is just depressing.
I will politely disagree about M, though. Judi Dench wanted to stop, I believe. (Sad though that is, as she was great, and her pithy ego-deflating comments will be missed. They were very necessary.) In the situation where the actor wants the part to end, they have to choose either a man or a woman to continue. Now, it would be amazing if they had the imagination to cast another woman. (They don't. They've set out their stall now with this 'return' to the old Bonds.) I don't necessarily think this was misogyny, in the way that the sex slave moll character's story was. Whichever way you see it, the whole Raplph Fiennes/Moneypenny aspect is going to make things very dull, though, and Judi Dench will be missed for more reasons than just being good in the part.
I don't think I'll see the next film. Daniel Craig is brilliant as Bond (IMO) but I'm not paying for this sort of shit again.
I agree that the subplot with the woman at the casino was nasty.
But I thought M and Moneypenny were both great, and I didn't read Moneypenny as becoming a secretary (how would that even work - from spy to administrator?). From the conversations they've had before it looks like she is becoming some kind of desk officer/advisor to the new M (Smiley to his Control...). There is a whole theme in the film about how the old bondish ways are being replaced by new technologies and office based people.
It's not a film's job to be moral- but it is a film maker's job to decide what to put in a film. And there was no need scenes we are discussing- particularly the sandrine schemes. They were just gratuitous.
No, of course it's not a film's job to be moral, it's a film's job to entertain (and enlighten if it wants to consider itself art, but that's another thread).
It's not obliged to entertain by promoting misogny though. Or racism, or anti-semitism or whatever.
I think it's valid to look at why the casual rape and death of women, is so often considered so entertaining.
See - I totally get all the arguments above - but I still don't think it is a film's JOB to be moral. It's a human's job - a film for all its influence is still, well - just a film.
Go see 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'. Skrumle.
i went last night and found the whole film dull, ridiculous and up-its-own-arse.
i actually feel asleep at one point so missed the woman getting shot, but found the shower scene awful - it was like a rape scene, her lip-biting, etc looked a lot more like fear than excitment especially given the back story that had just been highlighted. it was actually my husband's first comment as we were leaving the cinema - what's with him shagging a virtual stranger that he knew was sold into sex slavery as a child?
Went with DS to see 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' (which is one of the most visually stunning and beautifully acted films I've ever seen). The cinema staff commented how good it was to see people not coming to see Bond.
Showed them the GC piece on my phone which served to bolster the staff's own perception of the film as misogynistic/ugly product placement/pandering to lowest common denominator....
Bond films have always been sexist and xenophobic. Women always got shagged and shot, baddies always had dodgy accents.
I watched it with my tongue firmly in my cheek, thought Daniel Craig looked delicious, baulked at Bardem's dentures, gawped at some of the stunts, and yes - was very disappointed (but not altogether surprised) to see that the courageous and (I thought) pretty unflappable female spy opted for a desk job in a skin-tight dress in the final scenes.
By the end of the film, middle class, white men are back in the top jobs - which is what the makers of the film meant when the marketed the film as a 'return to classic Bond'. Let's face it, the 'values' of a Bond book or film are repellent and twisted (like so many mainstream cultural products).
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
We were discussing this last night, all shocked about the woman dying, but the point was raised that the joke about the scotch comes just before an unarmed Bond starts fighting the other men some of whom are armed.
I'm pretty bad at remembering detail of films but isn't that a James Bond thing? Making a joke to get the others off their guard then attack. Bond's enemies thought it was funny, but I don't think we were supposed or to think that Bond did. No one in the cineam laughed (but that might have been a language thing, most of the people in the audience weren't watching it in their mother tongue)
Well, I'm not so sure.....does GC have an agenda? <conspiracy> We don't know where the "because The Times were too cowardly" line comes from. Is it a London-media- centric-gossipy-mc-male posturing agenda?
Me and my buddies in a small, unregarded, northern Peninne spot didn't need St Giles to feel pretty uncomfortable about the whole thing. (one buddy is a very macho rope-access worker, the other friend with a severe borderline personality disorder). I boaked a bit at the 'shamed to be a male' or some such...I thought he was trying a bit too much at playing to the gallery. fwiw.
You mean I have to revise my Giles Coren opinion upwards from bedrock?
Damn you, Stewie
Yes, me and two male friends saw it on Saturday, and were a pretty meh about the film, as a film, and all of us queried the execution scene. Utterly pointless and really unpleasant 'joke' about it being a waste of good Scotch in particular. I'd posted something in Movies section about the film in general, but avoided a comment about the misogeny. But it took the "Bond brand" to a new poor level.
"On the plus side though, I thought the amount of usual sexism with women as just bodies there to add glamour as 'Bond Girls' was a lot less than usual with strong women characters in the form of 'M' and the New Miss Moneypenny."
hmm. Strong female characters- one of whom made a mistake and then dcided she wasn't cut out for life in the field and takes a job as M's secretary. And another one who makes a mistake and has to be whisked away to safety by men and looked after by men. And is less competent, useful and able to look after herself than a nonagenarian comedy Scotsman.
I am deeply depressed that The Macallan wanted its product at the centre of that scene.
I posted about this on Chat earlier today. Responses were mixed- a majority ( I think) agreeing with GC- but a significant minority who saw nothing wrong, it was just Bond,loads of men were killed and, one of my favourites- the person who got the M job should be the best person for the job, regardless of gender.
< small diversion>
SGM - I tried to PM you, cued on a suggestion of HQ, but an error occurs. You may receive a message from HQ about this. Nothing dramatic!
< end of small diversion>
Well done Giles.
From a quick Google:
Sunday Times doesn't - www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/culture/film_and_tv/film/article1155335.ece
Nor Empire - www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=137076
Total film has it as a steamy shower clinch with a femme fatale - www.totalfilm.com/reviews/cinema/skyfall
Can't see anything in the Observer review : www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/oct/28/skyfall-james-bond-review
I think that he's completely right about the woman who gets shot, but completely wrong about M, and I tend to disagree about Moneypenny because I see it as "what can we do to make Moneypenny more interesting, powerful and real?" rather than "what shall we do with this feisty female field officer?" but YMMV.
I'd have been completely happy with the film if it hadn't been for the sex slave character - that entire chunk of plot was a terrible error of judgement and should have been excised. And I'll be judging the next film on whether they have a strong balancing female character (like Jinx in DAD except less unconscious during the finale) to break up the (admittedly attractive) boys club of Craig, Fiennes, Whishaw and Kinnear.
Did literally none of the mainstream reviews take issue with this? None of them?
thanks for posting SGM, that's certainly raised my opinion of Giles Coren, what a well thought out sensitive piece.
God. I always found Giles sort of mildly amusing but maybe a bit smug and dismissive of people. Liked him on those things with Sue Perkins but less keen on his restaurant reviews. His column this Saturday (the one he clearly had to dash off to replace this one) about all weddings being vulgar was one of the examples of the type of writing he does that I like least.
I feel like I totally have to reassess him. That is a brilliant article and shame on the Times for not printing it.
Interesting that he ended this week's column with this:
"That said, I do have some sympathy with Clarks [Clark Kent of superman] behaviour. I was myself 27 the first time I stormed out of The Times for ever, fed up with taking orders and convinced I was the most powerful man on the planet. I later stormed out of The Mail on Sunday, Tatler and The Independent, then went back to The Times, then stormed out. Then came back here ten years ago and have not stormed out since. Except a couple of times, when I didnt really mean it.
So let me take this story down a peg or two, from the inside, by pointing out that it may not necessarily be about the death of newspapers, or the relevance of superheroes in the age of the internet, or the hubris of a young space alien at odds with a dumbed down media.
It may just be that after 74 years, Clark Kent has finally worked out what it takes to get a pay rise in this business."
In the light of the blog, it sounds a bit like a subtle dig of the 'if I were younger and had more energy I would storm out over this' ilk.
It is so depressing that I hadn't even seen this viewpoint in mainstream media. I have small children and am not likely to see Skyfall at the cinema (if I am shelling out for a babysitter, I want something better than a film I can wait for on DVD!). All the reviews were about how amazing the film was. Even Mark Kermode, who I usually find quite good on misogyny, didn't pick up on it (at least in the section of review I heard).
Good on Giles. And good on Esther for highlighting it.
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