Looking closer in Skyfall

Skyfall was directed by my favorite director Sam Mendes, who by the way directed my beloved American Beauty. American Beauty is a very cinematic movie, because everything (staging, costumes, colors etc.) was carefully planned and elaborated. You just have to LOOK CLOSER to see it. The movie is also rich in symbolism, which we’ve discussed at length with my WordPress friend Andrew in the comment section.

Well, Andrew wrote yesterday a great article about the new Bond movie. There is a paragraph that deals with movie symbolism and I thought it would be a great example of cinematic storytelling. So with Andrew’s permission, I copied the aforementioned paragraph:

In my favourite scene for instance, Bond is fighting silhouetted on a rooftop, which speaks volumes to me.  The action is literally not in focus, and instead we get the idea that though we can see that Bond can keep perfect fighting form, when he kills as part of his job he loses his personality.. Boom, subtle art film.

Skyfall (2012)
Skyfall (2012)

In fact, I want to break this scene down even further. Let’s examine it at an artistic level (remember what Sam Mendes taught us in American Beauty …. to LOOK CLOSER!)  We see:

(a) a fight with the aforementioned silhouette implying that Bond has lost his personality, but also

(b) a jellyfish in the background.  Jellyfish, as you are all aware, have no brain.  The director has thus revisited the theme of Bond not knowing whether he should be “a blunt instrument” that acts without using his brain, or “half monk and half hitman” that not only pulls triggers but also knows when not to pull them, a dilemma he has been wrestling with since Casino Royale.

If you liked this post, I highly recommend to read the whole article by Andrew, it’s amazing.