Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quanta of Solace, Solitude and Soul-searching

How do you like your Bond?

I was in two minds about going to see "Quantum of Solace", although I really liked Casino Royale, critics have a lot to answer for. Luckily Bond is critic-proof. I thought QoS was superb - Paul Haggis does it again.

If you insist on your Bond having gadgets, or don't understand the words in the title, or a simple plotline, then I guess you might not like this film. The nonsense about "having to have seen Casino Royale" is exactly that: nonsense. There are references but nothing that makes the story impossible to understand - but it is a more complex Bond plot than your average. And I see that only as a good thing.

The sequence set against the music of Tosca in the opera house was magical; and how many people got the relevance between the fall from the building at the end of the sequence and the end of Tosca? Precious few I'll be bound. Not that it detracts if you don't get it, but it adds so much if you do.

Speaking of which: the first episode of the second season of the Sarah Connor Chronicles (so glad this got renewed, it is excellent) was an example of excellent and logical plotting but completely understated.


A group of the main characters are stranded in the desert and the nearby cell-phone mast has been destroyed deliberately. As they hike through the desert they meet a truck coming the other way. Lucky coincidence?

Not at all.

Completely unmentioned in the dialogue but this is the cell-phone mast repair truck, it says so on the side. Love it. Completely logical.


I like my long train journeys usually, (back in Reading from my nice weekend at home), but not today. I usually take a seat in First Class (cheap upgrades on Sundays) where no one can look at what I'm doing, it's bad enough if I'm programming, but I can't have people reading my scripts over my shoulder as I write, horrible thought.

Ten minutes before the train is due to leave, 5 times as many people get on as usual. Really, the train was packed, not even standing room anywhere. Killed my writing opportunity, and I had really been in the mood. So I spent 3.5 hours being annoyed at everybody crowding around, even though it wasn't the fault of the travellers. Not my worst-ever journey but it was bad. (See what's on the turntable.)

Apparently Euston Station was closed and people were trying to find alternative routes into London.

Anyway I got back to the flat and spent abut half-an-hour writing out some planning for Air and then writing a difficult scene which will no doubt change. (It's got way too many new characters in it: Huwie, Louie and Dewie - well, Hugh Bland, Hang Po and Dorothy Keen.

Apropros nothing at all: Huwie, Louie and Dewey were, of course, Donald Duck's nephews (you all knew that, didn't you?) They were also the names given to the little robots in the terrific SF movie "Silent Running". Which, incidentally, allowed me to guess the password used for the lift in "National Treasure", even though I'm not an American.

And if all that seems obscure. That's probably because it is.

What's on the turntable? "Reflections & Despair" by Gordon Giltrap from "Perilous Journey". How appropriate is that?

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