Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bonding and Fighting

We watched the Bond film The Quantum of Solace a couple of nights ago and I really enjoyed it. The plot was - - well, James Bond - - and some baddies - - Bolivia - - oil - - water - - well, that's about it, I knew more at the time but that was two nights ago so I've forgotten and it doesn't matter anyway.

Guess who won? - - Yes, you got it in one.

I don't mind violence in films if it's either justified by the plot, or - as in Bond films - that kind of slapstick violence which just isn't real. A bit of you knows, as Bond jumps from a tremendous height onto a moving bus and then jumps off that onto a building, and then has a fight with Baddie on top of the bus and is punched and falls off that - - well, you know that he would have been dead about ten times over in one sequence - - but you don't care, you know it's not real, but it's exciting, and probably cathartic too.

As for the "justified by the plot" point - well, yes, but sometimes, if I know the plot would be too distressing, I just wouldn't watch the film in the first place. I would never, for example, want to watch a realistic film where the viewer is supposed to take vicarious pleasure from watching someone else being tortured. To me, there's a big difference between the fantasy violence of a Bond film and that kind of thing.

Thinking about it, I know that the kind of film I'd find hardest to watch is any kind of realistic hostage drama. I can't bear being trapped anywhere myself and I can't bear to watch others in that situation. It's the kind of news story that I find hardest in real life - for example, when terrorists took a whole schoolful of children hostage a few years ago. Unbearable.

So I once saw The Crying Game, for example - an excellent film, but I don't think I could see it again.

Here's a song about The Quantum of Solace which makes a lot of interesting and very funny points about how Bond films have changed over the years - and I think that the video is put together brilliantly.


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