Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bond's Secret: Spectre Trailer #1 & Orbis Non Sufficit

It's all ready getting around that, just from one-and-a-half minutes of teaser, Spectre might prove to be better than Skyfall, if that is possible; if it is, Mendes and Craig would be the team to do it. This is beautiful:
The first thing we see at 0:08 is the blown-up MI6 building from Skyfall, that Silva (Javier Bardem) did to get M (Judi Dench) who died in the film. Seeing the ruined building, a huge scar on the glittering landscape, is a metaphor of the scar Bond is carrying within him, (remember, seeing the blown up building made him come back from "enjoying death") as Moneypenny points out when handing him his "personal effects."
For an in-depth analysis of this poster, please see Spectre & Bond which will also provide background on SPECTRE.
Every step of production has been meticulously planned by the crew, and it's not a coincidence that just a few days ago, they reminded Twitter followers of the anniversary of "blowing up Skyfall Lodge" and re-released the image below:
There are three striking elements to this image: first, the "mushroom shaped" explosion cloud, secondly, the beautiful house, burning to a crisp, and thirdly, the pitch-black bottom "border" of the image. Bond exploding Skyfall is like Silva taking the cyanide capsule when he was in captivity: it didn't quite work. 
In other words, the crew wanted us to know, THERE IS NO POSSIBLE WAY anything survived the explosion at Skyfall (and to link the explosion of Skyfall with the explosion of MI6 they knew we would be seeing again in the trailer), therefore, the "personal effects" from Forensics are deeply symbolic; how?
The center building, the old MI6, reminds us of the "shell" of an organization it is now, compared to what it was before the events in Skyfall, but it also reminds us of the "shell" of a person--and agent--that Bond became in Skyfall, and how pure adrenaline pulled him together to get the job done, but it appears that has worn off now, and he and M (Ralph Fiennes) are both left with demolition jobs only they can do. M, as we are being told, will be fighting for the very life of MI6, so we can see the parallels between the two new respected friends: what M does, in other words, will be--in some way--a reflection of what we will be seeing Bond do. It's possible that, like Bond, M will also have to walk into a meeting similar to the one at the end of the trailer, and face just as dire odds in his own way.
The house is a traditional symbol of the soul: as Bond was in the ancestral home, walking past his parents' gravestones (without giving them even a look), going down the priest hole he had spent so much time in, all these elements, like the water we see in the teaser, have "washed up the past from the deep" recesses of Bond's psyche; the box that Moneypenny gives Bond,....
"Forensics" released the materials that were found at Skyfall,.... "forensics" is a series of tests that are used by professionals and experts in the detecting of crime. If we think on this a moment, that's interesting that "personal effects" of Bond's from his ancestral home, that was blown up, were tested for evidence of crime. They were released, since, we can guess, there was no evidence of crime, however, Bond sees the crime, Bond knows that something is not right. We only have 1 1/2 minutes of trailer here, so it's possible that something has been planted in the box being given to Bond (the synopsis says something about Bond receiving a cryptic message from his past that starts him on his journey, so it might be the ring, which probably isn't in the box, or it's something else entirely). It doesn't show up as much in this screen shot, but, at 0:12, Bond holds a glass and there is a bottle of drink on his right; it also looks like Bond wears a brown robe, so he's probably at home when Moneypenny delivers this to him, suggesting he has taken some time off from MI6, which is why Eve delivers it, rather than waiting for him to stop by so he can just pick it up. Eve, then, is gaining an interesting "relationship" to Bond, established in an interesting way: she's marginalized. When we first meet her in Skyfall, she isn't in the action scenes, she is always "outside of it," like waiting in the jeep, or driving close to the train where Bond is, watching him from the edges of the casino and just briefly stepping in when he needs a hand, then slipping back to the margins again. Likewise, at the end of Skyfall, it's on the rooftop where she delivers the bulldog figurine from M's will and now we see her visiting him at home rather than the office. What's the point? Location is being used as a means of developing the character, especially locations that aren't generally associated with big action films like a Bond movie.
... and remember, she was the one who "killed" him in Skyfall (and "buried" him in the water after his dramatic fall from the train to the water below) so, it's an interesting choice that Moneypenny should be the one giving him this; or should we call her "Eve?" Eve giving Bond the mysterious, "coffin-like" box suggests the Garden of Eden and Original Sin, which is the more direct interpretation for all that we see (it would probably have made more sense if someone else had given it to him, like Q, or just some worker in forensics, but Eve giving it to him suggests a far more thought-out connection between Bond's past and present; she's in the position to give it to Bond because she was removed from field work after "killing him" and then decided to stay on desk duty with the new M). In Skyfall, Silva asked Bond, "What is your hobby?" to which Bond replied, "Resurrection," and this "black box" from Skyfall is another instance of Bond's hobby.
On another note, Eve wears a blue jacket in this scene, with a black shell beneath it. The blue signifies her own sad journey that we are really not privy to at this point, what she went through after killing 007, and then being re-united with him, only to permanently choose desk duty, perhaps out of fear of her killing another agent again. This has greater gravity than you may think because we hear Eve say, "You've got a secret, something you can't tell anyone because you can't trust anyone." Very often, when we say things "diagnosing" others, it's because that is what is all ready inside us (take, for example, in Casino Royale when Vesper [Eva Green] and Bond meet for the first time, and he deduces that she is an orphan, and she replies it's likely he's an orphan since he mentioned it, and of course, he is). So, Eve herself has a secret she can't/won't tell anyone, which is why she wears the blue on the outside (her jacket) but the black underneath: the part closest to her (the black shirt) has died (black is the color of death). What is it that died? We don't know, but it might have been her dream to be an agent in the field. Again, Bond is the subject, but what is happening on the margins, in this case, with Eve, offers additional illumination. What is Bond's secret? We have no way of knowing that until we see the whole film, and even then, they might withhold something, because that seems to be Bond's way, keeping control of the emotions by drowning them in drink, losing them in bed with a woman or ignoring them (of course, all of the above is an option as well).  This is just a hunch and that is, Bond's parents weren't killed in a skiing accident, rather, they were murdered, and Bond has always had a suspicion of this, which is why he joined the Secret Service, so he could find out and exact revenge. But this probably isn't it at all, it's just a guess. 
It also appears that, as she is giving it to him, it's at his flat, pictured above, rather than at MI6 headquarters. This, too, makes it more personal, as his ancestral home (Skyfall) is being brought into his new living arrangements through the objects in the box (his flat was sold in Skyfall after his "death" so this is presumably his new one above). He's still unpacking, as we can tell by the open boxes on the floor in the image above, so he's not just unpacking from the move to the new flat, but "unpacking" psychologically from the events that caused the move to be necessary, and now he also has to unpack the box Eve has given him. But let's look at what Bond looks at.
For as empty as this apartment is, there is a lot going on. For example, we can tell there isn't a woman in Bond's life, because the wood of the table is set against the wood of the floorboards, and most women would insist on there being a rug between the two pieces of wood, not only for the aesthetics, but also to prevent damage to the floor. The two dominant colors in the apartment are brown and gray. Gray is the color of the pilgrim or the penitent, because ashes were poured over their head as an act of humility. Bond wears a brown robe, sits on a brown couch, the floors are brown and there are brown cardboard boxes as well as the brown lamp; why? Brown is the color of dirt, either we are humble and see ourselves as being no better than dirt, or we ourselves are dirty and have no morals. Bond wears a brown robe, almost like a monk's habit, and that suggests (as we will explore further in the caption below for the exterior of his apartment) that he is going through a time of deep humility; why? Skyfall worked out in the end, but at a huge personal cost to Bond. Not only did he lose M (Dench), but he passed through death and was unfit for the field; more so, seeing Silva, Bond realizes that, for all he's done for MI6, he could be abandoned, as Silva was, and the same could happen to him. Even though, as he closed the door and was ready for the place to blow-up, Bond said, "I always hated this place," that doesn't mean that Skyfall Lodge and the priest hole into where he retreated isn't important to him, and isn't an important part of who he understands himself to be: in fact, that is really the most emotion we have maybe ever see Bond display (short of Vesper's death) and that he "hates," which is a strong word, Skyfall, suggests that the place is infinitely important to him, as effects being carried over from the last film to the new one suggests.  Why are there so many books? That's a perfect detail to communicate to the viewer what Bond's personality is like: objective, and easily communicated. Emotions, as we know, aren't like that, they can get messy and be impossible to communicate, so Bond, we can deduce, typically only experiences and relates to that which he can put into words and "document" rather than experience and remember. What emotions Bond has, at least on the surface of his ego, are indicated by the three black and white prints: they are all framed with a heavy, solid black frame, suggesting that the abstract art contained within them is "confined" and the frame is more of a boundary, a border, so his emotions don't spill over and leak out, creating a mess. There are numerous shadows in the room, the light being too little to illuminate everything, and those "dark shadows" echo the burn marks on the papers and documents Bond looks through in the box given to him by Eve. Last, but not least, that Bond appears to be in a state of "unpacking," as suggested by the boxes around, it's a fitting metaphor for his "unpacking" of his psyche, the box from Forensics and the boxes of books and personal mementos make tangible for the audience that Bond has baggage and the time has come for him to unpack, sort it out and deal with it. Since Skyfall Lodge is where Bond grew up, it's fitting that her personal effects should come from there because he is surrounded by books in this scene: James Bond originated from books (the novels of Ian Fleming), just as the character originated from Skyfall Lodge. The home, as we shall explore further below, is a symbol of the soul, because a home houses the body the way the body houses the soul; validation of this can be seen in the table, that appears to be acting as a scale. (If you click on the image, you can enlarge it for better viewing). On Bond's left side, is a glass of alcohol he was drinking when Eve arrived; at the other end of the table, on Bond's right, is the English bulldog figurine that M (Dench) gave to him and, like the personal effects from Skfall surviving the blast, also survived the blast of MI6 headquarters when Silva blew it up. On one side of the scales is Bond's desire for waste and forgetting everything (like what he did when he was enjoying death at the start of Skyfall) but, on the other end, is his duty symbolized by M's English bulldog.  The two are balancing each other, and Bond seems unable to decide between them, until Eve delivers the Forensics file to him and he realizes that his personal needs and professional duty have become one and the same thing.
What does the document Order Of Temporary Guardianship tell us?
If you look at the paper at 0:22, on the bottom, right side are two names: the legal guardian is listed as his aunt, Charmian Bond (we know this from the Bond canon), and the name below that is Hannes Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz. Oberhauser is listed again (close to where Bond's thumb is on the page) with a box for "Relationship to Minor" but nothing is written there which is highly interesting, and perhaps the "gap" in the narrative that is going to be filled by the film: how did a man with no clear relationship to Bond become his temporary guardian at the death of his parents?
The introduction of these documents are really impressive because it means that, more than likely, Bond himself was the one who saved them, unless it was one of the family staff at Skyfall, such as Kincade (Albert Finney). There is nothing more impersonal than court documents, because people who have absolutely no idea who you are decide your fate and change your life forever and they do it all in red tape and bureaucracy. The most difficult part of Bond's life, and we are seeing it only through the harsh reality of a worn court document and an aged, damaged photograph. Why? There are at least two reasons: first, something this vulnerable and emotional can't be articulated by the film makers, so they call upon the exact opposite kind of language, the language of the law in order to illustrate what can't be illustrated. Secondly, the polarity between the impersonal documents and the intimacy of losing his parents is a situation where the audience will fill in that incredible distant with our own emotions, our own thoughts, our own experiences, and that allows us to "bond" with Bond and make his struggle our own.There is, additionally, the polarity between the long-drawn out court documents, where all has been publicly deliberated, and the opposite end of the spur-of-the-moment, private photograph between those who know each other well. 
The next important detail is 23/1/83, the date, at roughly 12:00, that guardianship over Master James Bond began. Why is this date important? To begin with, in the Bond canon (the Ian Fleming books) Bond was born in the nineteen-twenties so that, at the time Fleming was writing and publishing, Bond would be about 42 years old. The dates obviously had to be changed so that Bond would be forty-ish today, so the date of January 23, 1983 is important because it was chosen by the film makers as having a direct link to events they are creating in the film, even if they are inspired by events from the books. So, what happened on the date?
A number of "critics," (I don't think they are very good, but that's probably beside the point) are having a fun time mocking Spectre because of James Bond's turtlenecks and the "throwback" to Sir Roger Moore days they think it invokes; possibly. They also think Craig's Bond is invoking a comic book hero called "Duchess." Doubtful. It's far more certain that Bond's look in Spectre can be attributed to the "King of Cool," Steve McQueen and his iconic role in Bullitt of 1968. Not only can we expect Bond to be under the same kind of stress and pressure as Bullitt, but it's possible the story line will share one or two key factors, like an impossible car chase scene the film is known for. Please click here for the in-depth analysis of the new Spectre poster (left).
The two dates surrounding it have important political markers: on January 19, 1983, Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was arrested in Bolivia; on January 24, 1983, twenty-five Marxist-Leninist guerrillas were sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of Italian prime minister, Aldo Moro. Both of these 1983 dates share evil socialist actions in common and that's something we should keep in mind as we watch the film.
Now, what about the photograph?
If you would like to have a closer look, please click on the image to enlarge; you can even download it and expand it in your viewer. Please note how young James, left, wears a light, blue stocking hat: this symbolizes at least two things. First, the hat suggests that he keeps his thoughts to himself, so not really trusting anyone has been a habit with him from the start. Secondly, blue is the color of wisdom and depression; James might have been (at least mildly) depressed as a youngster, and so the high-paced, fast lifestyle of being a spy probably appealed to him to help keep him from depression that appears, as he wears a brown robe in his flat, to be re-visiting him now. The blue also suggests that Bond might have been "wise beyond his years," and he knew something that he never told anyone, or wasn't in a position to tell anyone. The figure on the right, with the burn mark over the face, is too much of a coincidence (not only that their face is burned off) that it matches Oberhauser and the first time we see him (sitting at the table, welcoming James) with his face blacked out.  The question is, and this might not be answered, were all the burn marks made as a result of the Skyfall explosion, or had someone burned the documents prior to that, including the face of the person on the right?
Who is the man in the photograph?
The young boy is obviously Bond, but the man could be Oberhauser (but he doesn't look like Waltz, who plays this role) it could even be Mr. White when he was young (but I doubt Bond would suddenly remember him upon seeing this photograph, so Mr. White is a possibility, but not a likely one at all) or, it's possible and even likely, that the man in the photograph is Andrew Bond, James' father; a photograph of the two together, this is just conjecture, would relay to the audience their father-son "bond" that Bond himself would never do in words, IF this is the direction the film is going to go. Again, this is just a guess. There is also the question of who the person is that is in the "burnt spot," (it could be Andrew Bond and Oberhauser, or Bond's mother Monique) but there is also the fourth person in the photograph: the one taking the picture, who took this? Is the photographer Oberhauser, snapping a last photo of the Bonds before they are eternally separated? That the photo prompts questions and memories inside Bond is demonstrated by what happens next in the trailer.
This shot is not in the trailer, however, it's part of the production publicity that has been released. Bond, at his apartment, looks out the upper-story window. There probably isn't much to the average viewer, but you and I, dear reader, we know better. As stated above, the home is a symbol for the soul because a home houses the body the way the body houses the soul, so the windows are like the eyes of the house, which would be the "soul," not only because they are openings in the facade, but because of the "reflected" nature of the glass. The first story of a house will always be our public persona, how we act with everyone, whereas the second story would be our space with ourselves, what we think and feel when we are alone; why? As we go up, it symbolizes the advancing nature of our thoughts, "higher thoughts" of a metaphysical nature and the meaning of ourselves and the world and purpose. Bond, wearing his brown robe ("monk's habit") looks out the window (an act of personal reflection on himself and his life) from the second story of his flat (from the highest region of his mental capacity). What is he thinking about? We can't say, not at this point anyway, but it's a great time to bring up his family's motto: Orbis Non Sufficit, "The world is not enough." What is that supposed to mean? No matter what Bond accomplishes, who he saves or how good he becomes, nothing in this world is going to satisfy him, which is why we see him wearing a monk's habit (remember, he spent a week in the priest hole after the death of his parents) because this world isn't enough, the Bonds want the next world as well, and that's the world of the eternal spirit.  
There is a FADE TO of Bond (we can assume) on water, slowly traveling to a shore. This transition is genius. As one of the basic, four elements (fire, air and earth the others),  water proves a complex symbol because it's mutable and stands for our emotions and spirituality, our intuition and sensitivity. In the shot (below), it's this element taking Bond  on this journey, as director Mendes did at the start of this trailer when we are going past the old MI6 building. "Water," we can probably safely say, is going to be a dominant symbol in the film (it's at the start of the trailer, in the mid-point pictured below, and there is the pitcher and glass of water beside Oberhauser at the table at the end of the trailer, so it's fairly pervasive, just in this minute and a half).
Why water?
Water is going to play a huge role in the film and, while I don't recall that we have really ever discussed this in-depth anywhere, it would be similar to the landscape or city-scape of a film becoming a character. For example, many people are familiar with the films John Wayne made with director John Ford (Stagecoach and The Searchers, for example), but any Western will heavily figure in the landscape in the events. The city of London is very much a character in the BBC series Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch, and a film about the jungle, such as Christoph Waltz's 2016 Tarzan, will have a significant integration of the landscape with the story line. There are three stages of water, as you know: water as a liquid, water as a solid (snow) and water as a gas/vapor (clouds, fog) and we have water in all three of its states in this image above. The three stages of water symbolize the three stages of the reflective quality, but I am going to wait to see how the film uses water to say anything else beyond this point, but it will be necessary for us to keep it in mind.
We can say that Skyfall was about fire, not just the explosions destroying MI6 and destroying Skyfall, but as well as the spiritual fire Bond had to pass through from the moment when Moneypenny "fired" the shot at Bond to him showing up in M's apartment, ready for duty. Water, then, could not only be washing away the ash and embers, but also tempering, like a red-hot sword plunged into water so it will harden and cut. That's what the old, familiar voice we suddenly hear is telling us.
"I always knew death would wear a familiar face, but it's not yours." He knows Bond isn't there to kill him; why? Mr. White knows Bond is too good of a person to kill Mr. White just to kill him, that the devil is going to come for him instead, which is probably why Mr. White is hiding out. If you will notice, there is nothing discernible behind him: just darkness and shadows. We have seen something like this in Fast and Furious 6 when, towards the end, Dom and crew were fighting Owen Shaw and crew on the airplane as it was trying to take off and, as different characters were killed or fell off the plane, they fell into pitch black darkness, because that is what their souls were: darkness. We can say the same here of Mr. White, that he has lead a life of such sin and crime, that there is nothing left for him but to be consumed by the very darkness that he has helped to spread throughout the world. His name, Mr. White, after all, could have one of two meanings, but we know which one it is: white is the color of faith, hope, charity, innocence and purity; white is also the color of a corpse, and symbolically describes a "walking corpse" in which faith, hope, charity, innocence and purity have all died and given way to darkness, vice and evil. The latter applies to Mr. White. In this scene, he is wearing gray, does that mean he is in a state of penance? Well, we can't really say anything about his horrible appearance--a far cry from the sophisticated, international criminal we have seen him as in the past--but in this case, I think the gray is to demonstrate how spiritually close to the darkness behind him he all ready is, and he doesn't have much further to go. On another note, he said to Bond, "I'm flattered London was still talking about me." Why would London, in his mind, still be talking about him? Because of how he escaped Bond's grasp in Quantum Of Solace and had M's (Dench's) bodyguard turn and shoot on her. This is an imperative point, because it demonstrates that Mr. White thinks about himself and his position first and foremost, he's not thinking that Bond has worked his way into a higher situation to position Bond to receive highly classified criminal information about SPECTRE , so when Mr. White tells Bond, "You're a kite, dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond," and Bond squints his left eye slightly, the same practice of Mr. White thinking about himself and his own position is what is being applied: Mr White is the kite dancing in a hurricane, but--as lonely and small as Bond is in this treacherous world--he is still James Bond and he is determined to overcome all the odds. Why would a familiar face be coming for Mr White? If Bond isn't going to kill him, why is he there? If you will recall in Quantum Of Solace, Bond goes to Rene Mathis, who he believed to be a double-agent but decides to trust him when he needs money; needing information, Bond goes to Mr. White who was largely behind the death of Vesper. Knowing that Quantum, or SPECTRE will be around at the right time to do away with Mr. White is probably sufficient for Bond and he won't get in their way of executing "justice." 
Mr. White (Jesper Christensen) is back. Even though the old devil wasn't in Skyfall, he was in Casino Royale and played an important role in Quantum Of Solace. It's not so much who Mr. White is, as what he symbolizes that is going to prove pivotal for the narrative. Above, I made the suggestion that Bond's secret is knowing that his mother and father were murdered, rather than just dying as a result of a mountain climbing accident; Mr. White, you may recall, had a member of Quantum shoot at M (Judi Dench) who very much was a surrogate mother to him ("M" stands for "mother") and Bond went after White with a vengeance. "You are a kite, dancing in a hurricane, Mr. Bond," Mr. White tells him, and that's why Bond is so strong in Spectre: they have seriously underestimated his strength as an individual and a hero always being converted to a stronger and wiser state of existence. What happens next is a quote from a film we are quite familiar with.
What do the two black birds, ravens or crows, symbolize that come flying out at Bond when he enters the house? Death. The black birds are the opposite of the dove that the Holy Spirit embodied at the Baptism of Christ; it's impossible to say, at this point, who the two black birds symbolize. They could be Oberhauser and Mr. White, or it could be Bond and M (Fiennes), or Oberhauser and someone else we don't know about yet, like Monica Belluci's character (more on her below). Please compare the background of the windows, both on Bond's right and his left, bringing in some light, as opposed to the total darkness behind Mr. White. 
At 0:56, Bond places a ring on a chess board, in range of a pawn. Why? This is probably a quote from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows. Chess was a prominent feature of the film, and created a tangible expression for the mental game of "cat and mouse" in which Moriarty and Holmes entangled themselves (please see Blitzchess & Chaos: Sherlock Holmes a Game of Shadows and The Chess Game Of Prof Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes for more). Quoting the film, and reminding us of Moriarty's own international business deals to "own war" so he could gain even more power and money, creates a bridge with SPECTRE (I have all ready seen people comparing it to HYDRA from Captain America: the Winter Soldier). This offers another piece of the platform for my thesis about Bond's father and mother being murdered.
Why a ring? A ring is a sign of a covenant, which is far more binding than a legal agreement. The person to whom the ring belongs(ed) was utterly committed to the ends and purpose of SPECTRE. Why an octopus? An octopus has multiple arms, a symbol of an organization, like SPECTRE, having interests in lots of different areas of world trade and politics. An octopus is intelligent, and evil always prides itself on how superior it is to those who fight for the good. Another unique feature of the octopus is its ability to use "ink" to protect itself: this "ink" might be in the form of corrupt officials SPECTRE has working for it, the press and media, or in the way that, when ever someone starts to get close, like the octopus, they throw up a kind of smoke screen so they can't be seen. SPECTRE uses an octopus like Marvel's international criminal organization, HYDRA.
Bond's father traditionally worked for the Vickers armament company, rather like some of the people we see being murdered by Moriarty in A Game Of Shadows so he can buy their company/stock and control it. If Bond's father was in the know about a new weapon, or could influence the sale or lack of a sale of weaponry or something of that sort, a powerful person such as Oberhauser would look at his blood as cheap to protect his own interests and plans. Once again, this is my conjecture, however, it does fit nicely within the layers that are collating between Skyfall and Spectre. Just as this scene began with the voice over of Mr. White, so the next scene uses our sense of hearing as well.
This is truly a beautiful shot. This is a funeral scene, just recently filmed (like within the last week) in Rome. It's safe to call this monochromatic, because of the lightness of the off-white stone and the universal darkness of the mourners, so there is something about the death of whoever is being mourned in this scene which we should consider in the abstract, like Bond's prints in his flat. Spatially, in the lower image, we can see a different approach, beyond the color. At the far back is the cross, and in the extreme foreground is Bond; in between the cross and Bond is Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci)  and the priest. She is, literally, caught between heaven and Bond. Here is an interesting note, however: this is Rome, so this is a Catholic ceremony, but there is no body of Jesus upon the cross, in other words, it's a cross but not a Crucifix. Where is the body of Jesus? This might be a symbolic omission, not a religious one, but a literary one, in that the person who died is the Jesus-figure in the film, or Bond himself (this would echo Bond's living room table that had the bulldog figurine on one end and Bond's beverage on the other; in this scene, the cross is on one end, and Bond on the other). What do we know about Lucia? Like most Bond girls, her name is full of meaning: "Lucia" is Latin for light; "Sciarra" is Sicilian for quarrel, or dispute, so it's possible that an argument she is in, or that Bond gets in with her, will bring light to the siuation (even giving him the name of Mr. White). Last but not least, we are at Bond's back in this shot, as we are in the last scene when Oberhauser greets him, when Eve gives him the Forensics file, when he's boating towards the cold, snow-covered shore to talk to Mr White; why? A person's back is there most vulnerable position, and it could be that Bond is at his most vulnerable in this film. 
When we see the funeral scene (picutred just above) there are some deep chords we hear in the background, echoing the Bond theme song; as the scene changes from Mr. White to the building where we see Oberhauser, welcoming James, we hear the same chords, but on a much higher octave, almost as if someone is tapping out the notes upon a water glass to garner the attention of the crowd. Why? The deeper notes are the undercurrents of a film, and the higher notes the cresting waves we see on top of the water, that is, the scenes not only support each other, but also echo each other, what we see in one scene is going to be intricately tied to the next scene, not just in terms of narrative and action, but symbolic importance as well (music is abstract, so the abstraction of the notes is being used to convey the abstraction of the symbols and meaning).
Now, Oberhauser.
On the left is an image we have just looked at this week of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation, when Hunt is being gassed in a listening booth; in the middle are the documents of guardianship from Spectre, and on the right is Oberhauser's (Christoph Waltz) silhouette at the end of the trailer. What do the three of these images have in common? Two things. First, The dissolution of identity. With the gas surrounding Hunt and drowning out his features, we can tell that the enemy, The Syndicate, is using it to make him one of them (please see Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation for more). The burned documents, in the middle (again, we aren't sure if the burn marks come solely from the explosion we saw in the last film, or if there was some prior damage) display the burn signs as a means of dissolving the most important transition that took place in Bond's life, that from "Master James Bond" to orphan James Bond. The last image, Oberhauser, shows his identity dissolved, even as we are seeing him for the first time (rather like the evil Emperor in Star Wars: Return Of the Jedi). Oberhauser "mirrors" the burn marks: there is a "burn mark" (the dark shadow) over his face, and the dark shadow on the table (likewise, there is the darkness behind Mr. White that we saw in the image above). The second issue is erasure. There is something there, but what is there isn't sufficient to explain what needs explaining, in this case, what is happening to the very essence of a person's identity. We saw the same kind of issue in Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman and Kate Beckinsale. Van Helsing lost his memory and "needed" Dracula to help him remember so he would know who he was/is; we can same the same of James Bond needing to know Oberhauser to know who and what Master James Bond is. Why? James has obviously been fighting something his whole life, and searching for something, keeping him from developing a real "bond" with anyone (even, arguably, with Vesper, because had Bond truly had a "bond" with her, he would have been able to save her, but--from the perspective of the universe--she wasn't good enough for him, just as M (Dench) wasn't a good enough "mother" for him and so they both died so better women could be brought into his life. In order to be whole, James Bond needs to know who he was, what happened to him, why it happened, and what it is he is going to do about it; Oberhauser, then, is the key to Bond unlocking Bond, and until he does, he has these "erasure" marks within his soul, upon his identity, like amnesia. 
Again, we see Oberhauser's name on the Temporary Guardianship papers at least two times (and we know from the Bond canon that Oberhauser taught Bond how to ski and later was killed in the short story Octopussy) so what do we make of him? "Welcome, James. It's been a long time. And finally, here we are." What does this mean? "Welcome" refers to Oberhauser's expecting Bond to show up and that Oberhauser isn't the least bit worried that the world's most formidable spy has made his way into his deepest, darkest lair. "James," illustrates the familiarity between them: Oberhauser is German, and Germans have two forms of address in their language, the formal (for people they don't know well, or to whom they want to show respect) and the informal for people they know intimately; calling him "James" demonstrates a level of intimacy, in spite of, as Oberhauser says, how long it's been since they have seen each other; or is that what he says?
What does it mean that there is the pitcher of water and glass there at his right hand? As pointed out above, Oberhauser was Bond's ski instructor when he was growing up, and--as we discussed above--water has three states: frozen, gaseous, and liquid. Having taught Bond how to "handle" himself and navigate around danger on the (frozen) ski slopes, now he has the water beside him, suggesting that Oberhauser isn't finished teaching Bond lessons. In this image, we can also see that Oberhauser is "blocking" Bond's path to the light: the light is behind Oberhauser (is this a reference to Lucia?) and in order for Bond to free himself of the same darkness that threatens Mr. White, he has to overcome the challenge/lesson (the pitcher of water) that Oberhauser is going to teach him this time around.
"It's been a long time, and finally, here we are." Is Oberhauser, rather than suggesting it's been a long time since the last time they saw each other (when Oberhauser was his guardian and they were skiing together), suggesting that it's been a long time since Bond was given the pieces of the puzzle, and, finally, he's just now figuring it out? Of course, I could be wrong, but I think it's this interpretation that Oberhauser means because or the inherent irony of the last line: "here we are."
Hoffler Klinic, Austria, where Lea Seydoux is a physician, Madeline Swann. The presence of the facility, as the presence of any mental health facility in any work of art would do, invokes the limits of the mind and the region of madness. Please note that the building is made entirely of glass, for "reflection" and "meditation," in the symbolic sense, surrounded by both water in the frozen state of snow, and water in the vapor state of the clouds (though not in this particular image). Note also the cross in the upper, right hand corner, like the cross we see in the funeral scene and the cross on the Tosca set in Quantum of Solace
We don't know exactly where "here" is, but I am confident it will be an interesting place, and probably a place we don't expect. "We" refers to Bond and Oberhauser, but "we" could also refer to Oberhauser and all his servants,.. and Bond. That part of "we" isn't as important as the identity of those included in "we," specifically, who Master James Bond is as a person, and who Oberhauser has pretended to be but really is, and, last but certainly not least, who Oberhauser is to Bond, in his psyche and heart. "Are," as in "Here we are," a verb in the immediate present tense that can end for either or both of them at any second; in this exact moment, both of them are still alive, but every second that passes could change that, as well as changing the person that each of them is as more and more is being revealed. Given all of them, I would like to posit a theory,...
This is really important, this is the deconstructive aspect of the trailer: SPECTRE stands for SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, however, spectre also invokes a ghost, apparition or mountain reflection which we see on the left-side of the screen when Bond is boating towards the cabin, on his way to chat with Mr. White. Therefore, Bond isn't just dealing with an international crime organization, and he isn't just dealing with his own personal ghosts from the past, he is also dealing with an international crime agency that is itself a ghost with a haunting, destructive presence.
There is so much being implied by this trailer, as Skyfall was M's (Dench) dark past secret of a wrong she committed against Silva and there was hell to pay, Spectre might be about the dark past secret of a wrong committed against Bond, and now that someone is going to have hell to pay. Whatever secret Bond has, is so buried within his psyche, I would like to suggest that we MIGHT see Bond will fall asleep, and we will be able to deduce, from that, that all the events were a dream sequence of Bond's, though the film won't deliver itself like that. Bond knows something is wrong with himself, but he isn't capable of letting go of this secret that he has held onto for so long. Given that there is a mental health clinic appearing in the film, this increases the chances that Bond's psyche is going to be explored. Whatever happens, from this snippet, we can be fully confident that this will be a top-notch film, and perhaps even the very best Bond film ever made. It is scheduled for release in the UK October 30, and in the states November 6. For my posts on Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, please see James Bond: Beyond Boundaries.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
The dis-jointedness of the letters in these two posters illustrates, graphically, how the two men are not properly "aligned" in their being because something has disturbed their mental state, and they need to get themselves re-aligned before they can go any further.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spectre Trailer

I am still working on my post for this trailer, but just in case you haven't seen it, here it is, and I am getting the post up today!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TRAILERS: Tenured, Maggie, 1915

I'm distracted. We lost and I am really sad.
I shouldn't be shocked to see a trailer from the Left for a film taking this position, however, I just can't believe anyone would REALLY take a position like this. If anyone doubts that films are a battleground for politics and the future this country will have, I dare you to watch this.
SO, everyone has to suffer, and kids don't get an education, and everyone gets exposed to unnecessary personal issues, so this guy can work out his failed relationship and still have a job at the cost of the entire society? Yea, that sounds like liberals. Let's take a look at the other end. When I first read the description of the next trailer, I thought, WOW, Arnold Schwarzenegger has really fallen! This sounds worse than a B film! But, BUT, if we look at this from the perspective of the Millennial generation slowly being infested with a disease that is killing them and causing them to kill others, the film suddenly becomes profound. Use all your skills when you watch this one!
Are Millennials attacking the older generations? Yes, and they are becoming more aggressive. Why? Because they are getting "hungry." If you stop the trailer at 1:59, we see Maggie (Breslin) in water (maybe the bathtub?) and her face is supposedly covered with blood or carnage, and her eyes are milky. Brown, the color of the stuff all over her face, symbolizes dirt: either a person is humble, and they believe themselves to be no better than dirt (like monks who wear brown habits) or a person has "dirty" morals and are themselves dirt because of the way they behave. Millennials have "dirty appetites" (because the mouth symbolizes the appetites) for sex, drugs and, in general, entitlement. Please note, when we first see that something is "wrong" with Maggie, it's at 0:54 when we see the doctor checking her heartbeat and we see the abnormal (to say the least) veining and skin condition that looks like decay; it's on her shoulder.
Why is that important?
There is only one real reason I am interested in this film. What we see is Tom Hanks, Mr. Liberal himself, and Steven Spielberg, filming Bridge of Spies, his newest, which he left Grapes Of Wrath (a very pro-socialist story line by John Steinbeck) to do. The Cold War drama was written by the Coen Brothers who are definitely pro-capitalist, making me think that, at least Spielberg, might be changing his mind, finally. An American pilot has been detained by the Soviet Union, and the CIA recruits an American lawyer to help get the pilot back. The "bridge of spies" was a real location during the Cold War between East and West Germany where spies were regularly traded back and forth (please note the barbed wire at the top of the wall to Hanks' right, yea, the "good ole' days of socialism!"). 
The shoulder symbolizes our burdens, our obligations and responsibilities in life, what we "have to shoulder" (the actual film might reveal a different sign earlier, so we will have to be mindful of that, but even the trailer sends a message, and this is the message it's sending); given that she has a disease here, it's not too far out in left-field to say that she hasn't had any burdens to shoulder, and that's why there is something wrong with her shoulder.
Oh, you know that animated film Home about the Booves and Oh, and I said I thought that was going to be a pro-socialist film? Here is the proof: Barack Hussein Obama going into the studio to visit with them. How much more proof do you need?
Technically, what is a zombie?
A zombie symbolizes a real, living person who has willingly abandoned the needs of their soul and their mind, which is why--traditionally--zombies could not see their reflections ("reflecting" being the act of self-meditation and realization so a person can mature and grow spiritually and emotionally). Throughout the decades, culture has called-out a number of causes of "zombie-ism" and we certainly have a share in today's culture. World War Z and Warm Bodies, two recent zombie flicks, both took the socialist side and look at conservatives as being zombies, but Maggie looks like it's going to be a good response to those films. In another trailer, we see history sadly repeating itself:
If you don't know, Armenian Genocide was waged by Muslims against Christians and was the first time the word "genocide" was used. On another note, the first teaser for the new James Bond film Spectre comes out tomorrow evening, so we will get that posted and critiqued asap! These are the last days before Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday this weekend, so I hope you have all have a blessed and holy Lent, and that we are all ready for the events of next week! God bless!
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
And the word is in: the sixth season of Downton Abby will be the last,... however, while there are no plans as of yet, producers and creators are vocally hinting that they are open to doing a full-feature film with the cast and crew should that chance present itself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

News: James Bond SPECTRE Trailer & Lex Luthor in Batman vs Superman!

This Friday, March 27, SPECTRE will release the first teaser trailer! We can expect about 60 seconds of footage that I am sure will be amazing! They are not completed with filming yet, they just moved to Rome to do the scenes there, so there is quite a bit of footage that won't be included, but that's fine, we'll be seeing James Bond again!
On this day, exactly one year ago, production blew up Skyfall Lodge for the special effects climax of Skyfall.
In other news,... Idris Elba is in talks to play the villain for Star Trek 3; while details have not been released, rumor has it that the film will center upon a battle with the Klingons. Both the X-Files (limited 6 series episodes) and Twin Peaks are getting nods to proceed with production and the horror film The Ring is getting a sequel entitled Rings that takes place 13 after the events in the original film. X-Men Apocalypse, which recently made big news when Jennifer Lawrence announced this would be her last X-Men film, has added yet another mutant: Lana Condor will be playing Jubilation Lee; while Fassbender and McAvoy will return as Magneto and Professor X, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan are not returning.
What do we make of it? Black and white (and this is highly stylized black and white, mind you) suggests that the character is "black and white," that is, they are going to be easy to read in terms of their morality and decisions. Please note the eyes, we have seen this at least twice before, where one is larger than the other: President Coin (Julianne Moore) in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and Insurgent when Tris (Shalene Woodley) meets her double. Each instance has their own "symbol-sensitive" context, but this suggests that Luthor doesn't see things "evenly," he has a tendency to see somethings and make light (the smaller eye) of other things. Please note the mole on his left side bridge between the eyes; his left eye is larger, and the mole, the "growth" suggests there was something all ready growing inside him before the events we will be witnessing in the film. His cheekbones might validate this perspective: to "turn the other cheek" is a popular saying, but when a character has strong cheekbones (like those we saw on Angelina Jolie's Maleficent last summer) that signifies that this is a character who is easily offended and far from turning the other cheek, they seek revenge for damages done against them. (If you are wondering about the incredibly pointed chin, that is natural to Mr. Eisenburg). Please note his ears: they are rather far back ancd even look "fuzzy," almost like they have been photo-shopped in; why? This might suggest that Luthor fails to listen, or isn't able to listen. If you look at his mouth, there is a think white line outlining the upper-lip, like his appetites (what the mouth symbolizes and invokes) are, literally. being highlighted. It's possible, although I wouldn't bet on it, that the clothes he wears in this photo is a prison uniform and this is a type of mugshot. Now, last, but certainly not least: the head. We really can't assume that Eisenberg will be a bald Luthor: the top of the head is cut-off, no doubt for building speculation. What would a bald head mean? Hair symbolizes the thoughts, so how hair is styled, what color it is, if it gets messed-up, etc., can all communicate a character's state of mind to the audience; a lack of hair CAN mean that the character has no thoughts (everything, then, is carried out on an instinctual or gut feeling level) but it can also mean that the character isn't going to let anyone know what it is they are thinking. For example, in The Kingsman: the Secret Service, villain Valentine (Samuel L Jackson) wore a hat throughout the entire film and when Harry (Colin Firth) is about to be shot by Valentine, Valentine says, "This is the part where I tell you my plan for taking over the world so you can escape and stop me, well, this isn't that kind of movie." Valentine, then, keeps his thoughts to himself and that may be what we are going to find with Luthor.
Jesse Eisenburg (The Social Network and Now You See Me) has been officially featured today via director Zack Synder's Instagram as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs Superman. Have you noticed a trend? Black and white photos seem to be the norm at least with the "villains," and given that we first saw Ben Affleck's Batman and the Batmobile in black and white, I am confident that Snyder is providing us with a carefully crafted subtext message.
I love it.
Eat Your Art Out and GO SHOX!!!!!!
The Fine Art Diner
Granny chugging RockStar to stay up with all the excitement!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation and The Syndicate

The full first trailer for Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation has been released and it looks amazing: sure, amazing stunt work (Cruise is actually on the outside of that airplane that flies up to 5,000 feet  in the air, and he only had two straps keeping him on), intriguing characters we know, love and can depend on, and witty dialogue, but the real hook for me is what we learn about The Syndicate and what is happening to the Impossible Missions Force:
"The IMF is uniquely trained and highly motivated." What does that tell you? In America, we like watching films about "the best of the BEST," we don't like watching individuals or teams who are mediocre or get shown up by others, or who just barely manage to do their jobs: why? We not only like identifying with "the best of the best" but we ourselves get motivated to do our best when we see others doing their best; with MI5, it's not just raising the standard of what is going to make a great film, it's raising the standard of what excellence is, and a perpetuation and dedication to simply raising the standards continually.
What does that tell you?
So, Benji opens a door, but it's the loading dock on the back, and Ethan yells, "The other door!" Why does this happen? To drag out Tom Cruise being stuck on the outside of an airplane? Possibly, but even that would serve a larger purpose, I mean, Benji's reputation and aura as a geek-supreme are jeopardized in not being able to open the right door for Ethan, so this is a scene with huge risks on numerous levels,... why take it? Benji symbolizes the audience, us, the viewers; how? We are the ones "opening the wrong door" and going into the "vehicle of the film" (the plane) the wrong way. There will be more to this interpretation when we see the film and the particulars, but this is the film's direct interaction with us the audience to indicate that, there is a wrong way to "open" this scene, and a right way to "open" this scene ("open" as in, "open for interpretation and decoding").  
The Syndicate, on the other hand, appears to not set its own standards, but uses the IMF as its standards; the "anti-IMF," as Benji calls them, has its existence only because the IMF first existed for The Syndicate to steal their identity, in other words, The Syndicate is a leech, a parasite on a host (IMF) that it's trying to kill. Why? Well, to answer that, we have to understand who the IMF symbolizes.
These bikers play a crucial role in understanding who The Syndicate is and why they are so deadly: these bikers are basically Storm Troopers, yea, as in JJ Abrams' Star Wars the Force Awakens and, yes, Abrams just happens to be one of the producers of MI5. This isn't a lack of originality, rather, this is the establishment of a pattern of cinematic vocabulary that the film makers are wanting to use to communicate with their audiences. 
"Specialists without equal, immune to any counter-measures," is a fabulous organization to belong to! "But it is an agency in chaos," and in another voice, "The time has come to dissolve the IMF," and a gavel hits the stand (a symbol of "justice") and that's supposed to be it. What if, and this is based on only 2 minutes of spectacular trailer footage, but what if we took the IMF--being dissolved with a counter-agency trying to destroy it in the shadows--as a symbol of the United States?
This scene, is a work of art! We know that eyes generally symbolize sight, but not the sense of being able to see, rather, our instincts, our "third eye" and intuition, that which we have to use our heart and mind to see, and interpret or discern. A "courier" (looking a lot like Ethan himself) delivers this message to Benji, like Mercury/Apollo who was the messenger of the gods, but also the god of prophecy (and prophecy means "deep wisdom," being able to recognize patterns of human behavior and apply it to what hasn't happened yet but probably will based on what has all ready happened). As Ethan tells Benji what he has learned, Ethan "opens Benji's eyes" to the wider picture. We saw something similar to this in Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows when Watson tells Holmes that what he has been drinking "Is meant for eye surgery," but that's exactly what Holmes has drunk it: to widen his gaze, to expand his sight and ability to "understand" through seeing what it is that Moriarty is getting ready to do. Ethan reveals to Benji what is happening, and so too, reveals to us the viewer what is happening. Benji, then, become the "eye piece" (or medium, if you will) for Ethan to communicate to the audience with. like with the "seat belt" comment discussed below).
This is a good exercise for us because there is no rule that "shadowy, secretive, elite operations departments symbolize the government of the home country" or anything like that; in this instance, the IMF is an "organic" symbol that is going to evolve and take on whatever information baggage and encoding the film makers want, so we will only be able to deal with this in its totality (of the film). But let's look at it this way, "Desperate times, desperate measures"; isn't that what the US is dealing with right now?
What is The Syndicate in reality?
Impostors.
This is a great scene in the film, and a fab image. What do we see? Ethan's identity being "dissolved" by the fog, just like the identity-less members of The Syndicate. There is a film reference for this scene, but I am probably making too much of it, and I want you to know it, but perhaps you thought of the same thing, so you be the judge. At this moment in the trailer, Just before the "fog" (poison or whatever) completely overtakes Ethan, he is watching someone shoot someone, and the room they are in is a record room, so it looks like Ethan is in a listening booth. The last time I saw such a thing (and this might be a totally different reference, but let's play with it) was in The Talented Mr. Ripley, when Ripley (Matt Damon) was watching Dickie (Jude Law) listen to jazz records and Ripley was trying to "dissolve" his own identity to become a person that Dickie would like to be friends with. This might not be connected with the actual film at all, however, if it is, it would make for a dramatic commentary on what Ethan goes through during this scene and offer a sub-text about The Syndicate.
Rebecca Ferguson has an interesting role in this film: when we first see her, she flashes a key to Ethan and helps him escape, then later, we see Brandt saying, "Can we trust her?" What does Ferguson do in this initial scene with Ethan, who has never met her? This minority female shows she has the key to releasing a dominant, power-holding white male who is the very best of the best in his field and she releases him. It appears that she continues to help him throughout the film, but the method of her helping is very interesting and we have seen it three other times before this (meaning, a pattern is being established): using the legs to attack the head of an enemy.
See? The white male under arrest, Ethan Hunt (left) and Superman (Man Of Steel, right) under guard as well. Why? Because the government, run by Obama, has turned on white American men. 
Black Widow in Captain America: the Winter Soldier, 47 in Hitman: Agent 47 and Legolas in The Hobbit: Battle Of the Five Armies, have all jumped up around the shoulders of the person they are attacking put the enemy down by damaging the head; at 0:46 and again at 1:43, we see Ferguson's character do this and that's twice in a two-minute video. Just as Brandt asks, "Can we trust her?" we should be saying the same thing because of what this motion could potentially symbolize: revolution.
If she is a member of The Syndicate, not having a name would support and validate the "faceless" and, therefore, identity-less motorcycle riders we see above. This is a rather ambiguous image: is Ferguson's character covering Ethan, or is she holding him at gunpoint? Ethan might be protecting her, or she might be getting ready to shoot someone as a threatening gesture for Ethan to cooperate with her evil scheme. On an entirely different note, when we see her in the second half of the trailer wearing a pea/lime green evening gown (and flashing quite a bit of leg, for symbolic purposes--her standing in society) that dress can either be interpreted as a sign of the hope the team has invested in her to pull off her job, or that she is rotten like the mold growing on last month's leftovers in the fridge. 
The legs, as you probably recall, symbolize "our standing" in society, our reputation, what people think of, that which we "stand upon." The head symbolizes the "governing function," not just of a person, but of an organization, group of individuals, etc. Being a woman, Feguson's character would technically be considered a political minority (that would be her standing) and attacking the "head" of her enemies would be manifestation of her obsession with attacking the "head of government" that is oppressing her as a political minority. Or not. It's interesting, however, that Ferguson's character hasn't been publicly named at the film's official listing; why?
On an entirely different note, a psychoanalyst would look at this moment, not in terms of politics, rather, sexual illumination. Ethan, bound up, half-naked to this pole, is in a "submissive position," and Ferguson "has the key" to knowing what it is that Ethan requires to un-restrain his sexual needs. Ethan working his way free of the pole, a phallic symbol, is going to be met by Ferguson's character using the flute as a gun late in the trailer. So Ethan is in search of a masculine woman (the flute is sexualized as a phallus and a gun) who can free him from the self-imposed sexual limitations he has set for himself (he frees himself from the pole, the phallic symbol, she doesn't do that, she unlocks the handcuffs, which are also, in this Fifty Shades of Grey culture, a sexual symbol).  
Well, the "good guys" have names, stable identities we know and trust. If, for example, she introduces herself to Ethan as Sarah, but The Syndicate knows her as Laura, she would have a double name entry, and that's a sure give-away of a villain because if our identity isn't stable, we can't develop our character in virtue and become good because we haven't committed our selves to good.  On the other hand, the studio could be keeping her identity a secret just to add to the suspense.
Rather like Ethan telling Benji, "The other door!" in the airplane sequence described above, when Ethan asks Benji, "Do you have your seat belt on?" that's a question addressed to us, the viewers. Why? The car goes upside-down, and when we see Benji, he is upside-down and Ethan has all ready taken off. If we don't have our perceptual seat belts on, then we, too, will end up, upside-down, stuck back in the destroyed car, while Ethan has gone onto the chase, and the motorcycle scene--while it's not the climax of the film--will have a lot to teach us about the film's message, so we don't want to stay behind with Benji.
I'm really sorry I haven't gotten posts up: this Lent has been excruciating for me. I wish you all the countless blessings of tomorrow's Annunciation Day! GO SHOX!!!!!!!!! (Beating KU was beyond AWESOME!).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner



Sunday, March 22, 2015

TRAILERS: Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation, Kurt Cobain, Hotel Transylvania 2, Pixels, Inside Out, Home

No, I have not taken off time to watch Wichita State University play, and I am not watching them play against Kansas University today.... I am sure that might have crossed your minds that is what I was doing,.... I'm not,... Really. Really. I assure you.
Really.
My car broke down and I haven't felt well, so sorry, as always.
On Twitter, Mission Impossible V co-star Jeremy Renner announced there is a big announcement that is going to drop tomorrow; what is it? Well, as I was writing this, a big announcement was made: the title is Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation and a brief teaser, below, has been viewed during the basketball games, with a full-length trailer coming out tomorrow. Originally slated for a Christmas Day release, production was going so well, the release date for MI5 has been moved to July 31, and that's something pretty incredible. Until now: they have decided to re-write the ending. Which means also re-shooting the ending, before the premiere dates. Well, even though Cruise has produced a steady succession of great action films--since the release of MI4: Ghost Protocol in 2011, there has been Rock Of Ages and Jack Reacher, both under-performers at the box office (but a sequel to Jack Reacher has been announced) then there was the excellent Oblivion with Morgan Freeman (that did fairly well at the theaters) followed by another excellent film, Edge Of Tomorrow which didn't do so well in spite of being a great film--and has Top Gun 2 and Jack Reacher 2 on his agenda, the MI franchise has been his biggest money maker and Ethan Hunt his most popular role. Some are speculating that the MI franchise has become so successful, it's going to be difficult to out-do it's own record. I will happily be the judge of that. Oh, and by the way, in the image above, that's Tom Cruise, actually flying 5,000 feet in the air, with only two support straps to keep him on the plane, and you get a quick look at it in the teaser below, but he really did that stunt himself.
So, during the game, the very first teaser for Mission Impossible V has been released, along with the title, Rogue Nation. Again, the film has a July 31 release date, but they have to re-shoot some of the ending they decided to re-write, likely leaving the door open for future
"Where is Hunt?" when Alec Baldwin, head of the CIA, says this, it's to William Brandt (Jeremy Renner). The premise of the film is that The Syndicate (a group promoting their own agenda) is a group of assassins who kill on order and they are tracking down the Impossible Missions Force (not the International Monetary Fund, although that would be an interesting deconstructive reading of the film). With JJ Abrams producing the film, and the extended trailer being released tomorrow, let's not say anymore just now, other than, WOW! There are some trailers which have come out that are, quite frankly, depressing. We'll start with this one, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, because it's the most interesting, both in terms of subject and artistic depiction:
IS Kurt Cobain important?
Let me put it to you this way, if I had a book deal that was guaranteed to be published, and it was the first book I had ever written (which it would be) it would be about Kurt Cobain and the Alternative music of the late 1989-95 and Kurt Cobain would be on the cover. That is how important Kurt Cobain is.
Why?
Two movies really bring out the cultural transition from anti-socialist Rock and Roll, to the anti-we-and-everything-else music of Alternative, and Nirvana was the leading band in that movement. As we saw in Rock of Ages (Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones) even at its "heaviest," Rock music was about celebrating individuality, personal freedom, emotions and hope; as we saw in House At the End Of the Street (Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue) Alternative music revealed huge schisms in relationships (questioning the ability for people to relate at all) and a horrible confidence crisis in the self and reality. But, you might say, there wasn't any alternative music in HATES, oh, but there was: Ryan has a cassette of Stone Temple Pilot's Core, and--as a socialist and Obama figure in the film--that spoke volumes in helping me--since the falling of the Berlin Wall and simultaneous rise of Alternative music, songs fitting into the genre have taken on the anthem status (please see both Everything Is a Secret: House At the End of the Street and Tongues: Rock Of Ages for more).
Even as the US won the Cold War against the Soviet Union as it, and all its satellites fell and converted to democracy and capitalism, Alternative music was making it known loud and clear what the youth of America considered "the price" of that victory to be; what wasn't explored, of course, is if relationships, for example, would have been better in the Soviet Union. Why discuss all this now? Cobain committed suicide in 1994; it's taken twenty-one years to make his biography and, given that we have seen the artistic genre of music being linked to either capitalism or socialism, and socialism is now on the rise, I think what was just the angst of existential misery Cobain sadly experienced and couldn't escape, is being manipulated as an anti-capitalist position ("You better buckle up, because you are not ready for this," and "this" refers to the fame, money and demand of the music world). And now for something that is, actually, just as depressing, Hotel Transylvania 2:
A lot of people got upset with me for claiming that Hotel Transylvania was pro-socialist, but when the main character is a vampire, and he is a business owner (the only one, in fact, who has a job) and the "hero" is a Millennial who is a vegetarian and lives in youth hostels (please see Worm Cakes & Scream Cheese Hotel Transylvania for more). What we see in this trailer is a direct opposition to The Dark Knight Rises and The Pit Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has to cross in order to escape. How?
Rumors are being confirmed that the next season of Downton Abbey (the sixth) will be the last. Contracts for several of the main cast expire and while the series could continue without some of the characters, as they have proven, it can't continue without the whole family. Julian Fellowes, creator of the series, has all ready been lined up for a new show, The Gilded Age, and so it seems there is quite a bit of legitimacy to this one.
In TDKR, Wayne had to make a leap in order to escape The Pit (a symbol of poverty), but he was only able to escape it when he didn't use the rope, the safety net, because then everything would be lost if he didn't make it (we also see The Pit as the main area of life for Dauntless in Divergent). That "safety net" is what we see in the trailer above: the kids being raised by Millennials aren't going to be able to fly on their own, they will have to be caught, and there is something "monstrous" about anyone suggesting they shouldn't have to have a safety net and they should learn how to fly. But this only gets worse, much worse. Here is the trailer for Pixels:
There are several things we should notice about this trailer. First, the opening shot of the shuttle taking off, is a direct reference to the first trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar where he reminds us of what we used to be and the challenges we faced and overcame. Secondly, the invocations of games such as Donkey Kong clearly invoke the decidedly pro-capitalist film Wreck-It Ralph from the same time period. Third, the inventor going up to Pac-Man to talk to him, is a direct reference to the science fiction films of the late 1940s to mid-1950s, when scientists wanted to save and protect the "thing" and make contact with it; why is that important? The "thing" usually represented socialism/communism, and the scientist, being a brain-in-a-vat, wanted to make it work. Fourth, at the end of the trailer, you have the idea that sending something into space probably isn't a good idea, so we probably shouldn't have anything to do with it, which is the exact same message of Gravity (with the mini-Coopers, there may also be a reference to The Italian Job that I am not getting). But if seeing the image of Ronald Reagan in that trailer didn't convince you that there is a definite agenda in Hollywood to undermine American values via socialism, then you aren't paying attention. Sadly, this is the worst of the trailers:
Logic?
Reason?
Rationality?
Compassion?
Courage?
Charity?
Loyalty?
Hope?
Patriotism?
Where are these qualities inside Riley? Why is it, that Riley has only emotions and no reasoning or logic skills? Why is it that she has fear but no courage? Why does she have disgust but no enthusiasm? She has anger, but no patience? The answer to these questions is simple: because liberals made this film.
Please note that, from her mother, she gets sadness, but anger and fear from her white male, head-of-the-family father who shows how inept he is when he "puts his foot down" in a display of authority; the white male her mother wishes she had replaced with the Brazilian helicopter pilot instead (if you have no idea what I am talking about, here is the link for the first trailer). Again, the damage of this kind of scenario is, not only does it make other emotions look illegitimate--like the ones listed above--but it also over-emphasizes our emotions at the expense of logic and reasoning, which is exactly what liberals want: they don't want people to "reason" their way through the problems and ills of same-sex marriage, they want you to "feel" sorry for homosexuals and transgenders so you will "feel" guilty about withholding the right to marriage from them. They don't want you to reason your way through their race discussions, they want you to feel guilty about your class and white privilege and shut up so they can kill you. And lastly, I found this little hidden trailer that shouldn't leave any room for any doubt,...
Which political party made it socially possible for women to raise their children alone so men wouldn't have to take responsibility for their kids, and women would become dependent upon the government (hint: the "War On Poverty"; I greatly admire single parents who have chosen to raise their children, but please understand, there was also a definite liberal-backed government agenda that realized by increasing poverty, people would become more dependent on the government, and less dependent on themselves). Who is it that doesn't have a home of their own, but continues to "destroy" every place where they go? Who is it that destroys our sports (the football-eating)? Who is it always making threats they can't back up (shooting lasers from his eyeballs)? Why are all these animated films coming out that are pro-socialist? At least two reasons: first, Hollywood knows that if the film is animated, the parents are probably going to take their kids to it, thinking it will be "safe" because there won't be foul language, nudity, addiction, etc.; so animated films are the perfect vehicle for indoctrination. Secondly, the parents' own censorship and awareness is down because, hey, it's just an animated film, and so the parents become a part of the audience for the receiving the indoctrination as well. Do not be foolish and think they don't know what they are doing, because they do. But, the good news is, Sean Penn's The Gunman made around $5 million, that doesn't even rise to being classified as a bomb, that's like getting an "F - -" on your paper, ha ha!
Eat Your Art Out and GO SHOX!!!
The Fine Art Diner