Marc Forster on Directing Bond 22

Today’s New York Times has an interview with Marc Foster, who is promoting his new film, The Kite Runner. Foster, of course, is also directing Bond 22, and so naturally the conversation turned to 007.

It’s definitely a “read the whole thing” interview, but here are a couple of especially fascinating tidbits:

“In the ’60s and ’70s, when Sean Connery and Roger Moore were playing the role, a large part of the appeal of the James Bond movies was the travel to exotic locations, but that’s not such an attraction anymore,” Mr. Forster said. “People travel a lot more now, and with the Internet they’re more aware of what the rest of the world is like. In a way the most interesting place for a James Bond movie to go is inward — deeper into Bond himself.”

This is a wonderful quote, because it’s absolutely true that locations have become a more difficult aspect of the films. Isolated locations are now tourist meccas; where can Bond go nowadays that will boggle the senses? We’ve seen the pictures online already!

And that may have been the series’s single stubbornest problem: how to keep Bond sexy while acknowledging that women — even quite skimpily dressed ones — might have some purpose in Creation’s plan other than to supply bed partners for an unusually good-looking British civil servant. “When I first started watching the movies,” Mr. Forster said, “the filmmakers really weren’t dealing with that at all. I think when they tried to move away from the old-style prefeminist sexual attitudes, they just shifted the focus from the sex to the gadgets.”

Another great quote. My friend, “Head of Section,” often complains about the modern stereotype of the “Bond’s equal” woman. Aren’t there other kinds of women in the world? I like Foster’s perspective, that there’s been a subtle shift away from really sexy women, and I hope it means he’s bringing them back.

But really, read the whole thing.


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