"Skyfall" Art History 101
- Blog Post by: Colin Covert
- November 7, 2012 - 1:39 PM
(If you don't want to know anything about "Skyfall" just yet, save reading this item for later. Meanwhile, read our four-star review here.)
"Skyfall" boasts a number of 21st century "firsts." It's the first Bond film to feature the F-bomb. Javier Bardem plays 007's first gay nemesis, and the film is first Bond adventure for art history majors.
The scene where Daniel Craig meets Ben Wishaw's Q in a salon at London's Nation Gallery is notable for their conversation about J. M. W. Turner's moody seascape "The Fighting Temeraire." Turner's signature use of glowing golden storm clouds foreshadows the big finale, with Bond fighting attackers on the Scottish moors, with a huge fire illuminating the fog.
That Shanghai scene where a murder is staged with the help of a distraction provided by Modigliani's "Woman with a Fan"? Not only does its model bear an uncanny resemblance to bad girl Berenice Marlohe, it actually was nicked from the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, on May 19 2010, a daring theft considered one of the most famous art robberies of the last century.
The other standout moment foe art lovers comes when Bardem's ex-British intelligence turncoat is being interrogated at MI-6 headquarters. As he explains that his suicide pill failed to kill him, simply ruining his insides, he removes his prosthetic denture. Visual effects let Bardem's face go slack, and his tooth-rotted grin and drooping eyes make him the spitting image of Goya's "Saturn Devouring his Children." Added bonus: Spanish painting for a Spanish actor.
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