Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quantum Of Solace, then.

So the new Bond movie is called QUANTUM OF SOLACE, after previous rumours had it as RESICO. Both titles are taken directly from Ian Fleming short stories in the collection FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

The first thing I thought at hearing this news is that Quantum Of Solace is easily the most autobiographical, least characteristically Bond, story Fleming ever wrote (including CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, which has plenty of ultimately Bond-like features, if you hadn't noticed: ex-military men, beautiful women with silly nomenclature, arch-villainy set in a large hollowed-out geological structure, tricked-out cars, gadgets, etc). So don't bother reading it for clues of what to expect in the movie. Unless the film is a mood-piece featuring the upper middle-classes sitting around the dinner table, complaining about their love lives. Where Bond doesn't even once draw a weapon.


saudade said...

Should be interesting -- I don't think a lot of traditional action movie fans know what the words "quantum" or "solace" mean. ;)

I read it begins one hour after the end of Casino Royale. I like that.

Mark said...

It is an interesting (even brave) decision, bearing in mind that the movie LICENSE TO KILL was originally called "License Revoked", but they changed it because they were worried some people wouldn't know what "revoked" meant!

Dan McDaid said...

It's the most insanely pretentious title I've ever heard. What does it even *mean*?

I'm not going to see something that sounds like it was written by sixth-form Goths. I'm just NOT*.

*I will of course as, title aside, it's probably going to be brill.

RAB said...

I decided to jot down a possible explanation of the title in case anyone ever wanted one, so feel free to copy this out and use it to impress the gullible!

A quantum is a fundamental unit of energy. Probably the best known quantum is the photon, the quantum form of light. (Theoretically, gravity also has a quantum unit called a graviton.) The term "quantum" comes from the idea that if energy is composed of packets carried along in a wave, it should be possible to measure and weigh and assign precise numerical values to those individual packets -- in other words, to quantify them.

Sooooo...presumably what Fleming was going for here was the idea that an emotional gesture could be quantified and measured just like energy would be, and a "quantum of solace" would be the smallest fundamental unit of sympathy that could be measured by scientific means. He may have been looking for an alternative way of saying something to the effect of "a bare teaspoon of comfort" or "a single droplet of consolation." If he was hoping to be fey and pretentious while he was at it, then mission accomplished!

Dan McDaid said...

Hi RAB. Yeah, that all makes sense (and it even makes dramatic sense, considering the state of Bond after - spoiler - Vespa betrayed him... and this film is supposed to take place just a few hours after CR finishes). It's just... yeah, it's fey and pretentious. And Bond shouldn't be either of those things really.

Much though I liked CR, I can see how the combination of Terribly Important Actor Daniel Craig, the screenwriter of Crash and the director of the Kite Runner might start to push the franchise down a dreary, humourless route...

Martin Campbell should direct *all* of the Bond films.

Dan McDaid said...

Apologies to Saudade - I was wondering where I heard about the one hour thing... and there it is right at the top of the comments. Oops!