As a sometimes contributor to nerd-base.com I feel I have the authority to say this with love, nerds are the worst. Fail us and you will never hear the end of it. Feed us and we will demand a second course before the first is even done. We are cursed with insatiable appetites for the familiar and companies and the media do well to feed us ourselves over and over again.
For me the real star was Roger Deakins’ brilliant cinematography. Every frame of that film begs to be printed out and hung in an art museum. I think most reasonable movie lovers would agree that it was a damn fine movie picture and a splendid return to dapper form for 007 after the nearly mute, rushed-to-theaters Quantum of Solace.
You would think we would all be a little grateful to Sam Mendes for bringing such a wonderful vision of Bond to the screen… and maybe we were five minutes ago but that was FIVE MINUTES AGO and nerds don’t do five minutes ago. We do “years from now” and in years from now Sam Mendes didn’t make the next James Bond film sitting in our Blu-ray Ultra-HD collection. Why? Because that big, crying, diaper baby had “other commitments.” Pansy.
This is what Sam said to Empire Magazine when they announced his formal turning down of the sequel this past March:
It has been a very difficult decision not to accept Michael and Barbara’s very generous offer to direct the next Bond movie,” explained Mendes. “Directing Skyfall was one of the best experiences of my professional life, but I have theatre and other commitments, including productions of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and King Lear, that need my complete focus over the next year and beyond.
Sounds polite and clear. But the media wouldn’t leave it at “polite and clear,” so Sam recently expanded on his reasons in an interview with The Guardian, adding,
“Was I willing to go back into a room with a writer and start work on the same set of characters and the same scenarios as I’ve been working on for the last three years? The idea made me physically ill.”
Perhaps we can take umbrage with the term “physically ill” but three years is a lot of time and then to tack on two more years to the three years that he spent building Skyfall. That’s not a leisurely two years. That’s an, “I-live-and-breathe-James-Bond-everyday-including-Sunday,” sort of two years. I’m feeling physically ill just thinking about that kind of commitment. My daughter will be four by then and
getting her first tattoo going into preschool.
Of course what would an eye-catching quote like that be without Nerd Rage. Below is the outcry of one website indicative of a sub-sect of nerdom that feels personally slighted by the remarks (with my responses.)
Are we supposed to sympathise with Mendes for being given the opportunity to helm a James Bond film for the second time?
No. You’re supposed to understand that he has other commitments (as he previously announced) and that the franchise will not wait for him to be ready.
Obviously Mendes forgets his roots and has lost the hunger and desperation that fuels so many filmmakers. To be presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, to helm a James Bond film is for most of us, a dream and nothing else.
Even if this were true and not some misguided populist rabble rousing (or saber rattling if you prefer) on the attempt of the blog contributor, Sam Mendes is committed elsewhere and is being professional in honoring those commitments. I detect a bit of projection here. Are you sir or madam one such aspiring filmmaker, perhaps? Always outside looking in?
To suggest that it is ridiculous to even contemplate returning to the series as it made him ‘physically ill’, spits in the face of all talented filmmakers attempting to break their way into the industry and insults the James Bond franchise.
What a complete fanny…
This response is what is ridiculous. Let me explain: Making a blockbuster film is a huge investment of time and energy. It is a blood sacrifice to the god of art (even if you happen to be making the umpteenth Twilight film.) To assume that creative types like Sam Mendes should feel privileged to make that sacrifice is insulting because, wait for it, it’s their time and energy that is being sacrificed! Surely, Sam feels privileged to have made a James Bond film, he’s said as much, but why is he obligated to continue making them? Because he said he was interested? He also said that he would only do it if given time to tell the right story. Clearly that’s a luxury Bond hasn’t afforded him.
Websites run a story like this with a headline like this,
because they know it gets hits and generates traffic, and stokes the nerd flames which keep Columbia aloft.
Sam deserves better and so do nerds.