Quantum of Solace

Wow, first of all what is up with filmic references to Tosca, after the scene in Milk, where Harvey Milk attends a performance of Tosca and then dies flashing back to it, while starring at the Tosca banner advertisement on the San Fransisco Opera House, visible outside of his window. A man who played in the real performance that Harvey attended 30 years ago, and 2 days before he died, had this to say about it. Strange coincidence, now I really want to see Tosca, being as it is that I have become quite the budding young opera fan as of late! Really. I swear the funny thing about high art vs low art is that there are so many striking similarities, in terms of plot and design. Although the music at the Opera tends to be far better than the suspenseful elevator tunes, which are used to score soap operas, as I remember from watching after school at a friend’s house, the drama in Passions was not that different from the conflict in Tristan und Isolde (the last Opera that I attended.)

Strange coincidence aside,  the Tosca scene was definitely one of the highlight of the latest James Bond incarnation. Don’t ask me to explain the tittle, because it really makes no sense to me, but this is what happens in the film: Bond, meets a Bolivian agent, who has been trying to infiltrate her way to the man who killed her father, raped her mother and sister, and left a burn scar on her back. He is a Bolivian military leader, who overthrew the previous dictatorship, which her father was a leading member of. Bond crosses paths with her on his mission to track down a secret crime organization, which is working against the British secret service and with a man named Greene, who is essentially a water pirate, posing as an environmentalist. Greene, buys up the natural water supply in countries like Bolivia, and then sells it back to the people at astronomical prices. He is willing to install any government that will allow him to do so, and he gets the American government on side, by promising them imaginary oil stores. The best thing about this plot is that it is so now, so reality! I mean, yes, several details have been changed to ensure dramatic sex and fight scenes, but the Bolivian water crisis is pretty real, and American oil greed, I don’t know how they thought of that one!

I also really appreciated the reference to Alice in Wonderland, “This one will make you taller, this one will make you…” However, I am a little confused by the fact that the Bolivian vixen is played by a Ukranian actress, would it hurt to cast a real live person of color? Jeffery Wright is in the film though, one point in their favor. He’s a great actor and I’m glad to see him in more than one currently released Hollywood film. He’s getting almost as much airtime as Tosca!

2 Responses to “Quantum of Solace”

  1. The Real James Bond of Water! Mynew documentary Blue Gold : World Water Wars, based on the book, depicts the real-life Bond water villains securing fresh water for personal gain at any costs.

    Here’s a blog I wrote about how it compares to the new James Bond water-villain
    http://www.greenmuze.com/blogs/guest-bloggers/618-the-real-james-bond-of-water.html

    Lives have been lost and the water wars have begun, so I’m glad Bond is tackling real villains. You should check out the doc which tells some stories much more terrifying than Mr. Greene. http://www.bluegold-worldwaterwars.com

  2. thebrooklynsocialite Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for your comment. I enjoyed your article. I heard Maud Barlow speak at Left Forum last winter. What she had to say was quite fascinating. I have not had the chance to see your film yet, but I would like to. Please let me know if it will be playing in New York soon, or email me about getting a review copy at brooklynsocialite@yahoo.com . I was positively surprised to see the bond film casually invoking Bolivia and the Water Wars, still I agree with your sentiment that the truth is not only “Stranger than Fiction” but entirely more alarming and in need of immediate attention.

    ***Robyn

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