Archive for jeffery wright

Quantum of Solace

Posted in film, opera, People of Color with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2008 by thebrooklynsocialite

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!