One Great Shot: Spectre (2015)

Preamble

Truth be told, choosing Spectre’s one great shot took a while. That’s not a slight on the film, but an illustration of how tricky choosing one image to talk about is. But much like the shots from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace spoke to one another, so does the shots from Skyfall and Spectre. What’s your favourite shot from Spectre? Let me know in the comments below.

One Great Shot: Spectre

Despite being underwhelming in many regards, Spectre does at least visually interest in a way that’s distinct from Skyfall. In keeping with the themes of the movie, there’s something ghostly and chilling about Hoyte van Hoytema’s cinematography. To this end, the same applies to the above shot from the film.

At the point in which Bond infiltrates Spectre’s meeting, Oberhauser is much like a ghost to the secret agent. This lends the character with a unique and startling presence. Having the character obscured also feels like a homage to Blofeld’s appearances in the early Connery films where the character’s face was always covered up.

Much like Skyfall, director Sam Mendes in collaboration with his cinematographer seeks to imbue his Bond films with moments that harken back to cinematic history. To this end, the shot of Oberhauser’s face covered at the Spectre meeting feels in keeping with the shadowy and smoke-filled Film Noirs. It splits the difference between cinematic homage, an allusion to an aspect of the Bond franchise and thematic resonance.

About Sartaj Govind Singh

Notes from a distant observer: “Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”
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