photos extraites de la bande-annonce
The filmmakers decided to confound Bond fans’ expectations from the very start by opening with a black-and-white sequence, which shows Bond committing his first two government-sanctioned murders. “If you want to do something quite different and turn everyone around, do something in black-and-white!” says Méheux. “People are so used to seeing all these stunts and everything in color, and we go right into a scene of black-and-white with very little stunt work.”
The sequence was designed to feel more like spy films from the Cold War era, such as The Ipcress File and The Spy Who Came In from the Cold, than a big action film of 2006. Shot in part at Barandov Studios in Prague and in a nearby Cold War-era steel factory, the scenes deal more with character and psychology than action. Méheux welcomed the chance to recall some of his early training in black-and-white at the BBC, and he shot the scenes on a monochrome negative. “Some people shoot color and get rid of it in the digital intermediate [DI], but I didn’t like the look of that. I also tried force-processing some color stocks, but I think if you really want the look of black-and-white, you have to shoot black-and-white film. I used Eastman Double-X . They don’t make it in large quantities, but we only shot about 6,000 feet.
“I love the way there aren’t many midtones,” he says of the stock. “The shadow area drops off quickly, so if you have something that’s jet black, you have to lose it entirely or put a hell of a lot of light on it. In color, the stocks seem to resolve forever and ever. You get to the DI and say, ‘Can I see what’s in that dark corner?’ and [the colorist] cranks the whole thing up and it’s like sunlight in there. In black-and-white, there’s nothing there. It’s a discipline.”
Méheux approached the two murders depicted in the opening sequence differently. For one, he used a lot of hard sources, and for the other (set in a bathroom), he transformed the entire ceiling into one big softbox and let the white walls reflect the light. In his efforts to pay homage to classic spy films, some of which were shot in the 2-perf Techniscope process, Méheux took advantage of the Super 35mm 2.35:1 format. The greater depth of field facilitated by spherical lenses recalled one of Techniscope’s characteristics. “With Techniscope, the increased depth of field meant they were able to put things like lampshades and telephone boxes in the foreground, and they didn’t appear amoebic — you could actually see detail in them,” notes Méheux.
“In The Ipcress File, there’s a shot where a table lamp is huge in the frame and a man’s face is in the top right-hand corner. I really like that look. Part of the dialogue in our opening sequence was done with very carefully controlled shots that have huge things in the foreground and faces pushed to the corners of the frame. Little things like that echo the Cold War period of spy films.”
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