Marc Forster, the newest James Bond director, blames Orson Welles for his own grievous faults in “Quantum of Solace”
Art should never try to be popular; the public should try to make itself artistic.
The Soul of Man under Socialism
Director Marc Forster has claimed in nearly every interview he's given while promoting his new James Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, that since he had never made an action movie before this, he didn't really want to accept the assignment. So why did such a supposedly "non-commercial" director finally agree to take on such a "commercial" kind of movie?
Well, it turns out Forster "was inspired when he remembered Orson Welles's famous statement that his biggest regret was never having made a commercial movie."
The only problem here, is that as true Orson Welles aficionados know, Mr. Welles never made any such statement. In fact, Welles experience after attempting his first commercial movie, The Stranger, for producer Sam Spiegel was so artistically unpleasant for him, he vowed never again to direct a "commercial" movie. So I find Mr. Forster's attempts at bringing the name of Orson Welles up as a defense for making such a blatant "commercial" movie, not only to be factually wrong, but rather offensive.
Most of us know that Welles would indeed act in movies of the lowest calibre to make the money he needed to finance his own projects. But never in his darkest hour would Welles have ever thought about directing a James Bond movie! Of course, Welles did act in Casino Royale, but quite obviously he would never have considered directing any of the Bond entries, where everything is essentially decided by the studio or the producers, or the 2nd Unit action director (Dan Bradley in Quantum of Solace).
These thoughts came to mind after having viewed Forster's new Bond movie, and I'd have to say that Mr. Forster is probably the kind of director Welles was talking about when he said so many directors can go through their careers without being detected as frauds. For me, this kind of director is a real fake, because he pretends to be "an art house" director but the moment he gets an offer to direct something commercial (along with the multi-million dollar fee it brings to him and his agent), he throws all artistic worth to The Other Side of the Wind.
As Welles would no doubt say, here is a man who may go on making movies for years without being discovered for the "phoney" he may be.
The truly ironic thing is that this latest Bond movie gives Forster a budget of at least $200 million and probably a fee of at least $5 million. For that same $5 million, Orson Welles final masterpiece, The Other Side of the Wind could easily be completed and shown, albeit to a much smaller audience than Quantum of Solace will be reaching.
Which invariably leads to this question: How can Orson Welles be taken to task for acting in a James Bond movie, (or wine commercials, for that matter), while a supposedly "classy" director like Marc Forster can be praised for taking on one of the worse James Bond movies ever made? Actually, the action sequences aren't at all bad, but then of course, they were directed by Dan Bradley, not Mr. Forster, who as he notes so ironically, isn't an action director.