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"Skyfall" and Art Direction

A new vlog from the set of the new Bond picture Skyfall has emerged (included below). The chief discovery: Dennis Gassner wears berets. Gassner, who hails from Canada not France, is someone whose work I've long admired. I first learned his name when he pulled off the semi-rare trick of a double Oscar nomination in one category competing with himself for Best Art Direction with Bugsy (1991) and Barton Fink (1991), two absurdly handsome films. Bugsy won but it's oh so satisfying that both nominations were deserved. 

The narrative of this, it's going to be groundbreaking. It's going to be a new chapter. So it's really about finding things that are different and exciting for the audience to look at."
-Gassner on designing Skyfall 

Other credits include The Golden Compass, Road to Perdition, The Man Who Wasn't There, Big Fish. In short he's up there with the best of 'em like Rick Heinrichs, David Wasco, and Dante Ferretti.

But obviously James Bond movies don't court Oscar favor. The entire franchise only has 9 nominations and 2 wins if you can believe it. There's been zero Oscar attention for 30 years! For Your Eyes Only's (1981) song nomination was the last for the franchise. Not even the major critical / audience revival that was Casino Royale (2006) won any attention from the Academy so the conversation ends there even with Gassner designing its look.

Useless Trivia of the Day: only one James Bond movie was ever nominated in the Art Direction category and that was The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) which is Oscar's favorite James Bond film (3 nominations).

Have you ever worn a beret?  

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Reader Comments (8)

Getting really psyched for this one. Getting slight The World Is Not Enough vibes from it, but I'm hopeful that's just me being skittish after Quantum of Solace.

May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

It's so bizarre that it's been ignored in Sound and Editing categories post-Diamonds Are Forever. That's a lot of greatness being ignored. But especially, of course, for Casino Royale. Still, glad that the only two Oscar'd Bonds are two of the greatest - Goldfinger and Thunderball. Now if only OHMSS was so recognized!

May 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

casino royale deserved a costume nomination for daniel craig's blue swimsuit alone

May 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

par -agreed.

walter -- i really should have made it a long term project to rewatch every bond film and write about them. sigh.

rj - i hope so too

May 6, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

When I was 15, I wore a beret to a performance of Angels in America. And maybe a couple of other times around that period. It was a festive time.

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrichard

Nathaniel you should totally do it. (Bond retrospective I mean.).

May 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKokolo

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May 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterالعز

Seriously, Dennis Gassner can do no wrong. Once I learned that he was attached to Skyfall, I was even more on board. Can't wait until August!

July 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMovie Fan Zack
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