In our second example of “The Explanation”, consider the following dialog, this time between James Bond and Dr. No. They are having a civilized conversation over dinner, having first removed the female lead, Ursula Andress (my mother always used to refer to her as “Ursula Undress”) whose presence is seen as being inappropriate for serious discussion, of course.
Unlike the previous example, this sequence does in fact have visual effects. If you look behind Dr. No you will see that there is a large salt water tank or aquarium, just the sort of thing a Captain Nemo or Dr. No would want to decorate his dining room. From the matte lines, I will venture to guess that this is an optical blue screen composite, but I am just guessing.
This scene is one of the most memorable in the entire film, or perhaps any film. When I saw this sequence as a young lad, I was transfixed as Dr. No revealed the existence of SPECTRE to Bond.
And yet, there are no explosions, crowds of elves or giant robots. How could this be possible? In a later post we will explain the theory and practice behind this remarkable technique.
BOND Tell me, does the toppling of American missiles really compensate for having no hands ? DR NO Missiles are only the first step to prove our power. BOND Our power ? With your disregard for human life, you must be working for the East. DR NO East ... West ... just points of the compass each as stupid as the other. I'm a member of SPECTRE. BOND SPECTRE ? DR NO SPECTRE. Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion. The four great cornerstones of power, headed by the greatest brains in the world. BOND Correction: criminal brains. DR NO The successful criminal brain is always superior. It has to be. BOND But why become criminal ? I'm sure the West would welcome a scientist of your ... caliber. DR NO The Americans are fools: I offered my services. They refused. So did the East. Now they can both pay for their mistakes.
Our third example of "The Explanation" will be from Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, and will be posted in a few days. Then we will examine the structure and ideas behind this revolutionary cinematic approach.