Explain how the director presents the James Bond genre in the cinematic trailers for "Die Another Day"

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                                Joshua Pemberton

Explain how the director presents the James Bond genre in the cinematic trailers for “Die Another Day”

In the cinematic trailers for “Die Another Day” the director, Lee Tamahori, has used a variety of codes and conventions that convey the typical Bond genre, whilst also updating it for the 21st century. I will be discussing these codes and conventions and how they represent this genre that has become a cult in the last 40 years.  

The props that appear in the trailers give the audience an indication of what the character’s personalities and film genre. All of the trailers share props showing that James Bond has cutting edge technology; objects such as computers and gadgets give the impression that he is advanced and well prepared. In the first trailer, he is seen tackling the waves on a surfboard; this image of extreme sports appeals more to a younger audience. Traditionally in a Bond movie, the silhouettes of naked women appear at the beginning, however the first trailer sees a change in this as the modernisation of “Die Another Day” transforms them into dancing in 3D. These naked props signify that James Bond is a sexual character.

The ithyphallic image of the ice gun in the first and last trailer symbolises that Bond is a cold hearted killer and the fire that blasts out represents passion, sex and danger. The loyal fans of James Bond will know that he is a cool and refined character; small objects that crop up in the trailers show this such as the cigar in his hand and the champagne glasses that add to the ice palace scene. The cigar also indicates that he is in Cuba – a tropical location.

Whilst he is there he comes across Jinx who is carrying a knife in a pouch on her bikini belt – this shows that she is feisty and can defend herself. In all 3 trailers there is a clip of Jinx pointing a gun; this shows that she is gutsy and independent. Normally a Bond girl would not be seen with a gun which means the film’s modernisation has changed the representation of women. Jinx is tougher; in trailer 3 there is a clip of her on the plane holding a sword which shows that she can handle fights – something that Bond films in the past men have only done. Because the final trailer is targeted at an American audience, part of it falsely portrays “Die Another Day” as a war film. Tanks replace the fast and stylish cars that we are familiar with. Lasers, shown in the second trailer when Jinx is tied up, illustrate the danger that Bond finds himself in and also give a futuristic ambiance. The three trailers cover all aspects of Bond’s personalities; his cool nature and sophistication, his dangerous side in the form of weapons and his romance and sexual desires represented with candles in a bedroom scene in trailer 1.

Costumes used in the Bond trailers can show characters traits and the role they play in the film. In all of the trailers, Bond is at some point wearing a tuxedo; this shows that he is classy, rich and English. This is also what we expect him to wear as he’s a secret agent with style. Jinx is seen wearing red leather which resembles sex and passion, this colour also symbolises danger; giving an insight into her feisty character. The colour of the costume can also disguise who a character really is; Miranda Frost, the woman double agent, wears a grey dress in trailer 1 which shows that we don’t know much about her and her role is vague.  Bond was shown to be dark and mysterious in the second trailer when he’s sitting in the chair holding a gun to Gustav Graves by wearing all black up to his neck. Jinx is wearing a provocative bright orange bikini as the starting image of trailer 2 which raises sexual interest and makes her stand out and gleam in the sunshine. In her entrance, Jinx pays homage to Honey Rider in the first Bond film Dr No.

Her costume is a striking resemblance to what Ursula Andress wore 40 years before

“Die Another Day” was made; they both wear a white belt that holds a knife and a bikini which leaves nothing to the imagination! However Jinx is portrayed than more than just a sex object; in trailer 2 and 3 she is seen wearing an army jacket. This not only gives a fuller image of who she is but also shows more of a masculine and butch characteristic – a big contrast to when she was in that provocative bikini coming out of the sea. In the American trailer, Bond is shown at the beginning wearing rags and ripped clothes, different to the first and second trailer where the “Bond in a tux” takes priority. These rags indicate that at this point in the film he is weak, over-ruled and a victim. In the second trailer, when having a fencing fight, he is dressed all in white, which represents his purity and goodness.

The character of Zao wears extreme makeup; his face is pale, veiny and scratched with diamonds which shows his great evilness and abnormality that all Bond villains have in common. In the third trailer, the main villain, (Gustav Graves) is wearing a metal battle-suit that also controls his super-weapon – Icarus. This illustrates his out-of-control evilness and also contributes to the futuristic setting. All three trailers share the fact that Bond switches from one costume to another; a wet suit to indicate that he is athletic and will face all conditions, the next, in the most expensive suit money can buy that show he’s stylish and well-groomed.

One thing that is clear in the all the trailers is that Bond travels all around the world, from the extreme to the most intimate. In trailer 1, one of the first scenes we see is an icy landscape and the theme of this is present in the others as well. Antarctica is used as one of the main locations; this contributes to the theme of ice and is a typical Bond genre extreme setting. It also has a lot of empty space which gives a mysterious and deserted feeling.

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The same shot in both trailer 1 and 2 shows a car driving towards the ice palace; this gives a futuristic feel and indicates the immensely rich villain that Bond is dealing with. The image of the bio dome is also very impressive showing the large scale of location used in a Bond film. In trailer 1 and 2, a clip of a scene set in a beautiful hotel in Havana with a stunning beach area shows that Bond relaxes in pure luxury. This is also a typical setting for Bond to meet the most attractive girl he desires and ...

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