Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Quantization of Solace

Imagine, if you will, my disappointment: there I was, thinking that Quantum of Solace would be a thoughtful cinematic tract upon a new approach to psychology, and it turned out to be just another Bond film!

If classical, Newtonian psychology posits definite emotional states to people, then quantum psychology presumably accepts superpositions of different emotional states: people can be both happy and sad at the same time, according to quantum psychology. And whilst classical psychology assumes that the degree of an emotion lies on a continuum, quantum psychology suggests that emotions come in discrete lumps, such as a quantum of melancholy. Or a quantum of solace.

My initial confusion was only intensified when the film also appeared to suffer from a huge (quantized) degree of what can only be described as 'Bourne envy'. The first action sequence was a car chase filmed in exactly the style of a car chase from the Jason Bourne franchise, and the second action sequence, which was separated from the first by only the merest scintilla of plot, was a chase across the rooftops of a charming Southern European cityscape, filmed in the style of just such an escapade from the Bourne trilogy.

Truthfully, though, the film isn't as bad as many critics are suggesting. Bond goes around callously killing people because, (so I'm told), his girl died in Casino Royale, and there's no real plot to speak of, but it's all pretty exciting stuff.

My favourite bit, though, was a close-up of Judi Dench applying moisturiser. I've never seen moisturiser applied in a film before.


Clare Dudman said...

Brilliant, McCabe!

Gordon McCabe said...

Ties in nicely with your Marcus Chown book, Clare!

ags said...

Hehe, I thought something similar when I heard that title. "So solace is transferred discontinuously in discrete quanta now? Perhaps there is an entire field of solace that can be quantized with the aid of ladder operators, do the particles that mediate solace have a supersymmetric partner? What gauge group does the theory live in?".

It certainly is a title that sparks the imagination.