Shevek (shevek) wrote,

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I suppose a few people were expecting me to say this.

The fencing in James Bond was really crap. I mean they were virtually standing on one another's toes for the hits. Let's start from the top:

  • James was wearing a sabre jacket not an epee jacket. Given the height of the breeches he was wearing, this is kind of OK, but it was obviously a special made job for the film.
  • They were standing within extension distance of each other. This is the most serious no-no.
  • The bad guy had his weight forwards.
  • They didn't place their hits at all as a fencer would. The points seemed almost indecisive even after finding target and putting a heavy curve in the weapon. Were they having trouble with balance or something?
  • James's guard position was twisted to the inside.
  • The bad guy's guard position left his outside arm open within distance. A simple extension would have hit him before he could react.
  • Really ugly big and obvious, slow moves. I mean more than even necessary for the camera, because the camera work was so cut up that you wouldn't have noticed anyway.
  • Really badly choreographed, almost like a pirate fight. "Hey, I attacked you, now it's your turn to attack me." WAKE UP! This is epee, not pirate swords.
  • Both the epees had quite clearly never been used before. I mean who has seen on piste an epee with _no_ dents in a perfectly shiny guard? Even an epee I've only used for one or two fights has a couple of nice dents in it. OK so I use the guard more than some people, but these guys weren't bringing new epees along. They pulled them off the rack.

Minor stuff:

  • They were using some pretty old yellow Leon Paul spools but (I think) a newer Paul FIE box.
  • They were both fencing french grip but neither was pommelling. This is just weird for the level they claimed to fight at (olympic).
  • Too many really bad continuity breaks.
  • Filmed from the box-side. I mean WHAT?!?!!?! No-one in their right mind even spectates from that side, especially behind a set of LP repeater columns.
  • The bad guy really abused the tip of his epee by slashing the floor. Anyone who does that with an epee shouldn't expect it to work afterwards, and if it does, it certainly won't travel smoothly.
  • What the hell was that woman in the leather wearing? Has she ever seen a coaching plastron. That is going to hurt.

Later in the film, in the aircraft:

  • The bad woman with the Katana was holding a totally useless low guard. This means it takes her two moves to execute an attack and she is not defended against anything.
  • Too much other stuff which I'll leave to the people who actually fence two-handed or one-and-a-half handed weapons. Most of the comments are probably obvious to anyone who knows sabre anyway.

All in all, and given how much they cut it up in the edit suite, I'm really suprised they didn't swap in some people who could actually fence for the fencing bits. It's not like you can see back through a mask. Oh... and those masks... where did they dig those up from? Were they Uhlmann?

I'd have to watch it again to spot more. It really spoiled the film.

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