Chris Reed
Nov 6, 2012

Visiting China Mr Bond? Very wise.

It’s ironic that Visit Britain, the UK’s tourism marketing agency, have used the new James Bond film, Skyfall, and the brand of James Bond as the centrepieces for their latest marketing campaign.Ir...

Visiting China Mr Bond? Very wise.

It’s ironic that Visit Britain, the UK’s tourism marketing agency, have used the new James Bond film, Skyfall, and the brand of James Bond as the centrepieces for their latest marketing campaign.

Ironic because if you watch the film, especially from somewhere like Singapore as I did, then all you can see are reasons to leave Britain, not visit it! Instead the film promotes the delights of the Far East and especially China.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QGLzN3ZsiU

I went to see the film with some Chinese and European friends and we all came out saying  “well that was all about the new modern world of Asia trumping the old crumbling world of the UK and Europe”.

The film’s shots of Shanghai at night were more dramatic and enticing than any of the oldie world shots of crumbling monuments and grey, rain filled skies of London. Even Macau looked more exotic and romantic.

Skyfall really didn’t present Britain and London in a great light. Even the shots of cold, foggy, wet Scotland summed up why anyone who hadn’t visited would give that a miss too….

From the London Underground scenes to the London skyline shots, from the street scenes to old fashioned buildings, to the poetry that M read out at her hearing. The overall feel of the film is that Bond/M and by association Britain were too old for the job now and that the world had moved on and passed them all by. Inescapably eclipsed by Asia.

The scene with the classic Aston Martin being rescued from the garage with the old GB car sticker on summed up the film. It was a great scene but its ultimate destruction felt like the end of an era. Old Britain had given way to a brand new world which it felt lost in and left behind.

Skyfall is as much a film about why you should visit contemporary, sophisticated China as it is about visiting historic, quaint Britain.

Sub-consciously the film had set out to present a positive light on the UK and ended up presenting reasons to visit China instead. New v’s old.

Visit Britain are doing Visit China a favour by promoting the film. Shanghai never looked better by comparison.

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