28 December 2012 11:31 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

One of the great pleasures of doing a Bond movie for Dennis Gassner is that he gets to be 007 before Daniel Craig. On "Quantum of Solace," his first, the Oscar-winning production designer ("Bugsy") created a pattern language based on the actor's blue eyes and craggy face. But on "Skyfall," he went further in shaping the world of Bond, and channeling the actor, creating a tension between the old and the new, the classical and the modern. Like cinematographer Roger Deakins, Gassner found inspiration in a rich rite of passage story, creating a dense mosaic out of varied locations that fell into place organically. Take the bridge in Turkey where Bond nearly falls to his death during the powerful pre-credit sequence. It was essential that Gassner find the right one. He had already scoured the world but his search was proving futile. Fortunately, like everyone else on "Skyfall," he had the »

- Bill Desowitz

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