Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Déjà Gnu

I recently watched "Skyfall":the latest film in the James Bond franchise. I was delighted that Mr. Bond's back story was flushed out in its full Scottish Baronial glory, as he seeks refuge in his family's highland estate called "Skyfall". The architecture of his ancestral pile is an unconvincing blend of the mediaeval and the Victorian, yet holds much of the gaunt charm that attracted me to Balintore.

Flanking the entrance to "Skyfall" are a pair of gateposts featuring finely modelled stags: one such is shown below. 


Skyfall stag gatepost


Hmmm, somewhere I had seen that stag before. When I had visited the ruined Poltalloch House (also designed by William Burn the architect of Balintore), I had driven through a set of similar gateposts for Duntrune Castle which was also on the same estate. I remember being struck at the time how cinematic both Duntrune and its gateposts were, and that it could not get any more quintessentially Scottish than this.

Internet research then revealed that the producers of the film had selected Duntrune to play the part of Skyfall, but at the last moment things fell apart, and they had constructed their own rather different version of Skyfall on a heath in Surrey. However, the producers has obviously been enamored of the stags and had copied them. 


Duntrune stag gateposts

Well, stantant rather than couchant, but that's Hollywood for you. Bond is, after all, an action hero!




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