The world of James Bond

drejr

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Which kind of conveniently explains why they have to get a new guy every few years. :D

So does the seven drinks and three packs a day plus regular amphetamine use.

For those upset with the pic above of Craig riding pillion

I haven't seen anything so wussy since Roman Holiday (1953) or maybe John Steed in The Avengers.
 
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Arjen

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We talk bond here, but is what about alternatives ?
It's been a while since I saw them, but I enjoyed watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People with Alec Guinness. More recently, I watched the Worricker-trilogy with the ever excellent Bill Nighy - Page Eight, Turks & Caicos (with Christopher Walken!), Salting The Battlefield. Talking heads, rather than action flicks.
Kingsman - The Secret Service was murderous fun to watch. RED with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Morgan Freeman and Richard Dreyfuss was equally entertaining.
 

Hood

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Maybe not quite a Bond film but Highly Dangerous had a female lead as the spy, plus she's an entomologist too. Nothing like germ-spreading fruit flies being bred by a Balkan Eastern Bloc nation (a fictionalised Yugoslavia) to make a suitably dastardly plot.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0042553/
 

klem

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I would say that James Bond, when he left the classic framework of the world of pure espionage and the dark scenarios of the alleys of Berlin, Rome or Moscow

That pretty much confines you to Octopussy :(
Very right, I believe even and I am sure that each generation has its James Bond. But in my opinion the next James Bond must choose either to remain in this reality or that of Marvel instead of stuffing us with quasi-immortal heroes who survive everything like Jack Bauer in 24H Chrono.
 

edwest2

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I have contacts in Hollywood but I don't like their movies that much. Don't tell them.

It seems to me that James Bond wouldn't be very relevant if he was just some suave and debonair spy living a foreign lifestyle or just entertainment for happy economically prosperous people.

I suspect its just the opposite. You see the same social anxieties in Bond that you do in other cultural phenomena of the time like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Night of the Living Dead, The Prisoner, classics like Cool Hand Luke, or even Warhol, and in fact he has a lot in common with the audience.

James Bond is a bland and simple hero, a stock character who's able to triumph over these fears (represented by entities like SPECTRE) in a very formulaic and predictable manner. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's what makes him great and why efforts to make him more complicated may make us uneasy.

An unusual reply. We knew, at the time, that actors were actors. Movies were not about anxiety but fun. Fun. Now that might be a foreign concept for some but that is what they are for. Going to the movies was a common thing. James Bond represented action-adventure. Entertainment. Even spectacle. There was nothing bland about him.

As a working editor with decades of experience, I have to know what makes a story exciting. James Bond had those qualities.
 

Archibald

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What really puzzles me with James Bond is the girls stupid names, complete with crass & sexist jokes inside.
I mean, Pussy Galore ? really ? :eek: First time I red about that name, I thought it was the name of a pornstar.
Ian fleming would be roasted alive on social networks, nowadays.
Btw, Austin Powers poke fun at the silly names... going even crasser. Alotta Fagina, for a start.


 

drejr

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An unusual reply. We knew, at the time, that actors were actors. Movies were not about anxiety but fun. Fun. Now that might be a foreign concept for some but that is what they are for. Going to the movies was a common thing.

Yes, watching James Bond violently defeat monsters is fun. Neither the role of catharsis in entertainment or monsters representing cultural anxieties or fears are unusual ideas, both are millennia old.

And James Bond villains are literally monsters - they're physically deformed, oddly proportioned, they frequently have unnatural characteristics like Dr. No's pincers or Jaws'...jaws.

I suspect there's a reason Bond monsters meet in a boardroom.

I find the idea that emotional experiences are so simple to be unusual. Why do people go on roller-coasters? They certainly wouldn't be fun if they didn't scare you shitless or if you couldn't step off at the end.

James Bond represented action-adventure. Entertainment. Even spectacle. There was nothing bland about him.

As a working editor with decades of experience, I have to know what makes a story exciting. James Bond had those qualities.

His primary quality is that he isn't an actual character imitating a human being, he's a framework with a few essential characteristics. Yes, he's bland, he's utterly flat with only vague hints of an internal life. He was intentionally written this way.

But this is why there have been 25 Bond movies over 60 years.

Producers and (crucially) marketing love him because the simplicity means he can be easily adapted for contemporary audiences and brands.

Audiences love him because he's an empty suit onto which they can project their own identities.

This is fine, Bond movies are action-adventure, not a psychological study. That doesn't mean the psychology of watching him is as simple as plopping down in a theater seat and having fun in some kind of cultural void.
 

edwest2

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[Darth Vader voice] "I find your lack of reading comprehension disturbing." I wrote:

Watching James Bond movies in the 1960s worked along with the social atmosphere present in the U.S. at the time. The average person lived in a modest home surrounded by others in the same situation. A lot of boys and teens looked at the suave, debonair Sean Connery on screen and it was action-adventure. The women were there but not too blatant. This was nothing more than entertainment. The car, the gadgets and the countries depicted were places most would never see. Yet there was this air of plausibility. The enemy was clearly defined.

-------------------------------

You paint the period as Anxietyland. I was there. We went to the movies to enjoy ourselves.
 

drejr

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Well, yeah, you enjoyed yourself the same way as people in every society in history has done.

By vicariously becoming a hero who defeated culturally relevant villains who threatened to disrupt the social order.

The specific "anxiety level" of the 60s (or 2000 BC when you would listen to Gilgamesh symbolically defeating drought in monstrous form) is irrelevant.
 

edwest2

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"villains who threatened to disrupt the social order"??????? Like Godzilla?
 

drejr

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Godzilla is the most obvious metaphor for a modern cultural fear ever lol.

Yes, he disrupted the social order by being a radioactive monster who flattened buildings and devastated Japanese cities.
 

edwest2

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Godzilla is the most obvious metaphor for a modern cultural fear ever lol.

Yes, he disrupted the social order by being a radioactive monster who flattened buildings and devastated Japanese cities.

Destroyed buildings in real life? No. A real monster? No. Fun to watch? Yes.
 

drejr

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Destroyed buildings in real life? No. A real monster? No. Fun to watch? Yes.

No, mythological creatures, Godzilla, and James Bond villains aren't real. They're metaphors for powerful, threatening, and uncontrollable forces - some of which are universal and some of which are specific to certain societies. That these forces exist doesn't mean the audience is constantly chewing their nails over them or living in "Anxietyland." But they're out there and give meaning to stories at the same time stories give meaning to them.

Anyway, you can try to unpack exactly what you get from the uniquely human experience of stories or think they just flip the same "this is fun" switch my dog has when he's watching the pool cleaner float around. Doesn't matter to me.
 

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It's been a while since I saw them, but I enjoyed watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People with Alec Guinness.

Love these series, I managed to find grainy copies a few years back and get them out every now and then.

RED with Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Brian Cox, Morgan Freeman and Richard Dreyfuss was equally entertaining.

RED (retired extremely dangerous) is terrific fun. I've never heard of The Worricker Trilogy but will see if I can find a copy as it's pretty hard to go wrong with Bill Nighy.

If you haven't seen it yet Nobody, is a fun but darker play on the retired spy angle. Well worth a look.
 

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Atlantis-base-spy-who-loved-me.jpg
 

Justo Miranda

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When NASA began to cancel manned flights after the success of the lunar adventure, it was also necessary to cancel the image of the space heroes, they were no longer necessary, the race had been won. Then Hollywood invented Alien, a monster that ate some pretty stupid astronauts. Heroes are no longer needed, in future wars they will be replaced by machines, just as spies are already being replaced by electronic devices.The 007 myth must be defused by humiliating the character with all kinds of anti-heroic situations.

.:confused:
 

edwest2

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When NASA began to cancel manned flights after the success of the lunar adventure, it was also necessary to cancel the image of the space heroes, they were no longer necessary, the race had been won. Then Hollywood invented Alien, a monster that ate some pretty stupid astronauts. Heroes are no longer needed, in future wars they will be replaced by machines, just as spies are already being replaced by electronic devices.The 007 myth must be defused by humiliating the character with all kinds of anti-heroic situations.

.:confused:

What? Heroes are always necessary. At a meeting with our managing editor, we were told: "I want heroes that are heroic." Not stupid anti-heroes or stupid people that I thought could be heroes. No Time to Die? How about No Time for Stupid Heroes.
 

Justo Miranda

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When NASA began to cancel manned flights after the success of the lunar adventure, it was also necessary to cancel the image of the space heroes, they were no longer necessary, the race had been won. Then Hollywood invented Alien, a monster that ate some pretty stupid astronauts. Heroes are no longer needed, in future wars they will be replaced by machines, just as spies are already being replaced by electronic devices.The 007 myth must be defused by humiliating the character with all kinds of anti-heroic situations.

.:confused:

What? Heroes are always necessary. At a meeting with our managing editor, we were told: "I want heroes that are heroic." Not stupid anti-heroes or stupid people that I thought could be heroes. No Time to Die? How about No Time for Stupid Heroes.
In ancient times people were so valuable that wars were postponed to harvesting, now we are not needed either in agriculture or in the battlefield. They only need us to vote and for sports, but if it's just about running after a ball... a dog does it better.
 

drejr

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When NASA began to cancel manned flights after the success of the lunar adventure, it was also necessary to cancel the image of the space heroes, they were no longer necessary, the race had been won. Then Hollywood invented Alien, a monster that ate some pretty stupid astronauts.

I'm pretty sure aliens have been eating astronauts since the 50s in film and well before that in print.
 

Justo Miranda

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When NASA began to cancel manned flights after the success of the lunar adventure, it was also necessary to cancel the image of the space heroes, they were no longer necessary, the race had been won. Then Hollywood invented Alien, a monster that ate some pretty stupid astronauts.

I'm pretty sure aliens have been eating astronauts since the 50s in film and well before that in print.
But the propaganda had different objectives in both cases.

 
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drejr

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So Communist Hollywood teamed up with Ridley Scott (lol) and told him to basically remake The Vampire Planet and Night of the Blood Beast in order to kill the "space hero"...in 1979?

Do you think there might be a major flaw in that theory?
 

Orionblamblam

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What? Heroes are always necessary. At a meeting with our managing editor, we were told: "I want heroes that are heroic." Not stupid anti-heroes or stupid people that I thought could be heroes. No Time to Die? How about No Time for Stupid Heroes.

There are heroes, and there are heroes. I think most people would agree that a real hero is someone with limited power and a lot to lose, who looks at a dire situation and has a choice of either bailing out and saving their skin, or putting themselves at substantial risk for a slim chance to save someone else's bacon. By this metric, a firefighter can be a hero, as can just some random passerby who dashes into a burning building to save a stranger. By this metric, Captain Marvel is *not* a hero because she's invincible and more powerful than anything else. By this metric, God his own self cannot possibly be a hero or heroic. Superman only gets a pass due to his weaknesses of kryptonite and actually giving a rats ass about reguler humans.

But too often what Hollywood/media/politicians/activists insists on throwing at us as "heroes" are people who did nothing heroic by any rational standard. Someone who was victimized in some way, anything from suffering true brutality (oddly enough, rarely are the brutalized victims of Communism depicted as heroes) to simply having crude insults hurled at them... or even simply being disagreed with. What makes them heroes is that they are useful for a Certain Message. For a multitude of examples, look at the statues that have been torn down in the last few years... and the statues that have been erected.

Superheroes are barely adequate culturally as "heroes." No matter how hard you try, kid, you'll never be able to fly or turn invisible or shoot laser beams out your eyeballs. With effort you could train yourself up to Batman standards to lay a beatdown on badguys, but chances are slim. Similarly, looking to Harry Potter and the like for your heroes is a waste of time; cast all the spells you like, but hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good .45 ACP at your side. Where these sort of heroes do show some value is getting across concepts of right and wrong: you'll never be able to do what Superman does, but you should still *want* to be on his side.

But with James Bond... you should *want* to be on his side, you should be able to *approximate* his abilities.
 

uk 75

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The James Bond films do serve as a mirror to the periods they were made

Sean Connery belongs very much to the hard drinking smoking world of the late 50s early 1960s
The Lazenby interval and Connery's one film comeback match the upheavals of 1968 and the growing scepticism about the decade.
Roger Moore is the brash man fibre glitzy 1970s with slightly tacky air
His departure in the 80s brings the serious looking Timothy Dalton in over the top action but even more wooden acting.
Brosnan is very much of the 1990s. Glamour and rather more right on than his predecessors but still Bond.
The post 9-11 Bond for an increasingly depressing decade is Craig. Bond in name only like so much else in the 21st C.
My tip for the next Bond. Boris Johnson of course.
 

edwest2

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The James Bond films do serve as a mirror to the periods they were made

Sean Connery belongs very much to the hard drinking smoking world of the late 50s early 1960s
The Lazenby interval and Connery's one film comeback match the upheavals of 1968 and the growing scepticism about the decade.
Roger Moore is the brash man fibre glitzy 1970s with slightly tacky air
His departure in the 80s brings the serious looking Timothy Dalton in over the top action but even more wooden acting.
Brosnan is very much of the 1990s. Glamour and rather more right on than his predecessors but still Bond.
The post 9-11 Bond for an increasingly depressing decade is Craig. Bond in name only like so much else in the 21st C.
My tip for the next Bond. Boris Johnson of course.

Boris... Johnson... ??? Ewwwwwwwwww..... etc.
 

uk 75

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You mean you can't see this chap playing 007 .......
 

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Justo Miranda

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So Communist Hollywood teamed up with Ridley Scott (lol) and told him to basically remake The Vampire Planet and Night of the Blood Beast in order to kill the "space hero"...in 1979?

Do you think there might be a major flaw in that theory?
In the fifties there was a type of science fiction that tried to direct public opinion against (Western) technological superiority by criminalizing nuclear energy and astronautics. That benefited the Soviets. Alien was designed to destroy the image of the heroes that the media had previously built during the Mercury Project, to cut expenses. Different objectives, different funders.
 

drejr

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Alien was designed to destroy the image of the heroes that the media had previously built during the Mercury Project, to cut expenses. Different objectives, different funders.

So some vague entity funded notable space haters like Ridley Scott, Ron Cobb, Dan O'Bannon, and Chris Foss to produce Alien (thematically and visually very similar to 2001, the best space movie of all time) to destroy the image of space heroes in 1979, two years after STAR WARS and the year of Star Trek The Motion Picture, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, etc, etc, in order to cut the expenses of manned spaceflight at the same time the first shuttle was being delivered to Kennedy.

Germane to this thread, 1979 is when even James Bond became a space hero on-screen.

Incredible.
 
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Justo Miranda

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Alien was designed to destroy the image of the heroes that the media had previously built during the Mercury Project, to cut expenses. Different objectives, different funders.

So some vague entity funded notable space haters like Ridley Scott, Ron Cobb, Dan O'Bannon, and Chris Foss to produce Alien (thematically and visually very similar to 2001, the best space movie of all time) to destroy the image of space heroes in 1979, two years after STAR WARS and the year of Star Trek The Motion Picture, Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers, etc, etc, to cut the expenses of manned spaceflight at the same time the first shuttle was being delivered to Kennedy.

Germane to this thread, 1979 is when even James Bond became a space hero on-screen.

Incredible.
The same road that goes from Damascus to Tel-Aviv also goes from Tel-Aviv to Damascus.
Moshe Dayan, 1973.
 

Kat Tsun

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So Communist Hollywood teamed up with Ridley Scott (lol) and told him to basically remake The Vampire Planet and Night of the Blood Beast in order to kill the "space hero"...in 1979?

Do you think there might be a major flaw in that theory?
In the fifties there was a type of science fiction that tried to direct public opinion against (Western) technological superiority by criminalizing nuclear energy and astronautics. That benefited the Soviets. Alien was designed to destroy the image of the heroes that the media had previously built during the Mercury Project, to cut expenses. Different objectives, different funders.

I thought the astronauts in Forbidden Planet had "Colt Vickers Atomic Rifles" or am I wrong? Sounds pretty rad[iological] to me.
 

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