[Originally Posted to FB 3-3-13]
I come to “The James Bond Project” having never seen a James Bond film nor read any of the novels. I am, of course, familiar with all the Bond clichés and tropes that travel through general popular culture - his greeting, his sexual allure, his signature drink, the theme song. I even felt comfortable enough with these tropes to briefly reference Bond as one model of mid-century masculinity in my dissertation. But the closest I come to having seen a Bond film are the Austin Powers spoofs of the genre (which, frankly, I didn’t truly realize were spoofs until well after I had seen the first two Austin Powers movies).
The first Bond films made in my lifetime of which I was aware were those starring Pierce Brosnan. As an overly romantic teenager at the time, those were not the kind of movies I was interested in watching (the action genre still remains one that I only rarely want to watch), but it means that Pierce Brosnan is “my” James Bond. He’s who I picture when people say that name--I even have a picture of me and some classmates with Brosnan’s wax figure (as James Bond) at Madame Tussaud’s London. I’m curious to see how I adjust to the different actors playing this iconic figure.
By the time Daniel Craig was cast as the infamous 007, I decided I had gone so long without seeing the films that the only way I was willing to watch any of them was if I started at the beginning, with the very first film put out in the 1960s, and watched them all in order of release. I have turned down many a movie night invitation in allegiance to this plan. When I saw on the Oscars last week the 50th anniversary celebration of Bond in film, I figured now was as good a time as any to get started.