Tuesday, April 23, 2013

First, Some Background

[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. 

I will use this blog [originally FB, until its Notes function recently decided to stop working properly] as a forum to relay some of my thoughts on the films as I go along.  I doubt I will comment on every film, but probably will take time to record some thoughts on groups of films.  I can’t say how coherent v. stream of consciousness or analytical v. superficial each post will be, but I’ll try to offer something since I got such a positive reaction when I announced the project on FB during the Oscars.

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