Thursday, February 26, 2015

JB: James Bourne/Jason Bond

James Bond always was a parody, we just didn’t see it.

A parody you say?
That’s why the ‘In Like Flint’ films and ‘Casino Royale (1967)’ are weak. You can’t parody a parody. It’s too diluted.

Although a creation of the Cold War 50s, it was Bond’s rapacious and indiscriminate sexual proclivities that embedded him in 1960s culture — and made him appear somewhat unwholesome and predatory throughout the 80s and 90s.

Giving women names like ‘Pussy Galore’ and ‘Plenty O’Toole’ was hardly clever, let alone alluring. Nobody has ever figured out author Ian Fleming’s penchant for misogyny (doubtful), lack of humour (probable), parody (likely). Whatever the roots, women in the 1960s Bond films actually do further the plots. Most are aggressive and rarely stupid.  

Ian Fleming: Details are in the smoke
There is a strong undertow of existentialism across all the novels: Bond’s death wish is likely Fleming’s own, who would be granted his desire at age 56, leaving his creation to toil on, experiencing Dr. Who-like regeneration across more than six actors…and counting.

Today, it is difficult to appreciate the impact James Bond had on 1960s pop culture. He became a swingin’ totem for the Rat Pack-like guys who laughed at hippies. Bond legitimized lone-wolf, anti-establishment behaviour and promiscuity, performing both in the defence of Queen and country.

Deadly Siren anyone?
Much later the Bond franchise was reinvented, adopting/adapting the persona of another famous ‘JB’, Jason Bourne –with a twist of British, shaken and stirred. Here comes Bond, wounded and panting, the hunter is now the hunted.

Very New Millennium. 

Still he lives on. An action hero whose place in pop culture we
follow down long winding stairs, descending to the 1960s, down past neon lava lamps to that timeless lounge of dry martinis and beautiful women in tight dresses who sway against the bar like undersea flora.
It has to do with The Look of Love