The trash project

9 December 2012

We have a trashy little family project going on which is actively endorsed by roughly 75% of our family. I unashamedly admit that I am the one who initiated it. All the more so since I watched Daniel Craig in Skyfall — a classy piece of trash that totally blew me away when I watched it for the first time.

I guess now you know what this project is about. Yes! The plan is to watch ALL JAMES BOND films since 1962 (those by Eon Productions). We actually started watching the films back in September, I think, a few weeks before the release of ‘Skyfall’ and swiftly worked our way through the films produced between 1962 and 1971 — I loved those films bar the one from 1969 which starrs George Lazenby. I didn’t make it through that one and dropped out after 2/3 of the film had finished. Then came one more “Sean Connery Bond ” (Diamonds Are Forever) and since then things have become VERY challenging.

We’re now trying to get through seven Roger Moore films (1973 – 1985) and I find it tough. It’s not just because Moore is less easy on the eye than Sean Connery  (although he definitely is 🙂  ). Having watched a couple of films from the 70s I think it’s mostly down to a change in the producers’/ director’s attitude towards the character.  The producers took the Bond character seriously in the 60s, despite (or because) all those crazy gadgets and weird villains. The 60s Bond character seems to be in line with an age where there was a strong belief in plastic, space travel, and generally technology being just a fab thing. But the 60s Bond character does not fit so snugly  into the 70s. How on earth does a martini-slurping macho guy in tailored suits who does nothing but save the world in the planet’s most scenic locations fit into an age of massive social unrest and cultural change? For example, Women’s Lib, hippie culture and the anti-war movement only became mass movements in the 70s. So as a producer you have few choices, one of which is to make Bond a caricature of the somewhat stylish 60s character, take him less seriously and leave the viewer to wonder what all this is supposed to mean. I struggle with the 70s Bond (so far anyway) because he seems so anachronistic and the slight references I have seen to women’s lib (a female scientist with a PhD working for the villain in “Moonraker”) is swiftly cancelled out by all those girls in short skirts who topple over backwards as soon as lay eyes on Bond.

Enough rambling done! I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel with Daniel Craig playing Bond from 2006 onwards. In Skyfall Bond seems to finally have caught up with his time. Although he still does stuff that is just not humanly possible, the troubled character he has become is a lot more gripping, convincing and congruent than Roger Moore’s Bond.

Yet there are eleven films to go… But I am certain I’ll stick to the project, because first and foremost it’s a really nice thing to do as a family. It’s so easy to get everybody to get together for a trashy night with a tv dinner and James Bond on the screen: The children love the car chases and fantastic explosions. (Just for the record: they hate the snogging scenes and would prefer them edited out. 🙂  ) Doing this as a family is what makes it bearable to suffer through the 70s, 80s and 90s to my personal light at the end of the tunnel — and who knows, maybe Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton will surprise me after all?





2 Responses to “The trash project”

  1. Scot Says:

    If you want a real shock, try reading the books. They are, to put is politely, from a different time.

  2. birolilu Says:

    You actually tried to read the books?? Wow, I am in awe! I was actually very briefly toying with the idea a little while ago but something in your comment tells me that I can make better use of my time… 🙂

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