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Exeposé

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Pierce, pistols and Pussy Galore Payne, Tom Payne, Editor, talks all things Bond liantly atmospheric Goldeneye. And the less said about Dr. Christmas Jones (“I thought Christmas only comes once a year”) from that one with the John Cleese as Q, the better. If there’s one thing you can say about every James Bond film since 1962, it’s that they each take an aspect of grounding Bond formula and experiment with it. From glitzy, camp gadgetry and lavish set pieces, to iconic villains, ridiculously-named Bond girls and memorable one-liners – all 23 Bond films have played with these elements, to varying degrees of success. The trouble is they often end up either far too shaken or much too stirred. Recently, Daniel Craig’s turn in the hot seat as 007 has been characterised by a return to the grittier, more character-driven roots of Ian Fleming’s original character – and not an invisible car in sight. As winning and refreshing as it is, it’s easy to forget that this interpretation is quite far from the winning formula that made the early films so popular. When it comes to Bond films with all the elements and none of the excess, Goldfinger triumphs. Elements of the film haven’t aged particularly well

IF there’s ever been a series of films so various and changeful in quality, it’s James Bond. How, for instance, can we forget A View to a Kill – that sad one from the 80s, in which a 60-year-old Roger Moore spends about two hours chasing a vapid and seemingly needless Grace Jones down ski-slopes and gold mines to the tune of ‘California Girls’.

“If there’s one thing you can say about every James Bond film since 1962, it’s that they each take an aspect of grounding Bond formula and experiment with it.” Or even the bloated Die Another Day (Look! Bond in a new Millennium!), among the most unbearably selfparodying and frankly boring entries in the series’ illustrious history – and Brosnan’s fourth stint as Bond, which began seven years earlier with the bril-

(dodgy rear-projection is one thing, but let’s not forget the scene in which Bond seems to rape Pussy Galore). But Goldfinger achieves what almost every succeeding Bond film didn’t. It has a winning balance of dark, clever humour, even during Bond’s greatest moments of peril, along with memorable deaths, gadgets, a great car, Bond girls, and perhaps one of the most iconic images in twentiethcentury cinema. And that’s what Bond is all about. The Bond series has come a long way – but in these days of Nolan and Bourne, and while we’re all still recovering from Die Another Day, those behind the current generation of Bond films would do well to remember the one that seemed to get it all the James Bond elements right, and remains today a seminal entry in the series’ 50 year history. Goldfinger also carries one of the best one-liners in the history of cinema, in my opinion. As Bond electrocutes a gun-wielding assailant in a bath filled with water, he quips: “Shocking. Positively shocking.” It’s okay to have fun with a Bond film every once in a while.

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Dale James’ most deadly villains 3. Auric Goldfinger (Goldfinger) Auric Goldfinger owns what is perhaps the biggest ego in the entire 007 universe, this is a man so intent on being the centre of attention that he plans to break into Fort Knox and blow up all of the gold bullion in there. Why? Because it would mean that his own gold would shoot up in price and bring people clamouring to him, yeesh… On top of making deathby-laser-table fashionable he can also be thanked for the immortal retort of, “You expect me to talk?” “ *Laughing* No Mister Bond, I expect you to die!” 2. Le Chiffre (Casino Royale) How does one go about making a high-stakes poker game more enthralling and tension-filled than a fierce gun fight with copious explosions and stunts? Le Chiffre did it, and he did it well! The duel between Daniel Craig’s 007 and Mads Mikkelsens’ villain, played out on the poker table, is a definite highlight of the

series thus far. While not packing an overwhelming physical presence he still knows how to hit 007 where it hurts… any selfrespecting man knows what I am talking about here… the horror… 1. Ernst Stavro Blofeld (From Russia With Love / Thunderball / You Only Live Twice / On Her Majesty’s Secret Service / Diamonds Are Forever / For Your Eyes Only)… WOW! The mortal enemy of 007 and the definitive ‘super villain’, Blofeld helms the nefarious SPECTRE organization that pulled the strings of other villains during so many 007 missions. He is best known for making another villainous trope fashionable: Lurking in the shadows on a moveable chair whilst stroking an equally evil-looking cat. The man that tormented 007 for over two decades, the man who constantly slipped through 007’s grasp, and the man who murdered 007’s wife just to make a statement – Ernst Stavro Blofeld: number one.

From Robert J. Harris with Love Our writer, Mr Harris, armed with a license to thrill, delves into the service history of 007 nation’s greatest spy on our screens. Just trying to visualise a world where cinema’s ultimate male lead and kingpin of British culture does not exist only results in a strong desire for a dry martini and a nap in a dark room. It is strange to think that a series so beloved and influential was once written off as “too British” by Hollywood film studios. Discounting American actor Barry Nelson as ‘Jimmy Bond’ in a television adaptation of Casino Royale, Scottish Actor Sean

WHAT is there to say about James Bond? It has been 50 years since he made his first great leap into film, but it’s difficult to imagine a time where we did not have the

TIMOTHY DALTONDalton synonymous with a broodier type of Bond film; the Colwyn Bay born actor often derided the “fantasy” of the films of his successors. The newfound grittiness he brought to the role was relatively successful, as his first Bond film, The Living Daylights, is the fourth most commercially successful Bond movie of all time.

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Connery was the first to step up to the role in 1962. When presented with Connery, Ian Fleming soon had his doubts. However, when Dr. No hit cinemas in 1962, it was obvious not just to Fleming, but to everyone, that Connery had all the charisma, style and physical grace to transform Bond into a film legend. From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967) not only stand today as some of the best Bond films ever produced, but among the greatest films of all time. With S e a n Connery providing such a memorable performance that he is still heavily regarded as the ultimate Bond, it was certainly going to be a difficult task to find a suitable replacement. And indeed it was. Connery’s replacement, Australian actor George Lazen-

PIERCE BROSNAN - The Bond of my own childhood, Brosnan bought a tangible sultriness to the role. Always beautifully shod and immaculately groomed, Brosnan has been credited with bringing more psychological depth to a character that some critics had previously considered to be wooden. Obviously, except Die Another Day, which was AWFUL.

by, appeared in just one film, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), before abandoning his seven-film contract. Reception was mixed; despite looking closer to Fleming’s original Bond, he simply could not match the acting of his predecessor. This resulted in Connery returning to the role in the classic Diamonds are Forever (1971). With no time spared, Roger Moore donned the suit and Rolex-watch in his first film Live and Let Die (1973). Moore would go on to become the most seasoned Bond, producing seven films over twelve years before retiring from the series after A View to a Kill (1985) at the age of 58. While producing a charming performance throughout his career as Bond, the films failed to win any real critical acclaim. Timothy Dalton was originally planned by Fleming to take the reins from Connery when he eventually quit the role, but being just 22 at the time, Dalton rejected the offer. Now that Moore had retired, he now had his chance. Only two films, The Living Daylights (1987) and License to Kill (1989), were ever made with Dalton as

Bond. Each received a lukewarm reaction, and whilst Dalton was solid in his acting, critics and fans were in agreement that he lacked a certain something which prevented him reaching the heights of Connery and Moore. After a six year hiatus, Bond returned in Goldeneye (1995) with Pierce Brosnan as the lead. In spite of calls for series to remain a “relic of the past”, the film was a critical and box office success and rejuvenated interest in the franchise. Brosnan provided a cocky appeal which won him many fans, but by the time his last film Die Another Day (2002), some found Bond had become slightly too cheesy and interest dropped. When Daniel Craig entered as 007 in Casino Royale (2006), it was instantly declared a classic, and for some, the best Bond film ever made. Craig provided a darker, tougher Bond and successfully brought much needed emotional depth to the character. Quantum of Solace (2008) may have disappointed many, but it thankfully looks like Skyfall is on track to be another winner.

DANIEL CRAIG - The current possessor of the role, Craig has brought steely resolve and an absurdly chiselled jaw to the role, while still managing to portray a Bond that has not only been hurt, but seems to increasingly have qualms about hurting others. If Craig continues his current form, a legacy awaits.

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2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

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