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Friday, November 9, 2012
Intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Dame Judi Dench, Naomie Harris, Berenice Marlohe, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney, Ben Whishaw, Helen McCrory, Ola Rapace, Tonia Sotiropoulou
Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
Daniel Craig is back as Ian Fleming's James Bond 007 in "Skyfall," the 23rd adventure in the longest-running film franchise of all time. In "Skyfall," Bond’s loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Skyfall (2012) | Tag
Part I: Spiritual History of Bond
Many of the lines remind us of our identification with the character we have known, loved, or even wanted to really be ourselves. But none of them have been said on screen quite as often as, "The name is Bond. James Bond," the immortal introduction of the world's most famous spy.
The chronicles of the British MI6 agent who dashes into dangerous situations with a sardonic grin, a Walter PPK (first seen in Dr. No), and a taste for vodka martinis (shaken not stirred), have spanned fifty years and six actors. James Bond has tackled forces of evil when no one else was willing or able to lift a finger, and at times, single-handedly defended the British/American way of life. He's the superhero with no unearthly powers, no secret origin, no mask to hide behind. But he's a hero nonetheless.
If Daniel Craig's blonde Bond is the only one you've ever seen on screen, then the depth of the repertoire is missing. Bond has been saving the world one catastrophe at a time since Ian Fleming created the character in 1953; Sean Connery's portrayal in Dr. No was the first of twenty-four movies (twenty-two recognized within the canon) that have featured James Bond as 007. Nearly twenty years before Robert Ludlum began his illustrious thriller writing career (of which the Jason Bourne stories are the most recognized), Fleming created Bond. Without Bond, there's no room for Bourne, for Austin Powers, for any of hundreds of adventure stories that feature gadgets, spies, or world-threatening villains.
That kind of absolute admiration has drawn raised eyebrows and incredulous questions. "How can you be such a big fan? What can you possibly see in those films that lines up with your values? Seriously, aren't you a Christian or something?" Those are the typical questions, and after twenty years of questions, and subsequent conversations, consider thissix-partexplorationas my official response.
So, how is James Bond redeemable? What can we learn from the character as conveyed by those who wrote his story, starting with Fleming's creation in the 1950s, and those who played the part from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig? What could a person seeking morals and meaning in the world possibly see as worth more than a few hours of passing fancy, a fantasy devoid of faithful reality? What can we learn about ourselves, the world we live in, and the expectations of ethics and faith through the stories of Bond?
The common complaint against Bond has been his cavalier attitude toward sex, so exploring the purpose and character of the man requires our examination of the women known as "Bond Girls." (Little criticism has been launched at the violence, again showing the Western Church's affection for a "hierarchy of sin" as it has been determined in the last fifty years, but that's neither here nor there. ) But Bond is also determined by the missions he takes on at the behest of Her Majesty's Secret Service, and by the villains he encounters along the way. With those three points of reference, in the following chapters, we'll investigate Bond as sinner, saint, or savior.
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