World celebrates Bond day
A worker poses next to a pre-production replica BMW Z8 Roadster made for the film ‘The World is not Enough,’ during a media preview of ‘50 Years of James Bond - the Auction,’ at Christie’s London. REUTERS photosA series of events are to be held today to mark the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, the iconic spy saga that helped define half-a-century of cultural, political and technological upheaval.
The suave British agent, codenamed 007, appeared on the silver screen for the first time in the 1962 classic “Dr. No,” introducing himself with the immortal line “Bond... James Bond” over a high-stakes game of baccarat, Agence France-Presse reported.Istanbul played host to the latest installment of the James Bond film series, “Skyfall;” in the past, the city also provided a backdrop for other Bond films like “From Russia with Love” and “The World is not Enough.” Scenes for “Skyfall” were filmed in one of Istanbul’s busiest and most crowded neighborhoods, Eminönü, following filming in the southern province of Adana.
Bond fans in Turkey are also expected to gather to watch the movies to celebrate the day. The city’s world-renowned sites, such as the Topkapı Palace Museum, Hagia Sophia, Sultanahmet Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Spice Bazaar, Eminönü, the Basilica Cistern, Beyazıt and many other locations in the city have drawn a long list of filmmakers over the years.
Played by six different actors
Bond has been played by six different actors over the 22-series adventure, but has always maintained his obsession with fast cars, beautiful women, high-tech gadgets and vodka Martinis – shaken, not stirred.
“For all the attempts at change, the core of the Bondian world remains the same: obsessed with sex and violence, hypermasculine, simplistically nationalistic, and addicted to conspicuous consumption,” Christoph Lindner, editor of “The James Bond Phenomenon: A Critical Reader,” told AFP.
Worldwide events to celebrate Global Bond Day include an online charity auction, a survey to discover the favorite Bond film by country, a film retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and a Music of Bond night in Los Angeles.
Adele sings ‘Skyfall’ tune
London’s Barbican Center marked the occasion with an exhibition showcasing the design and style of “the world’s most influential and iconic movie brand,” which has moved on to Toronto where it opens on Oct. 26, AFP reported. Britain’s tourist agency has joined forces with the iconic spy for the first time, launching a campaign across 21 countries based around the slogan “Bond is GREAT Britain.” A new feature documentary, “Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007,” will also be released, focusing on producers Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman and author Ian Fleming, the three men most responsible for building the brand.
The 23rd and latest film, “Skyfall,” will have its worldwide premiere in London on Oct. 23 with Daniel Craig playing Bond for the third time.
AFP also reported that the “Skyfall” theme tune, sung by British diva Adele, will be released at 00:07 British time today, although the track has already been leaked online.
The release caps a busy year for 007, who provided one of the highlights of the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony by “parachuting” into the event with Queen Elizabeth II. Few would have believed that Bond would become a global institution when “Dr. No,” an adaptation of Fleming’s 1958 novel, was released on Oct. 5, 1962.
Critical reaction to the film saga’s first installment was mixed, with Time magazine calling Sean Connery’s Bond “a great big hairy marshmallow.”
Critics have noted that Craig’s muscular and moody performances are in sharp contrast to Roger Moore’s light-hearted portrayals and Connery’s old-fashioned machismo, mirroring changing social conventions. “The 007 series now presents a male hero who is emotionally vulnerable, fallible, and in many ways psychologically broken. Ironically, this is much closer to the ‘screw-up’ Bond of the original novels,” said Lindner.
Indiana University Professor Stephen Watt, who has edited a collection of essays on the famous spy, noted the development of Bond’s attitude toward older women, saying, “The idea that the sexist ‘dinosaur’ ... could evolve into working for a female boss is very interesting.” As well as evolving Bond’s personality, the franchise has also adapted to shifting geopolitics.
“We went from Cold War villains, to post-Communist villains, to post-9/11 terrorists, and so on,” said Lindner.
Watt said this ability to reflect the changing political world was crucial to the brand’s survival.
“We all know where the battle lines are drawn today,” he said.