I was watching Skyfall the other night, mainly to cop a load of Javier Bardem, but I didn’t realize he was going to play a mutant “Silas” type figure, and it was all a bit of a turn-off.
Daniel Craig did his usual gritted jaw thing, and had zero sense of humour — but looked excellent fighting international sociopaths in Tom Ford.
I have to admit, also, that I was a little disappointed with the blatant lack of sexism in the film.
Let me explain. In a historical context, Bond was always a sexist twat, with the sexual sophistication of a mentally-challenged donkey. That, I believe, is why he was so popular. He was a man of his time, created at a time where men were men, and women were sidekicks. How do you update that, and retain the feel of the era? Do we update Jesus as well, making him a sensitive new-age guy? One who “works alongside women in a collaborative circle” and shares power with them?
I can’t even remember who the Bond girls were at all, but I think they were “diverse” and “full-figured”. Sido Kitchin would approve.
Where were the Moneypennys, the sexed-up general practitioners, the massage ladies of the Sean Connery era? If the machismo of Bond hasn’t changed — that is; he’s still all-man, made of granite, eternally single, elusive and slightly misogynistic, then shouldn’t the female cast reflect that?
I was a personal assistant once — a Moneypenny — to a born-and-bred Southern Man: Invercargill at first then he moved up to hotter climes — Dunedin.
He eventually gave into normality and moved to Hawke’s Bay where I worked for him. He liked his morning coffee brought in by his PA, he liked his dictation done by his PA, and one time, he even threatened to put me over his knee for some ‘lost file’ misdemeanor. I laughed, and said:
Where has the comfort zone gone around the difference between the sexes? Who complained?
We have to know where to draw a line in the real-life workplace, but this seems to be spilling over into entertainment too. I am having trouble accepting Bond as a new-millennium man. They’ve turned him into an automaton; a one-man renegade who fanatically sticks to his objective.
He doesn’t even have the time or real interest in shagging or smoking anymore, because his mother, M, is up his arse getting him to complete missions properly.
At least Ralph Fiennes has taken over as M now, and as we know, Ralph likes nothing better than a bit of mile-high activity.
Maybe it’s just me.
I had a very 1960s father who worked hard, came home, and there was a hot meal ready at 6pm cooked by my mother. Dad would crack the top off a Lion Brown, and smoke a Peter Stuyvesant. He was tall, dark and very handsome. Other ladies flirted with him. He wore tight stubbies, and even up until 1986 he still wore second-scrotum togs. It sounds terrible — and yet — it was fantastic.
Mum was and still is the consummate homemaker but she also had looks and brains — a lethal combination. We were always allowed to watch Bond movies, no matter what the rating.
One time we got taken to see Octopussy, about a woman that had eight…octopi? The titles were really coded, and the Bond girls had highly suggestive sexualized names that were much more exciting and promising than Katherine Stewart.
The girls were ’70s and ’80s models who are today still more beautiful than today’s versions of themselves. Maud Adams, Grace Jones, Ursula Andress, Kim Basinger.
Why can’t Bond be like that now? Do we have to bring politics into Bond?
I wonder what’s next for the franchise. With Ralph Fiennes at the helm, there’s scope for humour again, although he is looking tired from all that Airbus toilet sex.
Daniel Craig can stay — based on looks — but he does need a kick up the arse in terms of comic timing, and he needs to be fitted with longer legs.
If they are going to use a completely amazing example of manhood like Javier, he must look like his normal self. Please, no mutations or albinism. And they must bring in some feisty fillies who pretend to fight Bond off but secretly need to be shown by a real man the ways of sexual relations — and perhaps a few Sean Connery moments when he used to get on top in his terry toweling playsuit.
There will need to be a decent crop of fillies too, not just one person to talk about feelings with. Bond isn’t the marrying type — that’s where they went so so wrong with Timothy Dalton. That was like watching an episode of Falcon Crest — with guns.
That they returned to the DB5 was sensible, but I would like to see Bond perhaps doing it rough in a Rotary engine. I’d like to see him cast his conquests aside, post-sex and light up a durrie, perhaps blowing smoke on them and for them to say, while waving the smoke away,
Thank you for that, James.
Who complained about Bond?
I miss the old, smirking, oversexed Bond.