Saturday, December 8, 2012
Bond. James Bond.
K and I felt the need for a bit of distraction the other evening. And we actually went to a movie. In a theatre. We haven't gone to a movie, with the exception of our yearly matinee sometime in the week between Christmas and New Year's, since the 90s. (When you travel as much as K does, out is the last place you want to go when you get home).
We felt giddy and daring and not in the mood for anything Serious or Artistic. Lucky for us, the new James Bond movie was playing at our local cineplex. Now I have enjoyed James Bond (excepting the roger Moore years) since forever. I like fast cars and exotic locales and exciting chases and complicated spy gear and nattily dressed men.
A not insignificant bonus during the Sean Connery years was that Sean Connery resembles K (K is, of course, better-looking). And yes, I like the Bond girls, too. I have so few events in my life that require a backless cocktail dress and a Beretta strapped to my thigh that I enjoy the vicarious thrill of watching a woman whose life is filled to the brim with them.
The Bond girls this time were of course lovely, and he camera loved them all. But the one it loved the most, as evidenced by the number of tight close ups on her gorgeous, been-there-done-that-don't-need-the-t-shirt-to-prove-it face, was Judi Dench, as M.
For Skyfall was, in complete contravention of all the Laws of Bond, a meditation on growing older. An exploration of what it's like when the spirit is fatigued (because even James Bond must sometimes think, "Oh for god's sake—neither shaken nor stirred; just give me a club soda. I have a hangover.") and the flesh is no longer quite up to the pursuit through a crowded tube station.
Yes, the camera loved the exotic exteriors (Turkey, Macau, London [looking so gorgeous even in the rain that it made me heartsick for Europe], Scotland) and the exotic interiors (I want M's flat and Bond's hotel budget) and the pretty girls in spectacular frocks, but what it loved most was the way life maps itself on our faces.
"Pay attention," it said as it lingered on Dench's face, lined like an antique map of the world, or held Bond's exhausted, world-weary gaze, "what we do writes its story on our faces."