Briefing

My name is Mark and I am a James Bond fan. I love the Ian Fleming novels and I love the movies.

My fiancee wife is Mel. She is a feminist and a romantic. She thinks James Bond is the epitome of sexism and dislikes his promiscuous ways. She prefers movies where a couple slowly fall in love and get together at the end, than to see a lady falling into bed with 007 almost immediately. She seems to genuinely believe that if you’ve seen one Bond film, then you’ve seen them all.

She has never watched a pre-Daniel Craig 007 film all the way through. And yet she does like Casino Royale and Skyfall, and I see this as a small glimmer of light that I can one day get her to enjoy the whole wonderful canon. This blog documents our journey through the movies from Dr. No to Skyfall. One movie a month for the next two years or so (more often would be pushing my luck).

When Mel watches somethings she becomes really immersed in it, crying when her heart strings are tugged, and genuinely getting angry when a character is wronged. I don’t experience this, being a soulless nerd more concerned with facts and production details than emotions. But I want to experience these movies that I love anew through her eyes.

skyfall interrogation

A short interview with Mel before the project started:

What do you think of James Bond?

“Male chauvenist pig. He sees women as disposable pleasures and I hate him.”

Do you think your opinion will change watching these movies?

“No.”

What are you dreading the most?

“The sex.”

In what way?

“I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to see him sleep with lots of women. Also I think it’s going to be boring.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“The end. Also Casino Royale and Skyfall.”

Why do you like Daniel Craig?

“He doesn’t treat women bad. He’s nice to people. He’s not cheesy.”

What about the music?

“I don’t like Thunderball, because it’s about how awesome he is. But the music is probably the best thing about them.”

In the past you’ve said that when we have children you won’t let them watch Bond movies. Why is that?

“I don’t want them to grow up being like James Bond, seeing naked women or thinking it’s OK to sleep with loads of people.”

Start here with Dr. No.

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4 thoughts on “Briefing

  1. Hi Mark,

    As a fellow Bond nerd (first movie I saw in the cinema was The Living Daylights when I was 5!) I do a marathon every few years or so. This year, with the imminent release of SPECTRE, I decided I’d do another one. I recently got married as well, so now my Bond watching opportunities are usually sneaked in at times when she’s out of the room for ten minutes. I started reading your blog when I reached Diamonds Are Forever. I wondered how that pre-title sequence has ever made any sense to anyone. I don’t think my 9 year old self ever paid any attention to the details. When I arrived at Live and Let Die, waiting for my wife to be ready to go out, I was expecting to be stopped at any moment. She came in to the living room and said that the cake she was baking needed another ten minutes and then we could go out. In the meantime, she’ll watch whatever I’m watching. My wife has never watched a single Bond film. And she makes comments, not unlike Mel. We watched 15 minutes of Die Hard once. She commented on how long the sunset lasts for, whose that guy, oooh look, it’s Professor Snape, is that Snape? Really?. We stopped watching after that, she just wanted to see Snape.

    The first thing she mentioned about Live and Let Die is that everyone’s black and how racist that is…then that Tee Hee’s arm isn’t properly attached. Then the card reading scene, then – “it’s a bit boring isn’t it?” She checked out at Baron Samedi’s performance. If I ever had any hope to convince her to watch a Bond movie, it’ll be from the Craig era.

    My point is, you’re a braver man that I. My wife and I are filmmakers. She can totally rip something I love to shreds and not bat an eyelid, so I’m careful about what I introduce her to, especially since I remember comments every time I watch a film again.

    Anyway, I’m enjoying your blog! Keep going!

    Jonny

    • Congratulations on your recent wedding! And thank you for reading. Mel enjoyed the Daniel Craig Bonds, so I thought ‘surely, if she actually sat down and gave the old ones a chance she would see they are just as good?’ It’s not really worked out that way, but we’re having a lot of fun with it, and I like re-discovering all the films through her eyes. I’m really looking forward to us both seeing SPECTRE together at the same time as well though.
      Thanks again, Mark.

  2. Love your blog and best of luck with re-discovering the Bond movies with Mel. You have a bunch to go through yet but I am sure she’ll grow to love them like we do! 🙂

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