Inside this week | A bond for life

There was a Scotsman, a Welshman, an Irishman, an Australian and two Englishmen – it sounds like a bad joke, but it is in fact the story of James Bond – (see our review of the latest film: Skyfall), a narrative longer than most of our lives, which is showing no signs of ending. For many of us, Bond is our older brother. We grew up aspiring to be like him on Saturday afternoons and Christmas holidays, but then we reached adulthood and realised it had mostly been a fad.

Because let’s face it: most of the films are crap, but you don’t really notice when you’re young. Case in point: A View to a Kill and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. As a 13-year-old, I loved the former when it came out, but watch it today and it’s in danger of disappearing into one of Roger Moore’s liver spots, while OHMSS, the one I always had to switch off because it was boring, is clearly the best Bond film by a mile.

It’s not just my opinion. I’ve spoken to several fellow Bondologists (despite thinking most of the films are poor, I’m still obsessed with him: the trivia mostly) and we all seem to concur that despite George Lazenby’s inability to tell a joke, it’s the best. One of them, Mark Walker, the writer of the review, reckons you can always bank on a new Bond being good in his first film because of the increased investment in the product, and it’s a good point. Of the six, only The Living Daylights wouldn’t make my top ten.

So it’s good to hear Skyfall is a must-see. I’m proud I’ve seen every one at the cinema since Moonraker, although sometimes I wish I hadn’t bothered with Die Another Day.

Its star, Pierce Brosnan, fresh from his Danish flirtation in Love Is All You Need, might be interested to know the Irish Festival is coming to town; Donald Pleasance − Ernst Stavro Blofeld in You Only Live Twice − if he was still alive, would have enjoyed going to one of the Halloween parties to continue his hunt for Michael Myers; and Max von Sydow, who played Blofeld in Never Say Never Again (yeah, not an official film, we know, but Barbara Carrera: wahay!), will need to get his dog-collar out of the moth balls for CPH:DOX, which is screening The Exorcist in the 21st Century.  

You see, Bond is universal. His reach is indefatigable. Long may he continue!





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