Day: November 6, 2015

Ghost in the Shell: Sam Mendes’ “SPECTRE”

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Spectre-Oberhauser-played-by-Christoph-Waltz

Bond: Everyone needs a hobby…

Silva: So, what’s yours?

Bond: Resurrection.

Skyfall (2012)

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The dead are alive.

SPECTRE (2015)

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You only live twice;

Once when you are born

and once when you look Death in the face.

– Ian Fleming, after Basho.

The ideological purpose  of the last three James Bond films have lingered like the smoke trail from a freshly fired gun, and traveling in reverse, it’s only then that the intangible line becomes more solid. Sam Mendes’ SPECTRE is that bullet, firmly establishing that the Daniel Craig Cycle is, and always has been, about James Bond not only as character, but as icon. For Craig’s tenure as 007, it’s not merely about rewriting an imaginary canon, but deconstructing James Bond the cultural institution and construct as a whole.

SPECTRE gives you two directions, neither necessarily mutually exclusive: either Craig’s Bond films are about the emotional arc he travels, or it’s about the relevance of bothering to construct an emotional arc for him in the first place. Read the rest of this entry »