Sunday, 2 November 2008

You Only Live Twice

I know this makes me a terrible feminist, but it's an open secret that I have a very, very soft spot for stylized, fast-paced, hypersexualized action films, especially when they're self-aware and a little campy. Obviously, this includes the entirety of the James Bond franchise. I remember being pissed two years ago when Casino Royale was released because I had to miss it to interview for the fellowship that I'm on, and then being almost manic in my insistence to see it as soon as I got back from the interview in Des Moines. (If you read the newspaper article that they did they day after, the reporter mentions that I planned to see Casino Royale with my dad and brother later that day. What they don't mention is that I'm not sure either my dad or my brother really wanted to see it, and that the reporter showed up literally an hour before the movie, so I sat through an interview barking out short, tense answers until the reporter and photographer left, and then I was like, "GET IN THE CAR, WE CAN STILL SALVAGE THIS AFTERNOON" and basically kidnapped my family and dragged them to West Acres 14. Or that two weeks later, my boyfriend's mom and sister were staying with us for Thanksgiving, and I very, very enthusiastically recommended that all of them go see Casino Royale. And they hated it, and then I backpedaled and spent the next couple of days trying to prove that I was a sensitive partner for their son and not a violent misogynist.)

I couldn't see Quantum of Solace on opening night because of the Google party in London, but I did go with R. Dave and Mark to the late-night showing at the Phoenix yesterday, and it is SO GOOD. It's not quite as fun and camp as the rest of the franchise - like, there aren't really any gadgets, and one critic complained that it suffered from Bourne Envy - but I thought it was still good in its own right. So much pathos! So much seething rage and angst! (And Olga Kurylenko was awesome.)

I forgot that it doesn't come out for like two weeks in the US, but at the risk of embarrassing myself again, I'm still telling everyone to go see it. And watch for the villain's ambiguously gay sidekick (who, in a barely noticeable moment, sets down a daiquiri at the party where everyone else is sipping martinis) and the comically ethnic fonts that they use to introduce each locale. (I kind of envy the guy who gets paid to pick the Frenchified font for Haiti and the stripped down, pseudosoviet font for Russia.) I wouldn't recommend hosting a Queer Studies Circle on anti-feminine bias beforehand, because I did feel residually dirty about picking apart the nuances of misogyny and then sneaking off to watch Bond. I guess it's about as gross as I felt when we talked about the commodification of sexuality and spent two hours deconstructing Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl," and then I promptly went to a ball and dropped to the floor for "Get Low." Um, I promise that my politics look nothing like my consumption habits.

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