Film society honors James Bond legacy

Scantily clad women, elegant sports cars, exotic locales and state-of-the-art gadgets are what make the James Bond franchise truly in a class of its own. The Norse Film Society will honor the occasion with a free screening of “Goldfinger” and “Casino Royale” in Griffin Hall’s Digitorium Oct. 12 at 7 p.m.
“The 007 franchise has been one wild and exciting journey,” said NFS President Anthony Pesce.

Half a century and 22 sequels later, the Bond catalog has raked in $5 billion at the box office and continues to set records. Daniel Craig will portray the character for a third time in “Skyfall,” the newest film in the series, set for a Nov. 9 release date.

“The Bond franchise has managed to survive by constantly adapting its main character of the solitary male hero to changing times and changing ideas about masculinity,” Director of Cinema Studies John Alberti said. “The fact that Bond is not an American and has been successfully migrated from actor to actor has also helped the success of the franchise.”
To appreciate the cultural significance of the series in the U.S., one must view the series through a historical lens.
Bond hit theaters in 1962. Bob Dylan had released his first record, Warhol debuted his Campbell’s soup cans and John Glen became the first American to orbit the Earth. The Space Age had begun and The Jetsons were there to make sure kids knew it as well.

Ian Fleming’s British super spy jumped from the pages of his novels to the big screen with the first Bond film, “Dr. No.” The masculine charisma of Sean Connery’s portrayal of Agent 007 caught the awe of movie-goers around the world.

James Bond would come to signify the epitome of cool and become a hero to the millions who watched him clash with megalomaniacal villains.
In addition to providing first-rate action, the films have continued to feature the top vocalists. Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones are among the performers who have contributed music to Bond films. Adele will sing the theme for “Skyfall.”

“The Bond theme, along with all the famous actors who’ve played Bond are just as important to the films,” NKU adjunct music professor Max Gise said. “There’s been a tradition with the Bond theme music to constantly reflect tastes and sounds of the day.”

The Bond universe has even stretched across the Atlantic to campus. In England during the late 1970s, NKU history lecturer Terence Fleming was a friend and drinking buddy of Bernard Lee. The late British actor portrayed “M,” the man 007 took his orders from in ten films from 1962 to 1977.

NFS hopes to bring the explosive action and thrills of the series to NKU students who attend Friday night.
“You can come out with your friends and watch two awesome movies that show you why James Bond has been around for 50 years,” said Pesce.