Soviets and Supervillains

Confession: in my adult life I’ve only sporadically kept up with the James Bond franchise. Then again, does it matter? Because Bond certainly loomed large in my childhood. Watching the James Bond films was a frequent home video ritual in my family. I was in awe of Bond’s adventures: nothing less than the fate of the world rested in his hands. If he wasn’t staving off nuclear war with the Soviets, Bond was battling exotic, larger-than-life villains who, to this twelve-year-old, embodied the very notion of danger and evil. (And let’s be honest, all those opening credit sequences, and the many beautiful and dangerous women Bond tussled with from film to film, hit squarely in the bull’s eye of my adolescent interests.)

In conjunction with the current exhibition …Is James Bond, LACMA is screening classic James Bond films every Thursday night in July. And how else could we kick off such a series than with the original, arguably best Bond there ever was? The suave Scot, Sean Connery. Tonight’s double-feature offers two of the best of Connery’s entries: Goldfinger and From Russia with Love. The former is probably my very favorite Bond film. Oddjob’s bladed hat? The ultimate Bond Girl, Pussy Galore? Bond’s crotch in imminent danger of annhilation by laser? There are too many wow moments in this film to name.

You can see the full list of upcoming Bond films in July, along with other upcoming Film Independent screenings at LACMA this month. After taking the month of August off, the Bond series will continue every Thursday in September.

Scott Tennent

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