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The dismissal of the ordinary and the embrace of chaos are characteristics of the thriller which has, over the last decade, accounted for nearly 25 percent of the…
The dismissal of the ordinary and the embrace of chaos are characteristics of the thriller which has, over the last decade, accounted for nearly 25 percent of the best‐seller market. In spite of its existential overtones, the thriller, with rare exceptions, is seldom viewed as quality fiction, yet is not generally classified as genre fiction with attendant categorization by libraries and bookstores. Readers of thrillers in pursuit of authors must either search through the general fiction or “mystery” shelves where thrillers are sometimes placed. However, the latter solution offends both mystery and thriller readers.
In 1958 the Daily Express began publication of a comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale authorised by Ian Fleming, predating the original film version by four years. For…
In 1958 the Daily Express began publication of a comic strip adaptation of Casino Royale authorised by Ian Fleming, predating the original film version by four years. For the next 10 years adaptations of the novels and short stories appeared in the newspaper with Bond’s appearance fashioned firstly by John McLusky and then Yaroslav Horak. When the supply of Fleming’s stories was exhausted, new adventures were penned by Jim Lawrence with artwork by Horak, McLusky or Harry North. From 1977 publication switched to the Sunday Express and then the Daily Star. Eventually, the strips were reprinted for a whole new audience by Titan Books.
Subsequently, Bond appeared in a number of other comic book adaptations and reworkings, including key adaptations by the independent publishers Dark Horse and Dynamite, offering contemporary re-imaginings of this iconic, but always controversial, male icon. Taken together they provide a run of Bond adventures over more than 50 years. As such, they contain an alternative Bond universe, where his embodiment of male heroism mimics and varies Fleming’s original and the images constructed in the film franchise. This chapter will consider these mirror images and their responses to changing societal pressures as Bond adapts to new definitions of what constitutes the male hero.
The enduring popular image of James Bond is (in the words of the theatrical trailer for Dr No) ‘the gentleman agent with the licence to kill’. Yet the screen Bond is…
The enduring popular image of James Bond is (in the words of the theatrical trailer for Dr No) ‘the gentleman agent with the licence to kill’. Yet the screen Bond is hardly a hero in the manner of gentlemanly archetypes such as Cary Grant and David Niven (reputedly Ian Fleming’s preferred choice for the role). This chapter will explore how the image of Bond in the films has changed over time both in response to wider social and cultural archetypes of masculinity and due to the different performance styles of the various actors to play the role: Sean Connery, whose rough-hewn Scottishness can be seen as a means of representing the ‘otherness’ of Fleming’s character (‘Bond always knew there was something alien and un-English about himself’); George Lazenby, whose one-off appearance as an emotionally damaged Bond in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service anticipated later portrayals of the character; the parodic variant of Roger Moore; the brooding Byronic hero of Timothy Dalton; the ‘Milk Tray Man’ charm of Pierce Brosnan; and Daniel Craig, whose combination of bull-in-a-china-shop physicality and vulnerable masculinity (literally so in Casino Royale) has by common consent successfully transformed Bond from a cartoon superman into a twenty-first century action hero.
In 2020, the latest James Bond film will hit cinema screens. The film has been produced by Eon Productions, is based on Ian Fleming’s suave, sophisticated super spy and stars Daniel Craig in the title role. With a troubled production shoot well-documented in the media, Daniel Craig often seeming and contradictorily at odds of being both enamoured and loathing with the role, a director leaving through ‘creative differences’ and numerous screenwriters being drafted in as last-minute replacements or add-ons, it will be interesting to see how the latest Bond adventure fares both critically and financially.
At their heart, the Bond adventures – originally in Ian Fleming’s novels and short stories, and then in their film incarnations before spilling out into newer platforms – offer pure escapism for the reader, viewer, listener and gamer. Set against the backdrop of exoticism in a post-war climate, the stories centre around MI6 Agent, James Bond, stopping enemies of the British Empire in their attempts at world domination. They gave the reader a sense of both an attempt by Fleming/Bond to recapture Britain as an important power on the world stage. Whilst Bond may have sipped martinis as he coolly dispatched the latest despotic tyrant, they also offered up ideas about time, place, culture, the social climate of the period and gender.
This book will focus on numerous aspects of the Bond-catalogue, but in particular paying particular attention to how the portrayal of gender, both in the stories and behind the scenes, has helped shape one of the most significant, important and successful British franchises.
This chapter aims to discuss the changes that are happening in the heart of the James Bond films especially with how women are described and treated in the newest versions…
This chapter aims to discuss the changes that are happening in the heart of the James Bond films especially with how women are described and treated in the newest versions of the movie franchise. For that, this chapter focusses on Miss Moneypenny, a recurrent presence since the very first movie, Dr. No (1962), and one that also appeared in Ian Fleming’s novels. Fleming based Moneypenny on four different women he knew, and she can be described as an intelligent, brave and beautiful person. Unfortunately, the original movie Moneypenny was painted as almost a comic relief, but since she was portrayed by the actress Naomie Harris in Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015), Eve Moneypenny (as she was not called) had an upgrade, becoming an action-oriented woman who provided a new base for the so-called ‘Bond Girls’ of the films.
In 2015, Idris Elba declared ‘I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world … and I’ve not even played the role’. Speculation about Elba taking on the role of the…
In 2015, Idris Elba declared ‘I’m probably the most famous Bond actor in the world … and I’ve not even played the role’. Speculation about Elba taking on the role of the world’s most famous spy has circulated for over a decade, fuelled by current Bond Daniel Craig’s assertion that the role has ruined his life. This chapter will examine the role of fans in driving hype about the future of Bond, focusing on the case study of alt-right outrage at the potential casting of Elba. The anti-Elba camp have framed their outrage as informed by authorial intent, and the desire to maintain canon, with claims that Ian Fleming’s Bond was, and should always be white and Scottish. Bond’s expansive narrative universe has remained constant since its inception, enabling fans of the series to form an emotional connection and sense of ownership over the text as a cohesive brand, a form of ‘affective economics’ (Hills, 2015; Jenkins, 2006a). By situating the debate over Elba’s suitability within the timeline of the Bond franchise, the author will posit that the rigid casting and structure of the film series to date enables feelings of fan ownership to flourish. Whilst the influence of vocal fan groups has altered the future direction of numerous popular texts, this chapter will suggest that the sameness of Bond-as-brand provides the justification for fan backlash towards potential change. In sum, this chapter will highlight the Elba-as-Bond rumours as a reflection of the contemporary political moment which seeks to flatten out difference under the auspice of protecting the canon and tradition of ‘brand Bond’.
Most studies pertaining to social tagging focus on one platform or platform type, thus limiting the scope of their findings. The purpose of this paper is to explore social…
Most studies pertaining to social tagging focus on one platform or platform type, thus limiting the scope of their findings. The purpose of this paper is to explore social tagging practices across four platforms in relation to cultural products associated with the book Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming.
A layered and nested case study approach was used to analyse data from four online platforms: Goodreads, Last.fm, WordPress, and public library social discovery platforms. The top-level case study focuses on the book Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming and its derivative products. The analysis of tagging practices in each of the four online platforms is nested within the top-level case study. Casino Royale was conceptualized as a cultural product (the book), its derived products (e.g. movies, theme songs), as well as a keyword in blogs. A qualitative, inductive, and context-specific approach was chosen to identify commonalities in tagging practices across platforms whilst taking into account the uniqueness of each platform.
The four platforms comprise different communities of users, each platform with its own cultural norms and tagging practices. Traditional access points in the library catalogues focused on the subject, location, and fictitious characters of the book. User-generated content across the four platforms emphasized historical events and periods related to the book, and highlighted more subjective access points, such as recommendations, tone, mood, reaction, and reading experience. Revealing shifts occur in the tags between the original book and its cultural derivatives: Goodreads and library catalogues focus almost exclusively on the book, while Last.fm and WordPress make in addition cross-references to a wider range of different cultural products, including books, movies, and music. The analyses also yield apparent similarities in certain platforms, such as recurring terms, phrasing and composite or multifaceted tags, as well as a strong presence of genre-related terms for the book and music.
The layered and nested case study approach presents a more comprehensive theoretical viewpoint and methodological framework by which to explore the study of user-generated metadata pertaining to a range of related cultural products across a variety of online platforms.