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Thursday, January 13, 2011

From Russia With Love - James Bond takes us to Venice, Moscow and beyond

This classic James Bond film takes the audience on a fantastic architectural tour from the magical Gondolas in Venice to the mushroom capped spires of Moscow to Instanbuls original church, the Hagia Sophia, reinged supreme for 1000 years before being converted to a mosque, that in Instanbul. The film is a bit Sophmoric and simplistic, dualistic, and utterly narcissistic in its righteous self-important Western democracy patriarchical world view - as if the rest of the world had little to offer. Somehow it captures the coldwar and the Anglo romanticism of our love/hate relationship with the (Eastern ) European continent. Sean Connery is not only the most charming and convincing of all the actors who have played Bond - this vintage of Bond is the absolute pinnacle of his physical and middle aged prowress. In fact he embodies the mid-life crisis - eternal affairs, exotic travel and always the chic convertible sports car. Perhaps part of the success of the longest running sequels in film history has to do with a nostalgia for this particular movie. The spy thriller is cross-polliinated with the travel journal and the action film. Connery although, he was originally a body builder for his teen age years, managed to become the quintissential renaissance man and represent the zenith of the modern man as a gentleman dillitante cum sophisticrat. he is unstoppable - in a time before prozac and viagra.

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