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robertogreco : jamesbond   4

'Red 2,' spies and tourism - Grantland
"For a large portion of the American/Western/advanced-industrial film audience, travel might be the activity in which geopolitics most noticeably intrudes on their lives — in the inconvenience of borders, passports, languages, currencies, customs. But none of that fazes the spy. He either circumvents restrictions entirely or he comes equipped with the tools he needs to pass through them. He doesn’t wait in line unless he’s in disguise.

What’s the first thing the spy does after arriving in a new city? You and I haul our bags to the hotel and stand shifting our weight while a bored clerk pecks at a keyboard; the spy is led briskly to an all-white room where he’s left alone with a safety deposit box. Inside the box: multiple passports, a wad of cash in different currencies, a gun with a silencer, an envelope with the name of a contact — everything he needs to navigate his new surroundings. If we see his hotel, it’s luxurious. If we see him on a plane, he’s either flying it himself or it’s a private jet. We are repeatedly shown — more often, or at least more indelibly, than in the books some of these stories are based on — that the elements of travel we ourselves find exhausting and stressful have been magically made easy for the spy.3 The spy never worries about not understanding a language; whatever it is, he already speaks it, and fluently, with no trace of an accent. Instead of sitting around in train stations and dealing with subway platforms, something he’ll do only if it’s part of a chase, the spy procures a car (who knows how) or a helicopter, or a speedboat, or whatever vehicle he needs, which he always knows how to operate expertly, even if it’s a Soviet tank. And you’d better believe he knows his way around at 100 miles an hour — he’ll take shortcuts the locals haven’t discovered yet. None of your panicked on-the-fly deciphering of Parisian road signs in your rented Renault Twingo.

When you and I pack for a trip, we’re so preemptively defeated by the thought of weather and strange places that we take crushable hats and wicking layers and comfort-fit pants with legs that zip off at the knee. The spy, whether he’s stylish like Bond or casual like Jason Bourne, never looks like he’s traveling. But rain or shine, he always has just the right outfit. That may be why, whereas we stick to tourist areas and look in a guidebook to figure out where to have dinner, the spy can go anywhere he wants. He strolls into the classiest and most dangerous bars, the finest and grimiest restaurants, the ritziest and seediest casinos."

[via: http://m1k3y.tumblr.com/post/56774272295/for-a-large-portion-of-the ]
travel  packing  spies  film  geopolitics  2013  cities  borders  border  passports  language  jamesbond  red2  spymovies 
july 2013 by robertogreco
YouTube - EQUALS
"The two-minute short, specially commissioned for International Women's Day, sees 007 star Daniel Craig undergo a dramatic makeover as he puts himself, quite literally, in a woman's shoes.<br />
Directed by acclaimed 'Nowhere Boy' director/conceptual artist Sam Taylor-Wood, scripted by Jane Goldman ('Kick Ass') and featuring the voice of Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as 'M', the film will be screened in cinemas and streamed online in a bid to highlight the levels of inequality that persist between men and women in the UK and worldwide. It is the first film featuring Bond to be directed by a woman."
gender  feminism  politics  uk  global  inequality  classideas  007  jamesbond  society  women 
march 2011 by robertogreco
The Bourne Infrastructure « Magical Nihilism
"We started talking about the Bourne movies, and how, particularly the first and the last are set in Schengen - a connected, border-less Mitteleurope that can be hacked and accessed and traversed - not without effort, but with determination, stolen vehicles and the right train timetables. Again, the triumph of dematerialisation - but with a twist. Rather than Bond’s private infrastructure expensive cars and toys, Bourne uses public infrastructure as a superpower. A battered watch and an accurate U-Bahn time-table are all he needs for a perfectly-timed, death-defying evasion of the authorities."
mattjones  dematerialization  transit  infrastructure  jamesbond  bourne  film  books 
december 2008 by robertogreco
Who Stole My Volcano? Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dematerialisation of Supervillain Architecture. « Magical Nihilism
"But then in an almost throw-away aside to Adam, he reflected that the modern Bond villain (and he might have added, villains in pop culture in general) is placeless, ubiquitous, mobile. His hidden fortress is in the network, represented only by a briefcase, or perhaps even just a mobile phone. Where’s the fun in that for a production designer? Maybe it’s in the objects. It’s not the pictures that got small, but the places our villains draw they powers from." ... "So - for a “4th generation warfare” supervillain there aren’t even objects for the production designer to create and imbue with personality. The effects and the consequences can be illustrated by the storytelling, but the network and the intent can’t be foreshadowed by environments and objects in the impressionist way that Adam employed to support character and storytelling. But - what about materialising, visualising these invisible networks in order to do so?"

[see also: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/11/where_is_my_white_cat_and_my_e.html ]
mattjones  design  culture  infrastructure  nomads  neo-nomads  capitalism  mobility  comics  production  villains  jamesbond  coldwar  movies  architecture  film  network  2008  cityofsound  visualization  storytelling  ubiquitous  ubicomp  mobile  supervillains  dematerialization  unproduct 
november 2008 by robertogreco

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