Giant Changes

We’re going to take a break from James Bond. I watched The Man With The Golden Gun a couple weeks ago with my friend Jay, and it was good, despite technical difficulties (the fucking DVD player fell through a stupid time hole again and decided everything was going to be black and white only from now on; that’s what I get for messing around with century old technologies) but shortly after we watched it, I decided to completely upend my entire life because WHY THE HELL NOT.

I quit my job and, if all goes according to plan, I’m leaving Asheville in mid June for a year. A year spent touring around the country in some form of vehicle, taking pictures. YES I AM FINALLY DOING IT. Oh and in other news I’m having a solo show at the DeSoto, which actually has been in the works for a year now but is opening on Thursday, May 4!

flight 4

OK! I’m super excited and also nervous and also freaking out that I won’t be able to find an actual vehicle and will be reduced to sleeping in the back of my 19 year old Saturn station wagon Batly. This is a bad idea, because despite the undeniable fact that Batly is the BEST CAR EVER, she is growing old and would like to retire and long road trips are now only fond memories of her youth, much like cartwheels are of mine.

I have been doing all this crazy research on what kind of vehicle I want. It’s hard to find. I am too damn old to sleep on a futon in the back of a pickup and shit in a bucket. But, I am too young, ornery and poor to want to live in a gold plated 50 foot bus. What I need is something in between. I want something nobody will look at twice. I want to extend my largeish middle aged lady invisibility to what I’m driving. I want to go stealth, slip under the radar and park wherever I feel like it, in the cities, the burbs and the woods of America. What I want, in short, is a truck camper. I thought I wanted a van, but then I started looking for a van and it turns out that while I wasn’t paying attention camper vans went from being plentiful and cheap to being made of diamonds. They are trendy now and newish ones go for like EIGHTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. That is slightly outside my budget.

So I am looking for a used truck camper and a used truck, because like my wardrobe, truck campers are composed of separates. This is not easy.  Truck Camper Magazine, my new bible (I now subscribe to Truck Camper and the New Yorker and I think that basically says everything anyone needs to know about me) recommends buying a camper first, but there are hardly any used campers out there and most of the ones that exist are far, far away. The logistics and the money are complicated. I thought I had this enormous budget but really it is not very much to buy a camper and a truck, even though I have already upped it. It is discouraging. But I have six weeks to find them and make them mine and DAMN IT IT WILL HAPPEN. In six weeks, the kids will be taking over the house and the animals, and I will be on my way. In six weeks, I will have put a bunch of stuff in storage, cleaned everything out, moved into my new camper and I will be heading off to parts unknown! Yikes! Yay! Oh hey all my widely scattered old friends I am coming to visit and use your shower!

Meanwhile, I’m frantically framing art for next week.  I hate framing.  I keep telling myself to put the camper on hold right now, stop endlessly refreshing craigslist and just clean the damn glass, but it’s tough. I’m excited about the show but there is so much else going on it’s tough to focus. Still. SHOW! Come and see it. Come to the opening. The opening is also my birthday, so it is PARTY PARTY time with a vengeance.  If you do not know it, the DeSoto Lounge is on Haywood Road right off 240. The sign on the side of the building says ElDorado. The opening is Thursday, May 4 from 5 – 8. Hope to see you there!

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Live and Let Die

Well! I watched this a couple of weeks ago and took copious notes. I would have gotten it written up sooner, but first off, I went to Ikea in Charlotte with my friend Jennifer and bought way way way too much stuff – some of which was super random and I am not sure what the hell came over me – and some of which I am still slowly assembling into the world’s most hygge living room ever. I mean it is so ultra hygge. It is hyggey. It is, even, hyggeriffic, or it will be once I get two strong people over to lift the furniture so I can cram the rug underneath and once I replace the tabletop because I forgot to double check the fucking dimensions and got one that is too small, DAMN IT. I mean it’s so simple to remedy, I get to Charlotte easily twice a decade or so. ARGH. And I don’t want to make a tabletop because it will be like the usual kind of thing I make – halfassed sort of hippie crap only black with, possibly, skulls. I’m too old for spraypainted splintery plywood tables. I embrace hygge now. I want a real table top.

okraSo the living room is almost done but remains a bit in flux and then I caught not the flu but a “flu like illness” which is apparently indistinguishable from the flu in the lungs, ears, eyes, throat, nose and feverish brain of the sufferer. I have spent the last week in bed, which is super sucky because, among other things, I started a photo class at AB Tech last Tuesday night. I need to get my technical chops up to speed, I think, and also I need a bit of a kick in the ass because I feel like I’m slipping back into a rut. Therefore, class, and I came home Tuesday all excited about shooting pictures every single day for my homework and then woke up Wednesday in total misery with a fever.  Then I spent five days in bed, like, literally in bed, sweating, coughing, unable to think or read anything heavier than Angela “pity she was such a fascist because she’s just so damn amusing darling” Thirkell.  Hence pictures like this one, Compositions in Cat and Kleenex.  I went to the doctor this morning and now I’m on steroids for my wheezing lungs and some mysterious cough pill for my hacking cough and tomorrow I get to go back to work, lucky me. I went in for a while on Sunday but didn’t last long.

ENOUGH OF THE PROBLEMS OF TEDIOUS REALITY.  LET US RETURN TO THE LAND OF BOND.

Live and Let Die – a new Bond, a new decade and man, it really shows. This movie is different than the earlier Bonds. The 60s bonds were aspirational, sort of – they reflected this oh so cool sophistication and glamour. Did it really exist? I don’t know, maybe? Sort of? But there was an overall aesthetic there of elegance and smooth, polished surfaces. Very Mad Men. With this movie, though, that’s over and instead it’s all IN YOUR FACE wild and let’s do a lot of drugs and let it all hang out. The whole feeling is different. It’s hard to pin down, exactly, but the pace is more frenetic, there’s a ton more slapstick and there are a lot of rougher edges, rougher streets, just a sort of less sophisticated feeling. There’s also an offhand acceptance of mysticism – Tarot cards, psychics, Voodoo, general magic – that you wouldn’t find in the earlier, or, for that matter, the later films. I think this is sort of the fantasy Bond film but I also think that was so much a part of that decade, much more so than even the 60s. And then, of course, there’s the terribly, sadly, obvious fact that Roger Moore is, well, no Sean Connnery. He’s not terrible! He’s fine for who he is, which is Roger Moore! But he’s not the borderline psycho, extremely tightly wound yet chillingly competent Bond that Connery was. He’s more sort of, I don’t know, puppy Bond. He’s friendly and he’s trying very hard.

The movie starts off with death by earbud at the UN and then shifts promptly to death by jazz funeral in New Orleans and then, naturally, to a voodoo ceremony somewhere in the Caribbean. Voodoo. Voodoo. Voodoo. SNAAAAAAAAAKE!! The song is by Paul McCartney. I knew that. I mean, I know the damn song, it was long ago implanted into my subconscious mind forever, but I don’t think I quite realized that it was actually a James Bond movie theme song until I watched it. It kind of blew my mind. Then came the titles, which my notes say were different but not how, so I don’t remember and then there’s a note about how much I begged for a digital watch like that myself. Digital watches! We are introduced to  the new Bond in his oh so amazing bachelor apartment with to die for polka dot wallpaper in the kitchen and a sexy Italian lady spy in the bedroom. M & Moneypenny show up and Bond is dispatched after a little slapstick to the New York City of my childhood, which is to say, kinda edgy, grimy and possible even a bit scary. There’s an extended car chase in cars which I just cannot, no matter how hard I try, see as desirable fancy or even nice cars. They all look like hooptys to me, even the fantastic white pimpmobile with the side mirror armaments.

OK! Turns out the bad guy is also a UN delegate who has lots of super cool masks, a very freaky psychic girlfriend, a main minion with a hook for a hand, lots of hideouts that change into restaurants in Harlem and, dude, lesser minions galore in super high waisted bell bottoms and afros! The menu in the Harlem bar and grill is painted on the wall which is red like the whole groovy place and everything is under $1. And, at some point, Bond asks for somebody’s name and they say “Names is for tombstones, baby.” Yeah. Oh yeah. Anyway Bond gets captured and then rescued and then he’s off to the Caribbean, where he hooks up with a young CIA lady spy who seems a little easily spooked for her chosen career. Bond flames a snake with a can of aerosol aftershave – aerosol aftershave? WTF? – and wears a powder blue leisure suit, oh my god, he looks like an idiot. See? Declasse, the 70s. The CIA lady is this movie’s obligatory dead girl so Bond promptly runs off with psychic freak Solitaire and her deck of magic Tarot cards. There’s an extensive chase through what are supposed to be poppy fields (pretty sure they’re hops; poppies don’t look like that) and then a long crazy car chase sequence in a double decker bus with lots of cool island village shots and then they get captured again, told the whole evil plot – it is, briefly as follows –

  1. Give everyone free heroin.
  2. ????
  3. Profit!!!!!

and taken to New Orleans.

In Louisiana they try to kill Bond by feeding him to a bunch of alligators which of course will not work, particularly because the villains, in a foolish oversight, don’t stick around to make sure he dies. I mean, duh. He escapes via cigarette boat and then the hook hand villain, plus a bunch of other minions, chases Bond for a long time, a very long time, in another speedboat. That scene, which goes on forever – did I mention how long it was? – is the one that we adored as children. There’s a caricature redneck southern sheriff, perhaps THE caricature redneck southern sheriff, who joins the chase, out to get both of them. They career all through the bayous for hours. Days. There’s an alfresco dinner party and a wedding that both get crashed through by the speedboat chase. And then, there’s the one quite nasty and overt bit of racism in the movie, on the part of said sheriff. It’s sort of devolution into farce with a soupcon of racism and, um, well. I loved it when I was a kid and I missed the racist part, or, more likely, it was just so much part of the surroundings that it went without mention, in passing, just the way things are. Ugh. But the sheriff’s car gets blown up and hook hand gets away, then, so, serves him right.

I should mention here that pretty much the entire cast of this movie is African American except for Bond, Felix Leiter, the creepy comic relief redneck sheriff and maybe Solitaire, the weird psychic Tarot card wielding love interest (she is sort of ethnically ambiguous and possibly interplanetary.) That is quite cool and it’s awesome to see all these black actors, some of whom are seriously chewing up the scenery – I am looking at you, crazy laugh Voodoo guy – which is the right attitude to Bond. So it is very fun. Is it exploitation? I’m not enough of an expert to say. It only made me acutely uncomfortable that one time, but, I’m a white girl from the 70s: I don’t even know.

OK! Bond returns to the Caribbean to rescue Solitaire who is going to be sacrificed at a Voodoo ceremony because why the hell not (turns out she can’t be psychic after she has sex with Bond) and it gives the filmmakers a chance to really go for it with the giant snake and almost virgin tied to a stake scene.  Turns out under all the voodoo graveyard stuff there is an entire underground lair! OF course there is! Complete with uniformed minions although why you would bother with uniforms if they’re just going to be underground with nobody to see them except other minions, I don’t know. Why a giant grow op needs so many minions, I don’t know either. There is a fat bored minion who is totally great! There is Kananga gone completely over the top unhinged, also great! Kananga is a great actor. There is the shark tank from Thunderball, the monorail from You Only Live Twice AND, after Kananga is somewhat messily  disposed of and all is well, Bond and Solitaire leave on the train from With Russia With Love! All bases covered, here. Hook dude returns but to no avail and the happy couple chugs off to, um, who knows, with Baron Samedi Crazy Laugh Voodoo Guy sitting on the caboose.

This movie is now straying into the realm of movies I actually remember fairly clearly, so I was obviously growing up when I watched this on TV. It’s not terrible. It’s not the best thing ever, either. I think it’s a solid B-.

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Diamonds are Forever

First movie in my newly repainted & rearranged living room! I have been busy the last couple of weeks. When it’s done, finally, finally done and berugged (I need a new rug. Rugs are much harder to find than I thought plus they’re expensive, dude, so expensive) there will be pictures and you will weep with envy and joy for the sheer beauty of it. That will be when I finally get the damn knickknacks sorted and the rest of the art hung. But for now suffice it to say that it’s painted, and the color is – wait for it – ….silver bullet. Yes. Silver bullet! It looks much better than it sounds although let’s face it, it sounds awesome. And there’s an ………accent wall. Which is green. An accent wall! It belongs in a heavy Rizzoli coffee table book, my new living room. They could call it Mid 20th Century Small Vaguely Ranchesque Southern Houses for the Working Classes. With accent walls.

However! Onward and upward to Bond! I didn’t live blog this one because that’s gotten old, besides it’s too context free to be entertaining. Instead I took 5 pages of handwritten notes. Five. Pages. Let that sink in for a moment. Sometimes I concern myself. I felt so scholarly that I pretended I was writing a thesis on James Bond. I could when I’m done with this project – The Bond Lens: Class, Gender, Race and Explosions in the 20th and early 21st Centuries. But! Let’s get to the movie! No thesis tonight, just spoilers: like Pussy, galore.

We start right out with Bond – Sean Connery again, in his last appearance as Bond, which is a pity, because through the whole movie it feels as if he’s finally gotten comfortable with the character – crashing through a Japanese house wall. He’s searching for Blofeld – remember Blofeld? He’s the Teutonic evil dude with the white Persian – and his search takes him around the globe in quick succession, including a rather nasty bit where he strangles  a girl with her own bikini top. Eventually he tracks Blofeld down in a sort of combination plastic surgery clinic and mud spa (yeah, okay, surgery patients in 1971 were  always dropped in huge vats of goop, why the hell not?) and after a brisk fight, Blofeld is dead. OR IS HE?

Cue the titles. The song is by Shirley Bassey and it’s – not bad! Really not terrible. Like, you can see that if it was 1971 and you were sitting in a dark Holiday Inn sort of lounge bar, you could even enjoy listening to it as you wept silent tears into your scotch.

And here’s Bond proving he’s cool by guessing shit about sherry in some upper class yob’s fancy fucking drawing room (that just happens to be painted the SAME GREEN AS MY NEW ACCENT WALL DID I MENTION MY NEW GREEN ACCENT WALL?) and they’re discussing South African diamond mines. My note here says “oh fuck if they start defending the SA diamond mines I might have to OH FUCK WINT AND KIDD I REMEMBER THEM THEY ARE SCARY!” and yes, enter two really memorable Bond villains, the psychopathic duo Wint and Kidd. One of them looks like someone, some totally well known 70s comedic figure, but I can never remember who. Anyway they are scary! They scared small me over and over, because I realized on seeing them that I have seen this movie like a million times. It must have been on TV a lot. Like, a LOT.

OK! Then there’s a bunch of stuff proving that Wint & Kidd are bad dudes and something, something, stolen diamonds have to get to the USA. Moneypenny has a cameo in a British border patrol uniform and eventually Bond ends up in the Amsterdam apartment of an American diamond smuggling chick (Jill St. John! Didn’t she go on to become a real movie star?) in her underwear. You know, like you do. Cue the slow mellow jazz. She has a whole fingerprint ID kit in her bathroom that’s pretty fucking nifty – it’s a Polaroid and a microfilm reader, I think – but Bond has fortunately gotten fake fingerprints in so his diamond smuggling cover is not blown. Phew. Then there’s an elevator fight with a lot of broken glass.

Bond is off to Las Vegas with a casket. There’s an A-frame funeral chapel with a lot of abstract orange stained glass – SO 70s! – and Bond nearly, but not quite, gets cremated. Off to a casino and enter another girl, Plenty O’Toole, who says when confronted with naked Bond, “There’s a lot more to you than I expected.” Groan. But this movie is actually really tight and stylish and the slapstick bits are well executed. Plenty gets thrown out a window, which doesn’t kill her but does foreshadow her demise (obligatory dead girl bingo square!) and Tiffany Case, aka the Amsterdam girl, is back. They go to Circus Circus and there’s a brief elephant vignette! This made me happy as did a moving Hertz neon sign somewhere in Las Vegas.

Then there are a bunch of car chase sequences including one with the moon rover because, in a casual aside, Bond crashes the set where they’re faking the moon landing. This is less stylish than previous Bonds, either because it’s the US and we just aren’t stylish or because all the cars look like more like beaters than super cool antiques. The line, apparently, is thin. The whole thing is like a Dukes of Hazzard episode, in fact I made a note that this is probably what inspired the show. But they get away and then are off to the worlds most amazingly tacky beautiful hotel suite WITH A LAWN JOCKEY and they have sex on a BED MADE OF AQUARIUMS. Not exactly cozy, OK, but 10 out of 10 for style.

Bond does some fancy aerial work that made me dizzy and ends up in Howard Hughes
Wilfrid Wood, crazy billionaire,’s private penthouse. It’s, surprise, Blofeld with a voice changer and a big round floor map. No, wait, there are two Blofelds. He’s been cloning himself, or, well, getting doubles with plastic surgery (now that’s a job description) and, while he’s at it, cat doubles too. Bond gets knocked out, but instead of just shooting him, Blofeld gets Wint & Kidd in and they drive out through a part of the desert that just lifts up (I love this. I loved this as a kid. Movable fake landscape big enough to drive a car through!) and dump him inexplicably in a big pipe. Of course he’s totally fine, although in his next scene he’s wearing a white suit and a short wide pink tie, so is he really fine?

That would be the scene where he meets Bambi and Thumper, who are supermodels who kill. They are quite awesome but Bond beats them and finally we discover that the whole point of stealing all the diamonds was to put them on a satellite array which produces a city killing death laser. Of course it does.

The laser is controlled, naturally, by one cassette tape on an oil rig. Bond parachutes in; Blofeld yet again resists the urge to just kill him and instead locks him up in a storage closet full of old paint tins and an escape hatch. There’s a big battle, the tape gets switched back and forth, Tiffany Case runs around in a bikini and Blofeld gets to say “PREPARE MY BATHYSPHERE!” which is a sentence I too hope to utter some beautiful day. Now Blofeld is finally dead . . . OR IS HE?

In the last scene Bond and Tiffany Case are sailing away in a huge ocean liner. Wint and Kidd reappear and are summarily disposed of and that, my friends, is that. This is a good movie. I mean I really liked it. It more or less made sense, the acting was as good as it gets for Bond, the gadgets were cool but not over the top (there is a scene where Q  hits the jackpot on every slot machine!) and generally, it’s a really nice Bond flick. I give it an A. Goodbye Sean! Next stop, Roger Moore.

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

oooh, looking forward to this one! George Lazenby’s one & only outing as Bond. Starts right off with a car chase and then a girl in the most 60s dress ever trying to drown herself. So romantic! She can’t be that far gone, she only just waded in. He’s pretty sexy for not being Sean Connery. Wait! It’s a trap! No shit.

BIFF! BAM! JUDO CHOP!

The titles are weird. Flashback clips? It’s disorienting.

Hmmm. He’s not actually all that cute. He has one of those long mobile Michael Palin British faces.

Yo, if it’s a trap the 1st time you chase her, maybe just maybe it might be the second as well? I mean, duh.

Oh god I covet that lamp.

Bond, in a brown high end leisure suit, is being kidnapped. Ah, to the docks.

Oookay, there’s a dwarf sweeping floors. That was random!

I think this is Italy. No, apparently it’s Corsica. Extremely melodramatic place. With swelling strings. Pity the screenwriter wasn’t drowned in the first trap.

What she needs is a man! A man to dominate her! A man to make love to her! A man to barf a little in his mouth. I added that last bit.

Moneypenny in a black and white plaid suit! OMG that suit!

So he quit. Now all the songs are playing as he pulls out souvenirs from every movie…what is this, the tacky Bond film? It’s too meta.

Oh a bullfight. Yay. Ok ok these animals all died long ago when I was in preschool. Still, Jesus.

Bokeh! That means LURVE!

A combo copy machine & safe cracker – handy! And Bond looking at Playboy. In the hallway. Gross. Just, gross.

KNIFE SHOES LADY! I love her so much!

VW bug!

Bond in a kilt. In a harem! Full of babes in craaaaazy fashions! And dinner rotates in.

And Bond rotates into a curly headed girl.who is being hypnoTIZED. By disco lights. And then another girl. The magic dick survives cast changes!

Where is Blofelds cat? Also, Blofeld smokes funny. Do all super villains hold their cigarettes like that? Awkward.

Sure, lock Bond in with the clockwork that runs the cable car, what could possibly go wrong?

The hypnoTIZED unwitting secret agent chicks are being controlled by makeup! Ah ha, the dark side of Sephora revealed.

Ski chase! One ski chase!  Several minions down. Now an ice carnival…I didn’t realize this was a Christmas movie, remind me to not watch it next December.

OK the stock car race chase on ice was exceedingly cool. And now, a blizzard. And a barn and his true bokeh spit curled love in a mink coat.

More skiing. Some really sweet shots. Avalanche!

What is a secret lair without a super top secret elaborate bobsled run escape route? Every lair should have one! Also the Winter Olympics would be more interesting with live ammo.

Whoa holy shit, wedding! With M & Q ! And a teary Moneypenny. I didn’t expect this, now why do I suspect it’s going to end badly. ….Surprise..the obligatory dead girl.

and end on a weepy pathos soaked note.

Well! That was pretty terrible! And also long! This was the worst one yet. Worse than You Only Live Twice. Worse than From Russia With Love. The lair sucked. The love interest got too serious. Not enough Q and Blofeld dropped his cat, who said mew indignantly. Knife Shoe Lady didn’t kick anyone and the script was full of howlers. I give it a C- : would be a D but the scenery and the skiing and the bobsled battle almost redeem it.

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Trolls and the Alt Right

What with the world ending and all, I’m spending a lot of time on Twitter – aka The Resistance, I guess, it will not be televised, it will be sort of retweeted – and as usual I’m also on Instagram a lot. I’m unsurprisingly thus starting to attract my share of “alt” rightwing trolls. I am oddly a little flattered by this because hey it means that I must pose some sort of threat, old fat me, sitting in my blue enclave in my red, red state. And I am a threat too motherfucker, do not doubt that. I might . . . leave a passive aggressive note! Actually I don’t know what I might do. Which is kind of what I want to talk about here.

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So, I posted this photo, which I am quite proud of, on Instagram. I took it at the Women’s March on Asheville on January 20 with my 35 year old fully manual East German Praktika 35mm camera fitted with a nice Zeiss 50mm lens and a roll of Ilford 400 speed black and white film. Then I printed it at the Asheville Darkroom (and actually there’s a better print than this one but I’m saving it for a show I think I’m having in May/June at the DeSoto also it’s too big for my scanner) and scanned it and uploaded it and here, free of all digital manipulation, it is. Old school FTW! And the likes on Instagram started rolling in, but then along came a nasty little comment from one “joseph” a young man whose insta feed is closed to the public but whose profile says Make Europe Great Again. He says “LOL Way to win people over. Lewd pictures and violence”. And the other day I got some other, equally stupid, flack I have fortunately forgotten on Twitter.

I have been thinking about the lewd picture thing all day, though. Is it a lewd picture? No.  This is what lewd means: crude and offensive in a sexual way. Since this image is most assuredly not sexual, nor intended sexually, than no – not unless you think that all depictions of female genitalia exist only for your sexual arousal. And there, right there, that’s the problem. This assumption erases any perception of women as human beings – it’s Handmaid’s Tale territory. And to hear it voiced about all over the internet by Nazis scares the fuck out of me. That, Nazis, is why we marched. Because these are our bodies and they do not exist to be grabbed, to be groped, to be bartered around like poker chips.

But I thought about it too, because honestly, I am an old prude and the stark depictions of female genitalia in this sign and some other signs shocked me a little at first. Not too much and not for long, but I mean, you just don’t see vulvae everywhere. They are not the ubiquitous cock n’ balls of bathroom graffiti, are they? No, people don’t draw them much. They just aren’t out there in the same way (outside the thoroughly opaque little booklet in the Tampax box that we all pored over in 7th grade) and so this is, in fact, kind of shocking – and kind of liberating, too. I like the idea of reclaiming our anatomy from the male gaze.

As for violence? I’m firmly on the punching Nazis side. Sorry. You gotta take sides and if you will note, this sign says fight BACK. If they start it – and they did, or he did, the trumpacabra, Cheeto Benito, the pussy grabbing monster in the White House – then yes, we will fight right back. And if that means that we go to the streets and we really do fight, then, well, this old fat lady who has never been in an actual physical fight in her life will go to the barricades, terrified, but angry enough to get there. I will fight back.

And I am fighting back in my tiny way with images like these. I’m also calling my senators, although that’s probably pointless here in already fascist North Carolina, but maybe it will do something. We must all do something, now, because it’s too late to sit on the sidelines.

 

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You Only Live Twice

here I am, watching Bond films while America burns. My DVD player is making a grinding noise, let’s hope it holds on. There is much Bond left to watch, assuming the world holds out. It’s even odds, right now.

Live Blog

Space! Space was new and shiny then. ..but that is one fake ass space capsule. Being eaten by another, bullet shaped space capsule. Is this the first dead astronaut of thriller cinema?

Aaand cue  Bond in bed with an Asian chick, saying something racist. Well then he dies, fair cop.

The song! Stranger danger comes up, no seriously, those are the lyrics. Holy shit it’s Nancy Sinatra – and the screenplay is by Roald Dahl!

Postcard view of a much smaller and less polluted Hong Kong.

Divers…are bodies in sea burials always mummified? Oh look, he’s alive! Moneypenny on a submarine! And M’s office, beautifully & completely replicated on a sub. I do love these movies.

Moneypenny says, how was the girl? This is kinda creepy, right?

Ooooh snobby: A first in oriental languages at Cambridge. Also he can tell where vodka comes from, which is more than I can do.

Tokyo! Sumo wrestlers!

James just took a dude out with a couch. In what I think is the lair set from Dr. No. It looks suspiciously familiar.

Babe in blue dress and scarf tosses him down a slide! Round TVs! Bond is wearing spats. Or really weird shoes.

Serving girls. Horrifying sexism at this point. “Your English girls would never perform this service” “I will enjoy serving under you.” Yikes. Ugh.

Car chase! With amazing cars! They’re skyping in the car! With a totally cool screen built in the dash! Helicopter picked up car with giant magnet! And ditched it in the ocean. A little harsh perhaps.

Pan out for a rooftop dock fight. It’s like watching the rituals of a vanished civilization.

Torture babe in sequined gown. Impressively aquanetted hair. And insta sex. And yet another complicated murder plot.

Tiny yellow personal helicopters. They had better tech in the 60s. Including shiny silver spaceships with perfect skinny robot legs! Ah that is a thing of beauty.

Spectre cat dude is here!

Evil lair has evil monorail. And piranha. Aqua net lady is fish food and evil Japanese industrialist of funky white hair  has kill Bond mandate.

Ninjas! They’re noisy ninjas.

and the requisite dead girl.

Pearl divers! Dead girl easily replaced. This movie is a little more upfront with the racism / sexism. Pity because it’s otherwise pretty cool.

Replacement girl’s virtue is no match for Bond’s magic dick! She is actually pretty badass. I would not, myself, want to climb a mountain in a white bikini.

The round monorail car is about the most stylish thing ever. I want one.

Send in reserve astronaut. Bond meets Blofeld! And his peculiarly lethargic kitty. Why doesn’t that cat run for it? Here at last is the villain of a thousand parodies. He’s pretty ripe for parody.

Big lair firefight. How did the Noisy Ninjas rappel in with those swords? How did Bond know about the piranhas? He wasn’t there for the demos.

Oh look crazy Americans about to start global thermonuclear war. This is not working out as well as a piece of pure light escapism as one had hoped. Is it possible Bannon is Blofeld’s son? It would explain a lot.

Hmm. Nancy is singing again and Bonds tryst with his replacement Japanese girlfriend is cancelled by a submarine and also some inexplicable lava. It’s over. Phew, because this was just not as good as Thunderball. The really upfront sexism and some nasty Asian stereotypes, plus plot holes: C+ But, excellent tech and an entertaining if a bit National Geographicy Visit to 60s Japan, where women knew their place, ugh. Anyway, I am floating off until next time, sadly without Sean Connery in my space capsule.

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Women March

We marched. It was fucking AMAZING and I feel better than I have since early November. The official counts are saying 10,000 people in Asheville and I suspect it was more than that. Incredible signs, incredible people, let’s say it again, LOUD: NOT OUR PRESIDENT. He did not win. And we will get him and his entire filthy crew of shit encrusted thieves and vultures out to the dungheap of history where they belong. NOT ONE STEP BACK.

Here are some phone pictures from a truly inspiring day. In a couple weeks there will be film pictures! Yay!

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