Today is my daughter’s birthday. She is quite old – I did make a sort of New Years resolution where I was going to stop lying about my age, or at least stop obfuscating it, but when it comes right down to the wire (and by wire I mean not only such things as admitting how old my oldest child is but also giving my age to the tired cashier at Ingles who really doesn’t care and knows perfectly well I am if anything too old to be buying such cheap wine) I find I just . . can’t quite. So we will go on saying gently that she is now 30something, which is to say considerably older than I was when she was small and I was watching that show in, I think, reruns. ANYHOW! We went shopping! We went to the mall which used to be moribund and depressing and eerily fascinating and is now booming because they yanked the roof off and added the magic word outlets to the name. Happy Birthday A! Yay mother daughter shopping and having the exact same conversations in the dressing room as every other mother daughter pair in there! It was nice.
And now, on to Bond. I watched Goldfinger, which is better than From Russia With Love and worse than Dr. No and definitely has the most horrible song, perhaps of all time. Really, no, the song is BAD. I want to link it here for you but I can’t bring myself to google it in case I have to hear a few bars and my head explodes. Just take my word for it.
Goldfinger seemed creepily familiar to me. I thought, oooh, I have so seen this and then I looked up when it first played on TV in the states and YES, I was 9 years old and I am pretty sure that my entire family watched it together. That is exactly the right age to be scarred for life. The sexual innuendo – immortal lines such as “Sorry, can’t talk right now – something big has come up.” (OH GOD CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT THE AUGUST SEAN CONNERY UTTERED THAT WITH A SMIRK) went right by me but the idea that you could die if painted has remained as a point of anxiety in my psyche ever since. I don’t know if it’s true – if you are all painted gold, do you die? Who knows? Has it been tested? On poor naked guinea pigs? I can’t stand it – but whenever I see someone in body paint, I immediately want to make sure they have left a blank space at the base of their spine to prevent insta death. It worries me. It has always worried me. And I won’t even wear makeup, although that might not be connected.
So, besides the terrible dangers of body paint, what else do we learn from Goldfinger? Well, that Fort Knox is small, ugly, and surprisingly easy to break into with a crack team of young women pilots. You would think they would be a bit more serious about patrolling their air space but noooooooo. You also learn that super villains go in for really overly complex lairs – a map would do, really, you don’t need a revolving pool table and three D model – but oh GOD the whole ranch house lair is so mid century perfect, fieldstone, fireplace, dungeon cells: the works. It looks like a spread out of a 1965 House and Garden with added minions. This is prescient, because the movie came out in 1964.
What else? It’s been a few days and it’s already fading blissfully from my memory. There is something to be said about advancing age: you don’t have to remember every minute of James Bond movies forever. Odd Job and his slice-y bowler hat makes his first appearance – I think he’s in other movies too, but we shall see. James Bond’s magic dick turns the otherwise quite in control Pussy Galore (if you have a strong (for a Bond film) female character, you have to give her a demeaning name, because otherwise people might get confused) into a weak and clinging vine who will do his bidding, surprise, surprise. There are cool cars; we get to venture into Q Branch and see things exploding and hmmmm, James plays golf. Felix Leiter is there, although he seems older than he did in Dr. No. And at the end GoldFINGAHH, who just wanted to make all the gold in Fort Knox radioactive so that . . . so that. . . I have no idea why, maybe just for shits and giggles, something something, evil Red Chinese, was duly vanquished, the gold was saved and James and Pussy G. flew off, or jumped off, or got off, together.
I am having fun with this. I’m three movies in and I still like James Bond. Next, Thunderball!