Saturday, June 25, 2005

“I never joke about my work, 007.”

The Movie: Goldfinger, 1964 (Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, screenwriters, from the novel by Ian Fleming; Guy Hamilton, dir.)
Who says it: Desmond Llewelyn as Q, master of special weaponry for the British Secret Service
The context: Q shows James Bond (Sean Connery) the ejector seat he’s designed for Bond’s Aston Martin, and Bond says Q must be joking.
How to use it: To focus on the matter at hand, and to express your essential lack of humor.

Goldfinger is probably my favorite James Bond movie, and if you don't agree that Sean Connery is the only true Bond, you can't be my friend. (Actually, I just said that to Ashton & Joseph, and Ashton said that he'd never understood the appeal of Sean Connery. It's going to take me a while to process this, but I know that our friendship is strong enough to survive it.)

Yesterday's drive from Maine was a transit through the circles of Hell. A trip that should have taken ten hours took 13 1/2, mainly because my car's speed did not exceed 30 mph anywhere in the commonwealth of Massachusetts. Dizzy was amazingly good, and we listened to The Scarlet Pimpernel and I am Legend on tape.

I'd never read The Scarlet Pimpernel. It's entertaining, and it's useful to read the origin of so many time-honored cliches, but its anti-Semitism is shocking -- even if the author's ultimate point is to say that the French are far worse anti-Semites than the British.

I was going to drive to Richmond this afternoon for a sneak preview of Matthew & Henry's birthday party, but the thought of driving another 220 miles today -- because I have to be at another party here this evening -- is too much even for me. I'll go down there tomorrow, and hope they'll let me play with all the toys they get today.


JJ said...

I agree.

And I love I Am Legend, Matheson was a genius with that ruthlessly practical prose of his.

I wonder why they've never been able to make a decent movie out of that book. It's short, it's full of action, and it has one of the all time great endings.

Oh, and it's violent.

AnswerGirl said...

I'll have more to say about I AM LEGEND on Friday, but you're right -- it's brilliant, and works on many levels.

pyoon said...

I was shocked at Ian Fleming's characterization of Koreans in Goldfinger. The cat/mantel passage is a bummer.

AnswerGirl said...

Oh, the racism in the James Bond books is indefensible.