On Her Majesty's Service
The James Bond film series, based on the books written by Ian Fleming, is easily the best example of spy cinema. Secret agent 007 works for MI6 and has a license to kill granted by the Queen. For Queen and Country, 007 goes around the world fighting bad guys and making love to beautiful women along the way. Few would give up the chance to live that dream vicariously.
There is something for everyone in the series. From fast cars to cool gadgets to incredible locations. The villains are generally as classy as our protagonist and their battles are as much cerebral as they are physical. The protagonist and antagonist play out the major anxiety of the people at that moment in time. It is as much an exploration of our own hopes and fears as a battle between good and evil.
It is difficult to decide between Sean Connery and Daniel Craig as the best James Bond. Both gave the character a new lease on life and infused it with their own unique take on the circumstances and challenges. It will be interesting to see whether the franchise can continue to produce great Bond’s who can take on the new threats facing us in the brave new world.
“‘Why do we need agents, the 00 section? Isn’t it all rather quaint?’ Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I’m frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They’re not nations, they’re individuals.
And look around you. Who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No! Our world is not more transparent now, it’s more opaque! It’s in the shadows. That’s where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves, how safe do you feel?”
“She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.”
“I think you are another of these desert-loving English: Doughty, Stanhope, Gordon of Khartoum.
No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees, there is nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing.”
— Prince Faisal
“There will be no rescue, no intervention for us. We can only save ourselves. Many of you know influential people abroad, you must call these people. You must tell them what will happen to us... say goodbye. But when you say goodbye, say it as if you are reaching through the phone and holding their hand. Let them know that if they let go of that hand, you will die. We must shame them into sending help.”
— Paul Rusesabagina
“It is clear that we are just an advanced breed of primates on a minor planet orbiting around a very average star, in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. BUT, ever since the dawn of civilization people have craved for an understanding of the underlying order of the world.
There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe. And what can be more special than that there is no boundary? And there should be no boundary to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope.”
— Stephen Hawking
“No one normal could have done that. Do you know, this morning... I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you. I read up on my work... a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. And while you wish you could have been normal... I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t.”
— Joan Clarke