Train of Thought: The Bonds That Tie
It all started with a song...
I don't remember how I heard it but "You Only Live Twice" by Nancy Sinatra was playing in the living room. I knew I recognized the tune and after some digging -- cross-referencing my dusty mental archives and a trusty Google search -- I arrived at my "oh yeahhhhh"; Robbie Williams sampled it in "Millennium". I remember liking the latter, but it's what it borrows that makes it shine. They share those swoony strings but Sinatra's is dreamy, boozy and beguiling, like I'm lost and content at the same time. It's been in constant rotation since.
But what about all those other Bond songs? I then set out to rediscover every theme. The opening credits get the job done in setting the tone and are often as memorable as, if not sometimes more-so, the movie itself. Listening in order is a revealing timeline of trends -- great, good, good gaudy, good grief, hot damn, meh. There's a decade in there that's better left forgotten. You figure out which.
But what is the opening without the titles? Sure there's the predictable and played out sexy silhouette. And there are the special effects that did not age well. Like their musical partners the style represents the times. Art of the Title has a great write-up on the influence of Bond title sequences and the music video revolution of the 80's. It's also a reminder that the Casino Royale was quite good, and Skyfall had more (poor) CGI than I remember.
But what about the Bond films as a whole? 007 is misogynistic and sexist (to borrow an M quote). I loved these movies when I was a kid and still do. Should I? Do be a feminist and indulge in Pussy Galore puns seem at odds. Just do a search for "Bond & Feminism" and you'll find a lot of opinions. Here's one take. Mine -- I think the answer is I am, and I do. Not really an answer but it's the best I can do.
So there we are. The end isn't so far off from where I began, but it's funny what one song can kick-start.