Wednesday, November 11, 2015

James Bond, the man who saved Britain – The Obs

It does not look like that, but the subject is serious. In the only amphitheater with 150 seats of Ileri, School of International Relations in Paris, one press and is piled up in the stands to witness the event conference the day: “James Bond is there a geopolitical heroes ? “

On the dais four researchers but also big fans of the saga, Alexandre Adler, Isabelle Safa, Peter and David Fayard Vauclair, as wise as their audience. For two hours, they go forth on the agent 007. But just be the most famous spy in the world, in theaters this Wednesday, amid students aiming for careers in major international organizations?


We saw “Spectrum” uneven and without panache

The link between James Bond and geopolitics is striking. Never such a fictional character did not exercise as much appeal in the higher echelons of power. John Kennedy had placed “From Russia with Love” prominently in its top 10 best books. His wife recommended reading to CIA director Allen Dulles, who was one of the biggest admirers.

Soviet environmental risks and cyberterrorism

Because, born in a dual context of the Cold War and decolonization, James Bond married the political and socioeconomic changes in the Western world.

Fleming was an anti-communist virulent. The British agent was measured so of course the Soviet secret service background:

  • Euro-missiles crisis, for example, “ Octopussy ” in 1983
  • to ‘occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet troops in “ The Living Daylights
  • nuclear war threats “ Moonraker ” in 1979.

Bond was also confronted with the power of large international media “ Tomorrow Never Dies ” in 1997. He has faced the ultimate bastions of Chinese and Korean totalitarian systems “ Die Another Day “, including, in 2002. He responded to environmental risks “ The World Is Not Enough: ” in 1999, with water crisis in “ Quantum of Solace ” in 2008. Finally, it is measured in global finance, cyberterrorism, international criminal networks in “ Licence to Kill” Casino Royal” Skyfall ” and ” Spectrum

British Influence Zone

As a result of this anchoring in the geopolitical reality. Many countries have chosen to ban the film. The course Soviet bloc, but also a part of the Middle East, where the Egyptian Nasser denounced James Bond before his deputies as the embodiment of Western imperialism, or in Algeria where Houari Boumediene banned the film. In China, it was not until 2006 and “Casino Royal” for it to be disseminated.

James Bond, say the specialists and Ian Fleming himself, is a mirror of our time. “The art of the saga is to stick to reality, without ever entering the international debate,” said Jean-Antoine Duprat, author of “James Bond in the geopolitical spectrum” (The spirit of the time, October 2015).


Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond

Especially, the spy has restored the image of Britain. One has only to observe the way in which each output is celebrated in the UK. The surprise appearance of Elizabeth II as himself alongside Daniel Craig, time for a short film at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 speaks volumes about the role of James Bond in . representing Britain on the world stage

“James Bond is a projection of the image that wants to be a people for himself,” says Jean-Antoine Duprat, who adds:

James Bond arrives at the end of World War II, when England loses its global dimension, dethroned by the United States. And then we will have a character that applies to the entire planet, even in terms of film distribution. “

The illusion of an empire

guest researchers in the Ileri agree: James Bond is the fantasy of a still powerful England and James Bond is the guarantor of this prestigious “The numerous missions abroad part of the character of MI6 in action. the defense of an empire presented as eternal and timeless, as if it was still intact, “said Isabelle Safa, doctor of literature and teacher at Sciences Po Lille.

We are in a compensatory logic. After Suez, all is lost save honor. ”

In fact, James Bond come into being inglorious resignation of Winston Churchill, the Suez crisis in 1956, the end of colonial empires. The last illusions of the British Empire collapsed with a crash.

“It is no coincidence that the first film ‘James Bond against Dr. No’ starts with Bahamas, where Nassau were concluded the agreements that bound forever the destiny of Britain to the United States through the “special relationship”, says Alexandre Adler. England then resolves “to pass the baton to the United States.”

This illusion of a lost empire reality is found mainly in the representation of the East. A caricatural representation. In “The Spy Who Loved Me”, the scenes in Egypt offering a wide panorama of postcard images and strong colonial prejudices pyramids, camels, meals that take place in a large tent, dancers the veiled belly (in Bond obviously go with one of them) …

In “Octopussy”, tigers and elephants are there for us remember that we are well in India!

The Arabs are themselves bearded riders. Agent 007 is in a space adventure and romance, how Lawrence of Arabia.

The East is always represented as a conquered territorial space, colonized, “said Isabelle Safa.

” We are in This Orientalism by Edward Said theorized that explains a set of stereotypes of the East produced by the West would be at the service of material and ideological dominance of the West over the East, “says Isabelle Safa.” If we do can see from Fleming such a nefarious plot, however there is much in nostalgia. “

So, here or there, in the James Bond model Colonial is mentioned. This is an arms dealer Brad Whitaker, which refers to a battle won in 1895 by the English on many more Afghan troops. This patriotic song of imperial propaganda of the nineteenth century, “Rule Britania “whistled by Bond in” The Living Daylights “to trigger a gas concealed by Q in a key chain.

The allusions to the Empire are recurrent and stage a civilizing hero faced with an archaic East, backlog, “adds Isabelle Safa.

It gives the example of a James Bond who does not hesitate to violate a tribal custom to end a fight to the death between two Gitanes love of one man in ” From Russia with Love “. Or when he saves a Kim Basinger in distress, exposed in lingerie to be sold in a market in the North African slaves who teeming with lewd buyers in “Never Say Never.”

Furthermore, Isabelle Safa insists that bondien in the world, the East is “a land of confrontation between the West and the is. “

England scholars

This hyper representing Britain, inordinately fantasy is all the more important that the British digest not be forced to become the United States. To give height to Britain against the United States, James Bond uses a lever unstoppable: scientific intelligence embodied by Q. He’s the scientist of Cambridge and Oxford, is the geek decked 2000s for cyberguerres. In “Skyfall”, he rightly said to James Bond: “I would argue that I can do more damage with my laptop and pajamas before my first cup of Earl Grey you in one year in the field.”


James Bond makes an inventory of all its gadgets >

The Bond saga expresses the idea of ​​England with “beautiful remains,” said Alexandre Adler. “Its engineers invented the radar in 1940, the first computers, artificial intelligence. Despite appearances, despite the antique furniture, England remains a great technological power through its ability to use his science.” In fact the character of Q. inventing the watch shearing the barbed wire, the case for cigarette that activates a missile is ultimately much more important than that of M., director of MI6.

smart power

bondienne With this feature, Britain wants indispensable to the progress of the world. And 007 is at home everywhere. “James Bond may be located anywhere on the planet, right now, he has allies who provide suits, ties, invitations, armament, information. In fact, it is as if the empire was omnipresent and could mobilize wherever he goes, Asia, the Caribbean or Latin America, “said Pierre Fayard, PhD in Information Sciences and university professor at the IAE of Poitiers.

So James Bond never fear, for the Empire is always behind him. “

Umberto Eco pioneer of “James Bond studies”, even spoke of a Victorian isolationism since profited Bond lifestyle and British institutions anywhere in the world.

“It’s also a way of saying that the United States can not do it alone, despite their large submarines and boats. When the Americans arrived, James Bond already did everything thanks to his intelligence, his individualism, his anti-conformism “says Alexandre Adler. Lined his license to kill, a sign of the coercive force of Britain, James Bond can be interpreted as a symbol of smart power in English.

The moult secret agent

James Bond was able to constantly reborn. For Alexandre Adler, the arrival of Pierce Brosnan and, above all, Daniel Craig, shows a new phase in the UK will radiate through the planet.


From Sean Connery to Daniel Craig: 6 faces of Bond

“With Pierce Brosnan, the England wins in modesty. In India, the English are no longer kings, Russians are sometimes smarter. There is a self-depreciation against major claims from beginning. And then comes Daniel Craig. “

By” visage “physical” pushing “his accent” prole “, his sadness, his childhood trauma, his obscurity Daniel Craig reveals a Britain in “Complete deflation” but is now “reinvent” says Alexandre Adler. “She wants to leave Europe, it is now break with the United States, she rushes in China, it probably will not remain a monarchy. England ended its transformation, it does tell more stories. Exactly what happens in Russia today who wants to reinvent an empire. In fact Daniel Craig … is Putin. “

Sarah Diffalah


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