Friday, October 5, 2012

BOND BEAT

Bond and Beat are both British four letter words.

On this date in 1962, the British began their invasion of pop culture. The first big-screen production with Ian Flemming's secret agent, James Bond, hit the screen with Dr. No. At the same time, The Beatles released their first song, Love Me Do.

I don't have huge personal connections to either, to be honest. I've seen most of the classic Bond films (my favorite lines are "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die!" But those were from Goldfinger, two years later), and there are many wonderful and memorable scenes... but the series drifted into a series of dull formulaic patterns, with more reliance on camp and stereotypes than cinema. I don't think some of them have aged very well at all, while others certainly are. Still, I can hardly argue that there is no more massive and consistent franchise in all of motion pictures.

I'm sure I've heard many of the songs of the Beatles... but I would be hard pressed to name more than a few of them or tell you anything about them. They have been somewhere in the background of my life, with no particular prominence, but I am glad that songs like "Yellow Submarine", "Let it Be", and "A Hard Day's Night" have been there.

Still... two cultural phenoms that have been going for 50 years. And counting. Hats off to you, mates.