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Bond and Brexit

I watched Spectre again last night. It was, I think, the first time I had seen it since watching it in the cinema in 2015, and it struck me as still a very good film. As I was watching it, though, an interesting question occurred to me: the Bond films have been part of our cultural lives for over fifty years, and they have always changed to reflect the time in which they were made, so how might they now change to reflect Brexit? While the central character remains broadly the same, the Bond films are always set in the contemporary period, so how might they now adapt to reflect the UK's new place in the world?

I think this is quite an interesting question. There hasn't been a new Bond film since the stupidity of 2016, so it will be fascinating to see how the producers of the franchise react to this brave new contemporary Britain. Where once we were a bold, outgoing nation sitting at the high table of world affairs, I fear we are now a small, inward-looking, irrelevant little island. We have been greatly diminished; the entire world looks at us in a different way. What use would such a small, inward-looking state have for a mega-spy? 007 was an actor on the world stage; he was part of our international image. You only have to look at the 2012 olympic opening ceremony to see that. Bond is our projection of ourselves, sleek and powerful, into the world; he also forms part of how the rest of the world sees us. Post 2016, that image has sadly changed: we can now no longer call ourselves a world player. I have a sense that the rest of the world now sees us differently, so will it still be so willing to accept that we have a set of suave masterspies running around the world saving everyone from evil?

Sadly, I think not. The uk is now a changed country. We are now no longer the place which put on such awesome olympics in 2012, no longer quite the place where monty Python performed. As I once wrote here I am still proud of such events, but that's only because they happened before we showed ourselves to be so gullible and inward-looking. After that bloody referendum, this place has changed; I'm no longer proud of it, and don't think it is a place superspies would bother with. I suspect the Bond Producers will think that too, both Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Willson being opposed to Brexit: why would they help such a small-minded bunch of fools represent itself to the rest of the world with such a suave, heroic figure? If I were them, I simply wouldn't bother.

Can Bond survive Brexit? Of course it can as arguably cinema's greatest franchise. The question is, how will it change to reflect our troubled contemporary world? Will a diminished UK mean a diminished Bond? Where once we were seen as a suave, sophisticated outward-looking nation alert to the subtleties and nuances of world affairs, our global image is now that of a bunch of gullible fools easily duped by xenophobic jingoism. When the rest of the world looks at us, they don't see Bond any more, or anything respectable or fine, but a nation of inward-looking halfwits no longer worth engaging with. The image of the UK projected by Bond simply no longer fits.


[Edited 02/01/2018 at 14:51:30 - added a bit]

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