Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Will There Ever Be A Black James Bond?
I can remember the following conversation (or something quite close) between my father, Perry A and the nine/ten year old Nimmo.
Perry A: .... Look, the British people take this their James Bond very seriously so they cannot allow anybody who is not one to act James Bond.
Nimmo: But I can do anything anybody else can do. I can shoot and I can say 'My name is Bond, James Bond' in any accent they want and even you say I do it better than anyone else...
Perry A: I know you do but ...
Nimmo: ... but George Lazenby is not British now and he did James Bond.
Perry A: Understand that Lazenby is an Australian, so technically he's still British.
Nimmo: So what does he have that I dont have?
Perry A: For one, he's white and you're not!
Ouch! I cried that day ehn! You would think someone killed me.
The Spy Who Loved Me
Ever since I could watch and understand movies, I have wanted to be James Bond. Later, I read all the James Bond books by Ian Fleming in my father's library and more. I wanted to be James Bond so much that I could repeat everything James Bond said in two movies 'Goldfinger' and 'Live and Let Die' which were the first two I watched and watched so often that the VHS tapes practically faded on me.
Live And Let Die
I hounded neighbors into exchanging films with me by loading my offers. I can remember offering one guy all the cassettes we had just to have their copy of 'Thunderball'. Even if he had wanted the TV, I would have offered. And there was the girl who gave me 'The Spy Who Loved Me' -it had just come out then- and asked me to return it in two hours! I ran like a mad man that day.
The World Is Not Enough
For those who know and even for those who don't, James Bond is the bomb! Almost fifty years after the first movie, he's still selling like hot cakes and the 22nd James Bond film - Quantum of Solace- is coming out this November starring Daniel Craig. The movies are reported to have grossed about eleven billion dollars in box office takings since 1962! It was the highest selling movie series of all time - until Harry Potter.
The Man With The Golden Gun
What exactly was there to love about James Bond? Everything, I would say. He is the quintessential action hero. Someone described it thus: In an action movie, ... the hero may be shaken, but never stirred. In an action film the hero should always remain calm, collected, he does not show fear ...
And then there were the Bond Girls. Damn! Their names alone was enough to give a teenager wet dreams. I still think such names could only have come from a highly sexed, masculine mind. Haba! With names like these ...
Imagine the ones like:
Mary Goodnight, Moneypenny, Solitaire, May Day, or Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson
To the ones like:
Kissy Suzuki, Plenty O'Toole, Holly Goodhead, Penny Smallbone(r?), Molly Warmflesh (sp?), Honey Rider, Octopussy (!), and Pussy Galore (Damn!)
All Bond girls are, almost by definition, beautiful and follow a fairly well-developed pattern of beauty. They have splendid figures and make their appearances in evening wear, in bra and panties and sometimes, naked.
The delectable Halle Berry was already on my list of all time greats as far as female actors were concerned, but when she pulled off that performance as Jinx in Die Another Day, she booked her place among the legends in my estimation. Permanently.
So far only two Bond girls have been black - Berry above and Grace Jones as May Day in A view To A Kill -, but never a black James Bond. The thing dey pain me o.
(Correction: I missed out Gloria Hendry who was actually the very first Bond Girl who was black as Rosie Carver in 'Live And Let Die'. Thanks Allied and Solomonsydelle for the info.)
Safari for Spies
As with everything, the Americans have tried to come out with their own version of James Bond for a long time without much success.
Derek Flint (Our Man Flint; In Like Flint) had tried but James Corburn just didn't have the appeal or rather the movies story lines were just too phoney, too contrived to really gel with audiences. Unlike Bond who makes some stupid mistakes sometimes, Flint was just too 'perfect' for someone like me.
Nicholas J. Huntington Carter III, KillMaster, AXE Agent N3 would probably have been a hit if someone had been bold enough to put it in film. (The name Nick Carter was a pseudonym the writer Valerie Moolman got from a 19th century detective comic strip (itself modeled after Sherlock Holmes). A Nick Carter movie would probably have been rated XXX. And the guy lie lie too much.
But really, will there ever be a black James Bond?
As I grew older I lost my fascination for wanting to be James Bond and settled to being other things particularly when I discovered the Pacesetters series which had action heroes I could actually hope to 'become' like Commander Jack Ebony in 'The Mark of the Cobra' by Valentine Alily (Henri Valentino) or Agent Debomi Davies in 'Symphony of Destruction'. There was also Agent Benni Kamba 009 in 'The Equatorial Assignment' though can't remember who wrote that now.
When I saw a link on Unnaked's post about ablackjamesbond, I was curious. I clicked the link and went to read. The first think that caught my attention was the picture header. Cool dude in agbada sandwiched between two ladies, one carrying a sakabula (dane gun)and the other a pashan (whip) (?).
My own interpretation of the picture, whats yours?