So, we limp to the end of another working week. In the case of my overworked car the limping is literal, not figurative. The clutch is going and the earliest I can get it booked in for a replacement (at an exorbitant price) is the week after next. So I'll be nursing it through the next nine days or so, struggling with the change down through second into first, (I sometimes have to force the shifter through the gate for the lower gears) and contending with the occasional slipping. For my part, I've had a lousy and exhausting three weeks or so at work - I genuinely came close to jacking it in at least twice during this period. I really feel at the end of my tether. As I keep saying, my mortgage will be paid off in less than a year, giving me more options financially, but I'm not sure I can wait even that long. The only light at the end of tunnel currently is the fact that I've got quite a bit of time off coming up in August and early September. Hopefully the prospect of an extended period of time to myself can sustain me through the next few weeks.
But here I am on a Friday night after an exhausting week, eating a toasted cheese and bacon sandwich and, for some reason, watching Moonraker
yet again. What can I say? It was on and. despite flicking through the other channels, nothing else held my attention. Nostalgia probably has a lot to do with it - it was made in the days when Roger Moore, armed only with a safari suit and a public school accent, could save the world from some nefarious foreigner. Moreover, Anglo-American relations were, for the purposes of the US box office, at an all time high, with the Americans launching space shuttles full of laser gun armed marines to help Britain's top secret agent out at the climax. The special relationship is sealed by 007 shagging a female American scientist in zero gravity against the background of possibly the series' crudest double entendre up to that point: 'I think he's attempting re-entry'. (On a sadder note, the film marked an ill-looking Bernard Lee's last appearance as M - he died before the next Bond film went into production). I miss those days - everything seemed so much simpler.
It's interesting how quickly films can become dated, not just by their subject matter, but also their style. I remember when Moonraker
was released - to mediocre reviews but big box office - it seemed the pinnacle of the Bond series, with everything about it seemingly even bigger and more spectacular than its predecessor The Spy Who Loved Me
. Seen now, it seems so typically late seventies, with its glossy looking visuals, jokey script, campy performances and plethora of gadgets. It seems a million miles from the grittier Bond movies of recent years (to be fair, stylistically, it seems a million miles from the next Roger Moore film, the back-to-basics and quite gritty in places For Your Eyes Only
). But give it a few years and the Daniel Craig Bonds will undoubtedly seem as dated and as much of their era as the earlier Connery movies do now. Even the Brosnan and Dalton Bonds which, in their day seemed much 'harder' and 'realistic' than the Roger Moore films nowadays look incredibly campy and dated.
I always find it fascinating to ponder how future audiences will view any recent movie I'm watching - will it still seem as intelligent or well made in ten years time as it does now? Several times in the past few years I've watched again, on TV, films I'd paid to see at the cinema on their release, several years earlier. I'm usually left pondering why I'd parted with money to see them in the first place - all their flaws and implausibilities suddenly seemed obvious. (Most recently, I watched again The Last Boy Scout
, a Bruce Willis action movie I'd last seen twenty years ago at the cinema - it was a ghastly experience. What I'd vaguely remembered as a fairly entertaining and stylishly made action thriller seemed to have turned into an unbearably campy, poorly constructed and confusingly directed waste of time). Nevertheless, despite all of the above observations, the fact is that, increasingly, I find myself watching films made before 1980 - it all comes back to the nostalgia thing, reminding me of a time that seems much simpler than today. Even if it wasn't really.
Labels: Musings From the Mind of Doc Sleaze