Over on JPGB this morning, I argue that Skyfall is the first ever deeply profound James Bond movie:
Skyfall is about why the 21st century needs James Bond. Here’s how I would summarize it:
- All your fancy modern technology and advanced civilization will not save you if you are not the right kind of person.
- If you have forgotten how to be the right kind of person, look to your elders and return to the place where you came from.
- Do not hesitate to use all your fancy modern technology to blow the place you came from to smithereens if that is what being the right kind of person requires.
The two great errors of our age are, on the one hand, to think that it doesn’t matter what kind of people we are (“dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good” – T.S. Eliot); and, on the other hand, to be so afraid we’ll stop being the right kind of people that we cling to the old and traditional even when it has stopped cultivating us in the right ways. To look both backward and forward – to carry the past into the future, not by preserving it, but by allowing it to form us into the right kind of people and then forming the future accordingly – that is the only hope.
Special bonus: A field guide to all 23 Bond movies, composed for a friend looking to find out which ones to watch first.