James Bond and the Vietnam War Protests?

DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
edited August 2021 in Bond Movies Posts: 15,393
As some of you may know the film image of James Bond and his adventures was used in the mass protests in the United States (and no doubt other countries) against the continuation of the unpopular Vietnam War. In the excellent book James Bond: The Legacy (2002) by John Cork and Bruce Scivally for instance there is a picture of one such public protest in the United States against the war where the protesters held up a specially made banner showing the then President Lyndon B. Johnson in Goldfinger poster pose with a gun and with the title "BLOODFINGER" appended to the image. No doubt there were similar protests when President Richard Nixon extended the war into Cambodia and Laos.

Kingsley Amis also refers to the Vietnam War in his interesting essay 'A New James Bond' (1968) (which was reprinted with some additions in his essay collection What Became of Jane Austen? and Other Questions [1970]) and how his being associated with Ian Fleming and Bond meant that he was labelled by the Left as pro-American and by extension in favour of the Western imperialism that led to the unpopular Vietnam War.

There's also the fact the there was a plan to film TMWTGG in Cambodia with Roger Moore as Bond in 1968 but this had to be scrapped due to the civil unrest in that country and the wider context of the Vietnam War. Veteran Bond director Guy Hamilton also said in the SE/UE Making of TMWTGG extras that he wanted to have James Bond visit Saigon in Vietnam but he decided this wasn't a very bright place to send James Bond in light of the ongoing conflict there.

And finally, James Bond also accidentally strays into North Vietnamese waters in TND due to the off-centre GPS device.

The purpose of this thread is to collect together any other links with Bond and the Vietnam War and specifically these types of protests.

I'm looking forward to getting some interesting feedback from my fellow members, as always! :)

Comments

  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 3,648
    Wow! I never knew this happened.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Interesting stuff, and new to me.
  • Posts: 315
    I think this may wind up a bit of a reach on your part to connect the dots. Ian Fleming passed away at least a year(1964) before any sizeable protests were staged in the U.S.. Yes, there were smaller(1,000-1,500) protests at a handful of college campuses but it wasn't until 1965 that saw thousands of protestors in numerous cities and colleges protesting the war. I can't say that I ever saw a Bondish banner or poster near any of them.

    A more ripe film target was John Wayne who had the complete support of the U. S. govt. in the 'Green Berets'(1968) and was supplied equipment and use of a military training site as a location.

    Just not buying the premise of taking an obscure banner and developing it into more than just that-an outlier.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited August 2021 Posts: 15,393
    FLeiter wrote: »
    I think this may wind up a bit of a reach on your part to connect the dots. Ian Fleming passed away at least a year(1964) before any sizeable protests were staged in the U.S.. Yes, there were smaller(1,000-1,500) protests at a handful of college campuses but it wasn't until 1965 that saw thousands of protestors in numerous cities and colleges protesting the war. I can't say that I ever saw a Bondish banner or poster near any of them.

    A more ripe film target was John Wayne who had the complete support of the U. S. govt. in the 'Green Berets'(1968) and was supplied equipment and use of a military training site as a location.

    Just not buying the premise of taking an obscure banner and developing it into more than just that-an outlier.

    Thank you for your interest, @PropertyOfALady and @Thunderpussy!

    Yes, I see your immediate point of course, @FLeiter but I have more evidence built up and am planning to do a write-up on it all when I get it collated as I find it a fascinating sort of footnote to the James Bond character of the 1960s and 1970s. I perhaps should have made more it a bit more clear that I was not including Ian Fleming or the original Bond novels that he penned in this thread as of course Fleming died in 1964 before the Vietnam War had escalated. As one can see I have placed this thread in the 'Bond Movies' sub-section of our community for just that reason. Perhaps it was my reference to Kingsley Amis' essay that served to muddy the waters on this issue?

    By the way, I'm going to bulk out the OP to make it clearer that there are a few more connections between James Bond and the Vietnam War and that although an obscure Bondian topic it is still worthy of more study and research from serious-minded Bond fans.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2016 Posts: 15,393
    Does anyone else want to throw in their 2 pence on this thread?

    As promised I've added some more details to the OP of this thread in order to expand the discussion somewhat.

    I'd love to hear from you, as always! :)
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited July 2016 Posts: 15,393
    I'd love to get this thread started up again and get a bit more discussion going if at all possible? :)

    I do find it a fascinating (and largely ignored) Bond topic. See the OP for the evidence I have collated so far.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited July 2016 Posts: 4,430
    @Dragonpol:

    Some time ago, I offered this, as you might remember:

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/14693/ohmss-and-the-60s

    We should have merged the threads.
  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    Posts: 15,393
    TripAces wrote: »
    @Dragonpol:

    Some time ago, I offered this, as you might remember:

    http://www.mi6community.com/index.php?p=/discussion/14693/ohmss-and-the-60s

    We should have merged the threads.

    Thanks for that link, @TripAces. I'll gratefully add that to my research reading list on this topic as I feel I need to explore it further in an upcoming blog article.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,430
    @Dragonpol I think you're on to something. The effect of Vietnam (and the counterculture movement of the late 60s) on Bond and his iconic status is a fascinating study. Lazenby almost embodied the spirit of the times off screen. He showed up at the premiere of OHMSS looking more like Charles Manson than James Bond.

  • DragonpolDragonpol Writer @ http://thebondologistblog.blogspot.com
    edited August 2021 Posts: 15,393
    Yes, the Hippy Revolution and George Lazenby leaving the Bond role behind after one film seem to be related (to me at least). Lazenby certainly said so himself on at least one occasion. I started a thread on that topic here and on AJB a few years ago but I suppose that the two topics could be quite easily merged in with the Vietnam War and its protests. As you say, a very interesting (and most unexplored) area for that inexact science called Bondology.
  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited April 3 Posts: 10,084
    Just a couple slivers of relation to the Vietnam War. Understandable since Bond films skirt politics, so the lack of a direct Vietnam or war mention is expected.


    9781735461625__93097.1640814963.jpg?c=1
    The Lost Adventures of James Bond: Timothy Dalton's Third and Fourth James Bond Films, James Bond Jr., & Other Unmade or Forgotten 007 Projects, Mark Edlitz, 2020.
    Dalton's Unmade First Bond Film - James Bond's Origin Story
    The following summary is comprised of Richard Maibaum and Michael Wilson's 35-page treatment that is dated November 8, 1985, whose working title was Bond XV. Their outline is preserved in the Special Collection Department of the University of Iowa Libraries with the papers of Richard Maibaum.

    The film opens with a pre-title sequence set in Austria in 1972. James Bond, who is in his mid to late twenties, is naked in bed with a beautiful woman named Elsa...
    Trevor tells Bond that their cover, Universal Exports has a "shady reputation" as a company that "flies anything for anyone anywhere, no questions asked." He tells Bond he will fly Trevor and the crates containing machine parts to General Kwang, who is the "top dog warlord" and "biggest heroin dealer" in the Golden Triangle, an area in Southeast Asia that comprises Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar.


    That's the closest related item I found skimming the book after seeing the recent headline "A New Book Reveals James Bond’s Vietnam War-Era Origin Story" (below).

    I also notice the described Universal Exports activity in Europe and elsewhere mirrors real world Air America (1946-1976) airline as the CIA's covert assistance during the Vietnam War to Asian players. Even allowing or assisting Laotian drug smugglers' activity.

    https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Air_America_(airline)


    IH_Main_Logo.png
    A New Book Reveals James Bond’s
    Vietnam War-Era Origin Story

    "The Lost Adventures of James Bond" explores the secret agent’s secret history
    bond2.jpg?fit=1200%2C800
    Timothy Dalton on the set of "The Living Daylights"
    Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty
    By Tobias Carroll | March 8, 2021

    If you’ve encountered any of James Bond’s adventures over the years, you’re already familiar with the basics: a license to kill, a car full of gadgets and a penchant for martinis. But let’s not forget some of the other elements of the James Bond mythos, like the Vietnam War-era origin story or the young relative getting into international misadventures of his own.

    Right about here, your mind is probably doing a perfect needle-scratch, and that’s understandable. James Bond’s origin story was never filmed, and the adventures of, er, James Bond, Jr., aired on a short-lived animated series. But they’re only the tip of the iceberg — or, if you prefer, the villain’s base disguised as an iceberg — when it comes to James Bond’s less famous adventures.

    Thankfully, a new book offers a deep dive into the permutations of 007 over the years, and, along the way, will likely make you wish Timothy Dalton had gotten another crack at the character. The book in question is Mark Edlitz’s The Lost Adventures of James Bond, and it’s the sort of book that even experts on the character might learn something from.

    [MORE]


    And my interest was piqued of course by the mention of protests directed at US President Lyndon Johnson and the Bloodfinger poster. Hadn't seen it so I searched it out to represent here as well. 00$ indeed.

    antidraft-demonstrators-being-arrested-outside-army-induction-center-picture-id1310950200?s=612x612


  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    edited April 9 Posts: 10,084
    Likely you're aware of these items, @Dragonpol, thanks in advance for your patience with me. I realize I'm dredging the opposite (UK) side from the US war protests, but as they relate maybe something new will come up eventually. (And I started looking at political cartoons of the time, seeking any use of Bond. So far no examples.)

    Interesting that at a time US public sentiment was going against the Vietnam War, it began to draw support from Kingsley Amis and his associates. Therefore the group letter in the Times, "US Policies in Vietnam."

    1704px-The_Guardian.svg.png
    Colonel Sun: is Kingsley Amis's Bond
    novel the weirdest of all?
    Fifty years ago, the literary giant wrote a James Bond novel under a
    pseudonym. With all the shoddy spies and friendly Soviets, it is
    staggeringly un-Fleming-like
    837.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=2a6839c2621015708e17ecdeb568bb23
    Detail from the 1970 Pan Books cover of Colonel Sun.
    John Dugdale | Wed 28 Mar 2018 06.42 EDT

    The omens were good when Kingsley Amis published Colonel Sun, the first James Bond novel not written by Ian Fleming, 50 years ago today. The Lucky Jim author was already moonlighting in genre fiction and was such a Bond buff that he’d produced not one but two guides to him and his world. Amis was the obvious heir.

    At first, Colonel Sun appears to be a super-faithful quasi-pastiche, opening (like Goldfinger) with 007 wielding a putter. But after that, everything gets very perplexing. Heading off post-golf to see his boss for supper, Bond fails to notice the foreign agents following his car, or that he’s leading them to the home counties mansion of M. It’s not only him; the whole of MI6 come across as such a hapless outfit that a carful of D-grade goons can easily kidnap its leader and nearly kill or capture its best agent; the setting in Berkshire, AKA Berks, may be a clue to Amis’s view of it. And when 007 heads to Greece, the agency doesn’t become any more impressive: our (MI6) Man in Athens is taken out, so Bond must enlist locals for sidekicks.
    1934.jpg?width=380&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=385cccbd32da05eb37179545fbbb0851
    Kingsley Amis in 1965, three years before the publication of Colonel Sun.
    Photograph: PA Wire
    Colonel Sun constantly deviates from the Bond model. There’s a protracted, gruesome torture scene – but it ends unexpectedly. The novel’s eponymous villain is Chinese, like Dr No, but then Bond’s chief mission is revealed: prevent Sun from massacring a secret Soviet conference on the island of Vrakonisi. Yes, Bond, the arch-foe of SMERSH, is now aligned with the USSR. It’s all staggeringly un-Fleming-like.

    Amis channelling Fleming – who died in 1964 – is a connoisseur of ethnicities, loftily informing us when sketching a woman (“a cocktail of heredities”) forced to sleep with Sun’s goons that Albanians “are much less a race than the end-product of successive admixtures with the native stock – Latin, Slavonic, Greek, Turco-Tatar”. On first sharing ouzo with the book’s female lead, Ariadne, “Bond watched her lovely profile, very Greek yet totally unlike the overrated, beaky, ‘classical’ look.” Of two men she introduces him to, “one was in his mid-30s, dark, good-looking, a little overweight: Greek … the other grey, dried-up, close-cropped: Russian”.

    Sun is ostensibly the most repellent racial caricature of all, a descendant of Fu Manchu and other fiendish orientals. Amis’s introduction of Sun is not unlike a Crufts judge inspecting an intriguing breed: “He was tall for a Chinese … one of the northern types akin to the Thamba Tibetan, big-boned and long-headed. The skin colour was the familiar flat-light yellow, the hair blue-black and dead straight, the epicanthic eye-fold notably conspicuous.” Yet Sun’s central Asian heritage that make him “less than totally Chinese”, and European influences also compromise his purity, distinguishing him from 007’s usual megalomaniac antagonists. He’s arguably as much a critique of Fleming’s two-dimensional villains as a continuation of the pattern.
    3000.jpg?width=620&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=ddbb04ac131375f4bfc7600670db2385
    Daniel Craig in Spectre, one of the Bond film adaptations featuring details inspired by Colonel Sun.
    Photograph: Allstar/United Artists
    Ariadne similarly both conforms to the Fleming formula for Bond girls and deviates from it. In fighting alongside Bond against Sun, she’s not been previously seduced into betraying anyone, and at the end, Bond doesn’t ask her to become a British wife, or spy for the west – she remains on Vrakonisi, as a Russian agent. If you set aside the obligatory slavering passages about her erotic allure, you could just about see Ariadne as a forerunner of today’s female action hero (just).
    873.jpg?width=140&quality=45&auto=format&fit=max&dpr=2&s=7f4052e42de3101bc0cc2732c5a95987
    The Pan Books cover of Colonel Sun, featuring Kingsley Amis’s pseudonym
    So why is Colonel Sun so strange? Some context, personal and geopolitical, helps make sense of it. Amis, by March 1968, had already made public his Damascene conversion from left to right, and signed a group letter to the Times titled Backing for US Policies in Vietnam. In the novel, the Vietnam war is mentioned three times, and pointedly links the villain to the North Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh. Not content with fingering China as chief wager of a proxy war against the US in south-east Asia, Amis envisages China as battling covertly in Europe against the Nato nations and the USSR; bafflingly, as there’s precious little evidence of such operations.
    Since 1965, the USSR had replaced China as North Vietnam’s main military backer. Three years later, it would invade Czechoslovakia to end the reformist “Prague spring”. So four years before Richard Nixon went to China, Amis has got his villain nation and his potentially amiable one the wrong way round – whether to get away from Fleming’s Manichaean cold war dualism, or just as a pretext for having a Chinese baddie.


    The letter.
    times-black-logo.png
    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues/keys-aylsham-salerooms/catalogue-id-srkey10009/lot-ed9233da-051f-4d38-97f9-a3f7015dcdd4#lotDetails
    8131bd00-6e7b-48e0-8c0e-a3f7015dce13.jpg

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,084
    A contrast between old (Amis, 1968) and new (Boyd, 2014) and their approach to Vietnam 1968-1969.


    9781906772598_p0_v1_s192x300.jpg (Set in 1968)
    Colonel Sun, Kingsley Amis, 1968.
    Chapter 5 - Sun at Night
    The men themselves (he had met none of their women) had often aroused his admiration. He had first encountered the British in September 1951, at a prisoner-of-war centre near Pyongyang in North Korea. There, as a twenty-one-year-old subaltern attached, in the capacity of Assistant Consultant on Interrogations, to Major Pak of the North Korean Army, he had had the opportunity of getting to know the British soldier intimately. After September 1953, when the last of them had been repatriated, his experience of Westerners had been confined almost entirely to Frenchmen, Australians, Americans: interesting types in many cases, but not up to the British – ‘his' British, as he mentally referred to them. He had to content himself with the odd spy captured inside China and the occasional US Army prisoner taken in South Vietnam who turned out to be a recent immigrant from the ‘Old Country’. Fortunately, his reputation as an expert on, and interrogator of, the British was well known to his Service superiors and had even reached the ears of the Central Committee, so it was rare indeed that any British captive was not passed over to him. But the last of these occasions had been nearly six months ago. The colonel could not repress a gentle thrill of anticipation at the thought of tonight's reunion with his British and of the seventy-two hours of uninterrupted contact which were to follow. In the darkness, the pewter-coloured eyes grew fixed.

    There was a tentative knock at the door. Sun called amiably in English, ‘Yes, please come in.’
    Chapter 10 - Dragon Island
    ‘One moment, James,’ Ariadne leaned forward earnestly. ‘I agree with all this, but I still don't see why you're so sure that the Chinese must be responsible. The Americans are quite capable of this sort of thing. Consider their behaviour about Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam; they don't hesitate to –

    Bond started to speak, but Litsas held up his hand. ‘Let me reply, James. Listen, young lady. At Pierce College in Athens the Americans educated you, taught you English, explained to you their way of life. Were you such a bad and lazy student that you're forgetting all that? Can you see no difference between fighting aggressive Communists and this caper, killing chaps in the public streets of a friendly and peaceful nation, taking a Security chief from England completely openly? Even the worst men in Washington would not advise that. I beg you, Ariadne, forget your Leninist Institute and start to think!’

    ‘And,’ said Bond, ‘if they're still telling you there that the United States is world enemy number one they need to catch up on their studies. The Kremlin knows perfectly well that the main threat isn't the West any more, but the East. Surely that's not news to you?’
    Chapter 19 - The Theory and the Practice of Torture
    ‘Well, what have you in store for us, Sun?’ Von Richter drawled the question. ‘We expect great things of you, you know. Everybody tells me that Peking leads the world in this field.’

    Sun tilted his head, pleased at the compliment, but anxious to be strictly fair. ‘Good work is also being done in Vietnam. Some of Ho Chi-minh's men have learnt their job with remarkable speed, considering the comparative backwardness of that part of the world. Very promising. Ah …

    He stepped over and lifted Bond's chin. The blue-grey eyes fluttered open, cleared and steadied. ‘Damn you, Sun,’ said a thin voice.

    ‘Excellent. We can proceed. I'm working on his head, Ludwig, as I described earlier. He's taken it well so far, but this is only the beginning. Eventually he'll scream when he merely sees me advancing on him to continue the treatment.



    220px-Solo_-_James_Bond_first_edition_cover.jpg (Set in 1969)
    Solo, William Boyd, 2013.
    Chapter 1 - In Dreams Begin Responsibilities
    The maître d’ offered Bond a copy of The Times to read. Bond glanced at the headline – ‘Viet Cong Offensive Checked With Many Casualties’ – and waved it away. Not today, thank you. That zip on the front of her outfit – her catsuit – was like a provocation, a challenge, crying out to be pulled down. Bond smiled to himself as he imagined doing precisely that and drank more coffee – there was life in the old dog yet.

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,084
    Nothing protest-related, but evidence of Bond conjoined with Vietnam (and Viet Nam) at different levels.



    Semic Press, September 1987.
    2568643-y.jpg
    Flykten Från Vietnam (Escape From Vietnam)
    https://www.mi6-hq.com/sections/comics/semic_1987.php3?s=comics&id=02315
    Issue: #9 (1987 series)
    Released: 15th September 1987
    Format: 17cm x 26 cm
    Pages: 68
    Publisher: Semic Press AB
    Cover Price: 8.50 SEK
    Featured Story
    "Escape From Vietnam" was the twenty-ninth original James Bond story produced by Semic. Running over 24 pages, it was drawn by Manuel Carmona and written by Bill Harrington. Characters included M; Jerry Hoyt [Nam Rang]; Ella Fields; Samua.
    Non-Bond Additional Stories
    Häxan (The Saint)
    Miscellaneous
    Readers letters on the subject of 007, one page pin-up photo of Timothy Dalton and Maryam d'Abo in "The Living Daylights", one page pin-up photo of Roger Moore in "Octopussy", one page pin-up photo of Sean Connery in "You Only Live Twice".



    True: The Man's Magazine, April 1968.
    2c4693051f672f3d3a698569c9084157-800.jpg

  • RichardTheBruceRichardTheBruce I'm motivated by my Duty.
    Posts: 10,084
    Jean-Luc Godard's French perspective through quick mentions of James Bond and Vietnam, addressed pretty separately though.


    770b43a2f4a331929c094909e6e0dd7767921581.pnj
    7879655.png?263
    Masculin Féminin (1966), Jean-Luc Godard.
    Jean-Pierre Léaud, Chantal Goya, Marlène Jobert.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060675/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_106
    A romance between young Parisians, shown through a series of vignettes.

    Trivia
    Paul: Times had changed, It was the age of James Bond and Viet Nam. Hope swept the French left as the December elections loomed. I turned 21 two days before.
    Trivia
    Immediately before Paul first meets Elisabeth, he comments on how times have changed and it is now "... the age of James Bond and Vietnam." Elisabeth is played by Marlène Jobert, who gave birth to Eva Green in 1980, future star of the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006).
    There are many instances where the hero talks about the Vietnam War. Chantal Goya, who plays Madeleine, was actually born in Vietnam; in the movie she shows no interest in the Vietnam War.


    140ad82f4026c704a21d3cf8fd352efc0a943cf7.pnj
    7879655.png?263
    Far from Vietnam (1967), Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch.
    Anne Bellec, Karen Blanguernon, Bernard Fresson.
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061913/?ref_=nm_flmg_dr_99
    In seven different segments, Godard, Klein, Lelouch, Marker, Resnais and Varda show their sympathy and support for the North Vietnamese army during the Vietnam war.

    Trivia
    Right-wing extremists destroyed part of the Kinopanorama Cinema, and assaulted the manager, at avenue La-Motte-Piquet, Paris, while screening Far From Vietnam: 19th September 1967.
    Far From Vietnam Trailer (4:05)



    1024px-Rolling_Stone_logo.svg.png
    Jean-Luc Godard: The Rolling Stone Interview
    A look behind the lens at the famed French new wave director of ‘Breathless’ and ‘Band of Outsiders’
    By Jonathan Cott
    rs-182144-83981409.jpg?resize=1800,1200&w=1200
    Jean-Luc Godard filming scenes for 'Sympathy for the Devil' in 1968.
    Andrew Maclear/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    Godard’s new questioning of the relationship between art and politics reveals itself in recent personal confrontations such as when he asked the audience at last year’s London Film Festival to watch the uncut version of One Plus One outside the theater on a makeshift screen and return their tickets and send the refund to the Eldridge Cleaver Defense Fund. Put to a vote, only twenty persons decided to walk out. Godard said: “You’re content to sit here like cretins in a church.” During the shouting that followed, he hit producer Ian Quarrier who later explained why he added to the end of Godard’s film a complete recorded version of the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for the Devil (“ten million teeny boppers in America alone.”)

    One Plus One intersperses shots of the Stones creating Sympathy for the Devil (from a slow ballad to the final rhythmic holocaust) with scenes of Black Power militants in a Battersea automobile junkyard reciting texts by LeRoi Jones and Cleaver, shooting white night-gowned girls; an interview in lush green woods with Eve Democracy (Anne Wia-zemski) who replies yes or no to questions defining the liberal temperament; a pornographic bookstore where Mr. Quarrier reads out from Mein Kampf while customers give the Nazi salute then slap two bandaged young men who chant “Peace in Vietnam.”
    Is it unfair to say that in Weekend, the sense of aggression that you feel towards the bourgeoisie might not in fact be an aggression against yourself?
    True. Of course. If it would have been possible to have made the film dirtier pornography, then I would have.

    Why did you have to kill those animals?
    Well, why not? A lot of people are killed in Africa and Vietnam. Why shouldn’t I kill animals? It was not done because animals are animals compared with human beings; it’s just that if I had killed a human being I would have been put in jail.

    But the killing of an animal is naturally and too easily shocking.
    I think an audience will be much more shocked by the death of a pig than by the death of a human being, even if it were told that it was a real human being. One is not used to the idea of shooting animals just for a movie.

    [discussion of Bond]
    The film might not convince you that the revolutionary movement was correct.
    The film doesn’t have to convince. You shouldn’t speak like that. It has to convince that there are better people than others. It’s as if in one or two hours of a picture or twenty pages of a book you-want the whole truth about the whole society, about everything, and it has to be right. It’s absolutely wrong. It’s impossible. It took Mao fifty years to write his little red book. Fifty years of fighting. And then it was very natural. It came from everything he had learned.

    But the Rolling Stones’ song ["Sympathy for the Devil"] covers a lot of ground, it contains a lot of material.
    No, that’s wrong. It has very little. That’s why I was so angry with that ending [of the film Gimme Shelter]. We should know only a little bit of it. We don’t know what kind of song it is. It’s just words, the beginning of words. It never goes to the end. Because the Rolling Stones are still at the very beginning.

    But you hear what they’re singing about at the very beginning, about Satan, about the Kennedys, the Czar, about hippies getting killed before reaching Bombay. There’s a lot of content in that one song.
    No, there’s very little. It’s just that you hear it twenty times.

    You seem to have such a clear idea of what you’re doing, yet there are so many contradictions in the film.
    Not in the film, but in the way you look at it. My films are much clearer than they were two or three years ago. They still might be very neophytic, because they’re very simple. When you go out of One Plus One— — ordinary people I mean, people who like James Bond— — you might say: This is very complicated, I don’t understand anything. But if you go out of the last James Bond film and I ask you, can you tell me what you’ve seen, you can’t No. There were 20,000 things in James Bond. The movie showed for two hours. I ask, was he in a car. Yes What colour was it? Do you remember the colour? He was with a girl. What was he saying to her? And just after he left the girl, what was he doing? He can’t remember. Maybe he could remember one or two moments. But he couldn’t remember or describe to me the sequence of the story. It’s like a mixed salad. You can’t describe a mixed salad. There are too many things in it.
    And then I ask him, you have just seen One Plus One. Do you think it’s complicated. Well, let’s see if it’s complicated. Let’s remember what you’ve seen. People playing music. Yes, you remember that. What else? Well, there were Black people in a junkyard throwing guns and reading things. And there was a girl in the woods. And in four minutes he can remember everything there was in the movie. And there is no more. Yes, but why? he says. I didn’t understand why that girl was in the woods just before the sequence of the Black people.

    And I ask him, what do you think? What’s she saying? She was only answering yes and no. Well, what kind of questions was she being asked? Do you remember any? And on and on like that. It’s a very simple thing, really very simple…. These people have been taught that a James Bond film is a simple movie, while in fact it’s really complicated and complicated in a dreadful, in a silly way because there was no need for complication.

    I think you’re cheating now because a James Bond film is much simpler emotionally and intellectually than One Plus One.
    Yes, maybe, in its reality. The world is more complicated, but not One Plus One.

    What if a James Bond fan comes out of the movie and says, One Plus One bored me. You couldn’t really disagree with him if that was how he felt. One Plus One is a very intellectual film, it makes you think.

    That’s because it’s the only film like that. If there were a hundred more, made by a hundred different people, it wouldn’t be like that. Forget about the film, just think about the Black people, think about the music people.
    Jean-Luc-Godard-TWO-OR-THREE-THINGS-I-KNOW.jpg

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