James Bond is arguably one of the widest-reaching, longest-standing and most influential film franchises of our time. In this sense it can also be seen as a source of great power, a medium by which certain ideologies can be conveyed to many people. Writing about this in the 1980s, Bennett argues that political and cultural ideologies of the time infiltrate both the construction of film and its reception as part of a three-way relationship in which the ideologies ‘mediate the relations between texts and audiences’ (1987). But what are these ideologies and where do they come from? My previous work on this subject has attempted to map socio-political factors such as the Anglo-American war on terrorism and the London 2012 Olympics to shifts in the nationalist ideology conveyed in Craig’s first three Bond films. However, the political and cultural climate of Britain has taken a decidedly different path since the London Olympics had an influence on the nationalist themes in Skyfall. Craig’s fourth film, Spectre, falls the other side of a Scottish Referendum and a UK General Election that has made many political commentators question if the former sense of British pride has now fragmented into stronger identifications with the individual countries of the UK. As arguably cinema’s most famous British hero, how does this affect the James Bond of Spectre and his ideologies? This paper analyses Skyfall and Spectre in an attempt to uncover ideologies that may have been influenced by the socio-political context for each film.
Sarah Kelley, University of Bristol, UK
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