The academics of a Bond girl
Lisa Funnell has a long history with James Bond.
âI grew up watching the Roger Moore movies with my dad,â said the Wilfrid Laurier University film studies professor. While completing her masterâs at Brock University in popular culture, Funnell got involved with writing about Bond academically.
âWhy not write about the most popular, longest running film franchise there is?â she asked. This idea grew and flourished into what would become a very successful career researching and writing about the fictional spy.
Two of Funnellâs soon-to-be-published academic articles delve deep into the world of the British super-spy James Bond.
The first, an essay titled âNegotiating Shifts in Feminism: The âBadâ Girls of James Bond,â will be published this March in Women on Screen: Feminism and Femininity in Visual Culture.
The second article is titled ââI Know Where You Keep Your Gunâ: Daniel Craig as the Bond-Bond Girl Hybrid in Casino Royaleâ and will be published in the Journal of Popular Culture in June.
Much of her current research on Bond regards the representations of female characters, specifically the âBond girlâ and âBond villain,â and the way they can be traced throughout the franchise.
âAt first, James Bond was given two different types of women. There was the good girl, or Bond girl, who emerged in the 1960s with liberal sexual identities. She was good because he could domesticate her.â
âThe villains too had liberal sexual identities, however, they refused to be domesticated,â she continued. âThey laughed at Bond. Thatâs how the initial relationship was set, good girls versus bad girls, and James Bond in the middle.â
So how has the franchise changed?
âI have argued in my article that [Daniel Craig] represents a more American model of heroism. James Bond previously was a libido-based hero, his masculinity was based on his ability to bed women,â she said.
Craigâs portrayal of Bond is a shift away from what Funnell calls the âBritish Lover Model,â into a more âHollywood, body-based model.â
âI would argue heâs also a bit of a Bond girl in it â heâs the one who comes out of the water in a bikini and lies on the beach to be gazed at.â
For this reason, Funnell feels Craig represents a completely new kind of hero for the series, reports the Brunswickan
The Bond franchiseâs place for women has also evolved, as Funnell pointed out. âLooking at the 1990s re-emerged Bond girl, who is an Americanized action woman, theyâre post-feminist heroines,â she explained.
As for the end of her Bond writing career, itâs not yet in sight.
âEvery time they release a film I feel compelled to write another paper and see where this franchise is going in relation to where itâs come [from].â
Funnell said there is simply not enough literature studying 007.
âThere are gaps, [and] for me as a scholar you want to find those gaps and fill up the space.â
The next installment, Bond 23 has an official release date of Nov. 9, 2012, with rumours of Javier Bardem playing the villain opposite Daniel Craigâs Bond.
As for Lisa Funnellâs opinion on the franchiseâs sexiest Bond?
âPierce Brosnan takes it. Thereâs just something about him.â
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