LACMA Has Bond, For Starters

I’m going to the LACMA exhibit on Thursday, … Is James Bond, an ode to all 22 opening credit sequences, in honor of the 50th anniversary.  It occurs to me that I don’t delve into the opening credits very much in my new book, James Bond Unmasked (Spies). Sure, I credit Maurice Binder’s revolutionary graphic work with the silhouetted girls in Dr. No, but I spend more time on the gun barrel sequence. And I only casually allude to Robert Brownjohn’s alluring design in Goldfinger, Binder’s nostalgic/time motif in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the freewheeling gymnastics of The Spy Who Loved Me, Daniel Kleinman’s post-Cold War look in GoldenEye, the first-time narrative spillover in Die Another Day, the Fleming-inspired graphic design of Casino Royale, and MK12′s return of the silhouetted girls in Quantum of Solace.

In other words, there’s an in-depth article here about the art of the Bond opening titles just as there’s one about the pre-credit sequences. Sex and violence in a recurring strip tease played to the beat of the hot title song. What are my favorites? Goldfinger, which seductively sums up the look while also providing a sneak peek; Thunderball, which adds the underwater motif of sex linked to violence; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which sums up the Connery era while introducing a Bond who doesn’t have “all the time in the world”; Live and Let Die, which spices up 007 with voodoo love; Die Another Day for daring to continue Bond’s torture; Casino Royale, which brings us full circle back to Fleming while hinting at the love and betrayal; and Quantum of Solace, which moves like a bullet from Bond’s Walther.

Co-organized by LACMA and Loyola Marymount University’s School of Film and Television (SFTV), the exhibition runs through Sept. 9 and takes place in the Art of the Americas Building at LACMA. The opening credit sequences are thematically grouped and displayed on a series of 40” monitors. Audio for each sequence is available via headset, and the full set of sequences are also looped and projected with audio in a large format with sound on one wall of the gallery.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, Events, James Bond, Movies, Music, Tech, VFX

One Response to LACMA Has Bond, For Starters

  1. Rob Engle

    Everything I ever needed to know about sex came from watching James Bond title sequences as an adolescent. Glad to see they are getting recognized by LACMA.

Add a Comment