Reference : 007 meets Van Helsing: James Bond and Contemporary Gothic Visual Culture
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007 meets Van Helsing: James Bond and Contemporary Gothic Visual Culture
Steveker, Lena mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Humanities (DHUM) >]
The Cultures of James Bond
Frenk, Joachim
Krug, Christian
[en] James Bond ; Van Helsing ; The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
[en] The Bond series has not only traditionally made use of the Gothic mode, but it has also influenced the Gothic in its turn. Taking its cue from the Alan Moore’s graphic novel The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (vol.1, 1999), its filmic adaptation (2003) and the film Van Helsing (2004), this essay discusses the ways in which the character of Bond and the Bond formula have made their entry into contemporary Gothic visual culture.
As the many intertextual references to Bond in both versions of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen make clear, James Bond has become a role model, a figure other popular-cultural texts draw on and fall back to in gestures of either imitation, subversion or parody. Furthermore, the references to Bond serve to link the texts mentioned above, which are all set in the late Victorian Age, to the popular culture of late the 20th and early 21st centuries. Concentrating in more detail on Van Helsing, which establishes an exceptionally prominent Bondian subtext, this essay reads the film as conflating the narrative and ideological scripts of both Bond and Stoker’s Dracula. As argued in this essay, the combined use of Bond and Gothic mode enables the film to criticise the re-introduction of the categories of good and evil as an allegedly stable binary difference into early 21st-century western Realpolitik.
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