News / Arts & Entertainment

To Russia With Love: Muscovites Flock to James Bond Show

'To Russia With Love:' Muscovites Flock to James Bond Showi
X
James Brooke
June 26, 2014 4:39 PM
During the Soviet era, watching a James Bond film in Russia could lead to a jail sentence. Despite the ban, many were able to catch bootleg copies during the thawing of the Cold War in the 1980s. This developed into a Russian love affair with the foreign agent. James Brooke reports from Moscow.

'To Russia With Love:' Muscovites Flock to James Bond Show

James Brooke

During the Soviet era, watching a James Bond film could lead to a jail sentence.  Despite the ban, many were able to catch bootleg copies during the thawing of the Cold War in the 1980s.  This developed into a Russian love affair with the foreign agent.

In 1964, when the James Bond movie From Russia With Love was packing theaters in the United States, Moscow and the West were locked in the deep freeze of the Cold War.

Fast forward half a century. Relations between Moscow and West are again in a deep chill - this time over Russia’s arming of rebels in Ukraine.
 
But disregarding geopolitics, Muscovites are streaming to a new museum show here called “Designing 007.”
 
Five floors and 500 props, sets, gadgets and costumes draw crowds to the Multimedia Arts Museum.

“Really huge, a lot of visitors, around 15,000 in three, in four days,” said Katrina Inozemtseva, the curator of the Bond show in Moscow.

She says we are far from the 1980s when Soviets secretly watched Bond movies on smuggled video cassettes.

“In one of the most popular [Russian] social networks - the VKontakte - the group of Bond fans - is more than 20,000 people,” she said.

For Soviets, James Bond offered an exciting window on the forbidden West.

“My childhood, beginning from the ‘70s and ‘80s, in the Soviet period, we were fond of James Bond. For us, it is just like a surprise from heaven. Every new film from James Bond, we watch on TV tape, video tape,” said Danila Matsokin, who came to the Bond show with his wife and 6-year-old son.

Gaiane Danilian says Bond movies radically changed her world view when she was a teenager growing up in Moscow in the 1980s.

“The idea of beauty of adventures, and freedom that was motivating Russians to watch that movie, and style. For Soviet people, unfortunately, they were not able to be part of that. So, in a movie, they thought they brought a dream into their life,” she recalled.

Now a grandmother in New York City, Danilian says James Bond contributed to her decision in 1992 to emigrate to the United States.

“Women are so beautiful in this country and they were always looking forward to being part of nice environment. With the movies, James Bond especially, they brought their fantasies, as they are part of this beautiful, untouchable world. They brought all these dreams - true,” she said.

Daniel Kovtun, a 21-year-old Moscow economics student, came to the show with his girlfriend. He says the James Bond sex appeal lives on.

“He is very rich. He is very cool. For the girls, he is a real man.  He has weapons, cars, lots of money. He has a lot of adventures. So this makes him very interesting,” he said.

In Moscow, it is clear from the young Kovtun and the elder Danilian that James Bond fantasies cut across borders and generations.

Cold War or no, it is clear that the James Bond fantasy remains strong, for Russians, and for Americans.

 

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John from: Canada
June 26, 2014 9:11 PM
Thanks to VOA/Brooke for the heads-up about this show!

Obvious that many Russians enjoy deriding the American failure in Moscow of captured-deported CIA wig-wearer Ryan Fogle, and the earlier British "phony rock" episode.

However, even while Russians may take pride in their sexy Anna Chapman, she is hardly a success at anything except her self-promotion, but when Chapman does promote herself, it seems to be following a generational channel back to James Bond.

Link to the Russian language Multimedia Art Museum site "007 Design: 50 Years of James Bond Style", with photo captions in English: http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/exhibitions/bond/

What is ironic on the MAM site is to see (scroll down to the bottom) the sponsors include a host of British organizations (ie, British Council, etc), together with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs - but NOT including the British Embassy Moscow nor Foreign Office.

Hmmm...maybe the British Embassy just doesn't do sponsoring of such exhibits?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tia Fuller has made a name for herself appearing with such high-profile artists as Beyonce, Esperanza Spalding, and Terri Lyne Carrington. Tia and her quartet performed music from her CD “Angelic Warrior” on our latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."