In the same three-day period I recently saw the new James Bond picture, Skyfall, and Crossfire Hurricane, a new HBO documentary about The Rolling Stones. And because the Bond movies and the Stones both turn 50 this year, I began thinking about how they might fit together. …
With their scruffiness, racy lyrics and drug use, the Stones represented the rejection of the social order that Bond was so devoutly defending. Like 007, they too offered a sense of danger, but not in the guns-and-knives way, although that would eventually happen at Altamont. They embodied psychic danger, a Dionysian force flirting with all manner of uncontrollable sensuality and violence. That was their appeal.
Of course, one thing Bond and the Stones always shared was a pre-feminist sense of male prerogative. Just as the women in the early Bond movies largely exist to be bedded or killed (sometimes both), so the women we encounter in Crossfire Hurricane are shrieking fans or groupies in various stages of undress.
(Photo credit: Francois Duhamel/Sony Pictures on left, HBO Films on right)