Masculinity in Bond Villains: The reference of homosexuality by ‘queer-coded’ male characters as a tool for violence and manipulation in 007 – does it have to be this way?

Screen shot from Skyfall (2012) directed by Sam Mendes, Eon Productions. Image features James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).

In this blog, I will look at how queer-coded masculinity is portrayed in the villains in James Bond films Casino Royale (2006) directed by Martin Campbell and Skyfall directed by Sam Mendes (2012). In particular I will look at La Chiffre in Casino Royale (played by Mads Mikkelsen) and Raoul Silva in Skyfall (played by Javier Bardem). Focusing on the torture and interrogation scenes from these films, I will consider the significance of mockingly ‘queer-coded’ behaviour of the villains included in the films, such as innuendos and homosexual references used to torture and manipulate Bond (played by Daniel Craig).

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Why did I choose watercolour painting as the artistic medium of choice for the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series?

Pictured: Artist Anna Frances, wearing Bi in the 2000s™ merch, with the original ‘Where do I fit in my cultural landscape?’ watercolour artwork in the background

For me it was an easy decision to paint with watercolour in the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series, for a lot of different reasons. I think for me, I was drawn to watercolour paint in particular because of its fluid and subtle nature, giving the artist infinite ways to explore colour, from its most faint, to its most distinct. I also find the fluid water component of watercolour a very calming and very natural element to work with, and I find the results often very moving, for that very reason. I think every artistic medium has its own qualities, and this is just one of the paints that I love working with.

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It’s time to change: Why as a small business owner, I’m trying to source sustainable and ethical products for my online store (and why I’m hoping other retailers do the same).

‘Bi love’ Mens/Unisex organic cotton t-shirt from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

Like everyone, I’m trying my best. My business is relatively new, every step of the way is a huge learning curve, and I’m really trying to put a sustainable and ethical foot forward from the very beginning of the launch of the merchandise products that I’ve created, which I’m approaching in the following ways:

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Is the LGBTQ+ Pride flag used commercially as a means to gentrify cities, or to celebrate diversity?

H&M shop front in London, 2017, during Pride month (mynoho.co.uk)

Is the LGBTQ+ Pride flag used commercially as a means to gentrify cities, or does it celebrate diversity? Regardless of whether you see the cultural appropriation of the LGBTQ+ Pride movement for commercial use as something positive or something negative, some urban theorists have actively encouraged creating a space that will attract LGBTQ+, with the intent of gentrifying the area.

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Pride flag: How useful is it see the rainbow LGBTQ+ Pride flag used on commercial logos and packaging?

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Pride flag – Red Dragon  Flagmakers
LGBTQ+ Pride flag

So you want to support LGBTQ+? You’ve bought your bacon, lettuce and tomato rainbow flag sandwich from M&S, you’ve bought your apple with a rainbow flag sticker for lunch from Pink Lady, you’ve bought your coffee in a rainbow coloured coffee holder from Starbucks, you’ve bought your rainbow trainers from Nike, you’ve been there, you’ve spent your money, you’ve got the proverbial t-shirt (from adidas). And how do you feel now? Do you feel proud to be you? Proud to support the LGBTQ+ community? Do you feel proud to embrace the side of you, that doesn’t necessarily fit into the hetero-normative narrative that we all have to love the same way? Or do you feel like a few trans-national corporations have just burnt a large hole in your wallet, you’ve continued to contribute to the global capitalist economy, and you’re still afraid to kiss someone that’s the same gender as you in public, for fear of public shame and discrimination?

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‘Bi love’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

‘Bi love’ design from the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range

This painting represents about how I feel about bisexuality now, and LGBTQ+ love is definitely included in this. The painting was initially titled ‘Happy Bisexuality Visibility Day’ and was released on social media on this day, 23rd September, 2020.

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‘Who do I sit with?’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series – set in a night club in the 2000s

‘Who do I sit with?’ from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series

I chose to include a painting set in a club in the UK in the 2000s as I felt that as a teenager and young adult, club scenes felt like there was a particular kind of intensity around 1.) what you looked like, and 2.) who you had feelings for. From memory (I stopped going to these kinds of places a while ago, although I respect people that still go), the clubs that I attended (these tended to be varied, but never specifically ‘gay’ or ‘lgbtq’ clubs) were never spaces where people were openly anything other than heterosexual.

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Why is representation and seeing others ‘like you’ in the culture around you important, especially when growing up?

Image: ‘World’ by Anna Frances from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series.

Anna Frances explores further why she thinks seeing someone ‘like you’ in the culture around you, effects how you see yourself, and also can effect how you see others.

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5 reasons why I LOVE the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range (and why you will too)

Pictured: Design from the ‘Journey’ organic cotton t-shirt and tote bag

Artist Anna Frances shares why she LOVES the Bi in the 2000s™ merchandise range, (and why you will too).

1.) Each design is from the Bi in the 2000s™ illustrative series that I’ve created, which helps to promote Bisexuality bisibility and LGBTQ+ visibility more broadly.

Why I love it: I think representation around LGBTQ+ communities and Bisexuality communities is urgently needed, and I think that art is a really important way to address that.

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