lunes, 18 de febrero de 2013

James Bond: the empire strikes back

The James Bond movie franchise celebrated its fiftieth anniversary towards the end of last year, an event to be commemorated at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on 24 February. 

The series, featuring the suave British super-spy, played over the years by seven actors of varying ability, has indeed proved to be enduringly popular, with the latest, Skyfall, breaking box office records and garnering largely positive reviews and several awards nominations to boot. The films, stockpiled with boy’s-own adventure, glamorous locations and casual mayhem, continue to appeal, and remain reassuringly formulaic. 

They present a world of absolutes, removed from the murky realities of cold war espionage or counter-terrorism, and, just as the refusal of Zero Dark Thirty (2012) to take a stand on the US torture of Iraqi terrorist suspects is helping to pave the way for its acceptability in the audience’s minds, the Bond films are an advert for the moral incorruptibility of the state. 

Leonardo Da Vinci's Notebook digitised by the British Museum

The British Library aims to digitise 25,000 medieval manuscripts, and its six latest pieces include  Beowulf, a gold-ink penned Gospel, and one of Leonardo Da Vinci's notebooks.
"Each of these six manuscripts is a true splendour, and has immense significance in its respective field, whether that be Anglo-Saxon literature, Carolingian or Flemish art, or Renaissance science and learning”, wrote Julian Harrison, library's curator of medieval artefacts on British Library's official blog

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