The Written Press in Great Britain

La presse écrite anglaise n’a cessé de se transformer au cours de son existence et a aujourd’hui développé son propre style. Les tabloïds, très à la mode au Royaume-Uni, sont la preuve la plus frappante de l’originalité de la presse anglaise. Depuis le début du XXIe siècle, comme partout dans le monde, la presse anglaise a subi de plein fouet l’arrivée de la presse en ligne : la récente fermeture de The Independent, et l’échec du lancement du nouveau journal The New Day témoignent des difficultés que peut rencontrer l’industrie de la presse aujourd’hui.

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Today’s written press doesn’t have the same format it used to have. In the 15th century, loose-leafs were published less frequently and used to tell important events. In the 16th century, communication and information means used lampoons, which allowed everyone to spread propaganda for his group and his ideology. Since they were considered to be factors of tension, states imposed censorship from 1632 to 1638.

The oldest English newspaper is The Oxford Gazette, later called The London Gazette. Published for the first time on 7 November 1665, it was founded by Henri Muddiman. This newspaper is very different to those offered for sale today because it was hand-written and sent by the Royal mail to subscribers. There was no print edition offered to the general public.

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In 1720, there were twelve London newspapers and twenty-four provincial newspapers. The first one which acquired national importance was Daniel Defoe’s weekly, The Review in 1704. As for The Times, it has been a great daily since 1788.

During the 19th century, newspapers became accessible to a large number of people: thanks to new manufacturing techniques, the cost of newspapers decreased. During that period, the subscription system was developed and the delivery got faster thanks to railways.

As production costs decreased, more and more newspapers were created. Among them, there was a very particular newspaper category: tabloids. What is called “the popular press” was created in the early 20th century. One of the first tabloid papers was The Daily Mirror (created in 1903) which still exists nowadays.

In their book Tabloid Century: the popular press in Britain 1896 to the present, Adrian Bingham and Martin Condoy deal with the context and the reasons that led to tabloids (such as people’s will to have more information about what is going on in the country and maybe have a laugh too).

Today, tabloids are important for the British economy as they are really competitive papers, while in other countries we find only a few of them. There are so many of them in Great Britain that they often need new scoops to be the most attractive ones. The Sun, is currently the leading newspaper in the country with a circulation of around four million. In fact, tabloids are the guilty pleasure of British people and some even qualify them as « a national delight in base pleasure and ritual cruelty ».

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But the arrival of new technologies turned the newspaper industry upside down. As some very famous papers try to adapt, new entrants are challenging them.

On the one hand The Independent, a centre-left British paper established in 1986, stopped its paper publication to go digital-only on March 26th because of its decrease in sales. Indeed, in the late 1980s, the newspaper sold 428,000 papers a day whereas sales recently collapsed to 28,000 a day. The daily edition of The Independent is now available exclusively online for 2.99 pounds per week. It is the first British newspaper to take the radical decision to stop printing its newspaper and go online only.

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As The Independent stopped its print edition, the newly published The New Day similarly ceased its print edition. The brand new daily was launched on February 29th. It was an important event in Great Britain because the last newspaper to be founded was The Independent in 1986. Since there was a collapse in sales as readers increasingly went online, The New Day’s decision to have an exclusively print edition appeared to be paradoxical. Publishers announced that their editorial line would be “optimistic” and “politically neutral” which would make The New Day unique.

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Before the release of The New Day, publishers’ will was to sell about 200,000 copies a day. On May 5th, only 40,000 copies of the newspaper were sold. The adventure lasted a little bit more than 2 months. On May 6th, the newspaper closed its doors.

DA EIRA ROUSSEAU Estelle, HADJIAN Céline & VERDAN Gaëlle

SOURCES:

Abortion: a murder or a basic human right?

Le droit à l’avortement agite et divise toujours le monde aujourd’hui. Certains le considèrent comme un crime tandis que d’autres défendent le droit de la femme à disposer de son corps. Malgré une démocratisation de cette pratique, certains pays continuent de l’interdire ou de le restreindre à l’aide de lois tandis que d’autres ne mettent pas en place les infrastructures nécessaires alors qu’ils l’autorisent.

 

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Abortion 1

Women’s rights are still a thorny issue around the world. They are important in order to understand and estimate global well-being. A lot of nations in the world have ratified women’s rights treaties a few decades ago. Despite this, numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, from the cultural and political areas to the economic area. The abortion right is an example of women’s rights which differs according to countries. It has to do with a moral but also a legal point of view. The moral issue is about the commencement of human personhood, the rights of the fetus, and a woman’s rights over her own body. This debate divides public opinion but it is interesting to note that it can evolve over time.

Abortion 1

IRELAND

Ireland’s attitude towards abortion has evolved. Indeed, even if both of the biggest political parties have a conservative standpoint on this issue, more and more Irish people would like to have more rights concerning abortion: an Amnesty poll found out that 87% of Irish people want access to abortion to be expanded to their country and 69% believe that it should be a priority for the government. Besides, a number of feminists have campaigned for an abortion referendum. With one of the most restrictive legal frames in developed countries, Ireland has been subjected to an increasing pressure to reform its legislation on abortion.

A woman who has an abortion illegally in Ireland may be jailed for up to fourteen years. Abortion is only authorized if the life of the mother is in danger. Ireland is the only European country (with the exception of Andorra, Malta, and San Marino) to forbid abortion in cases of rape, incest, and grave or mortal deformation of the fetus. Abortion could thus play an important role during political elections in Ireland and in some parts of the United Kingdom (during a vote last February in Northern Ireland, the majority of Northern Ireland’s politicians voted to keep the country’s abortion law exactly as it is). Although Ireland sticks to its guns of extreme limitation on abortion, some events (such as Savita Halappanavar’s tragic death in 2012) and public debates can also lead to a great deal of media attention on abortion. This is the beginning of an evolution because such media coverage enables to spread the debate and thus to think more about women’s rights.

Abortion 1.png

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Picture: Savita Halappanavar’s tragic death fueled the debate on abortion in Ireland. She was only 31 years old when she died on 28 October 2012 in Ireland due to complications after a miscarriage. She was 17 weeks pregnant when she went to University Hospital Galway and the doctors refused to perform an abortion as long as the heart of the baby was still beating. When the baby died, she was finally moved to intensive care but died from blood-poisoning. The story of Savita provoked public outrage in Ireland because people argued that she could have been saved had she been allowed to get an abortion.

 

Nevertheless, even when justice authorizes abortion, people can refuse to practice it. Italy is a case in point with an increase of the number of refusals although abortion was legalized in 1978: indeed, seven in ten Italian gynecologists refuse to carry out abortions.

 

The UNITED STATES

In the United States, the federal American justice considers that the abortion right concerns the right to privacy protected by the 14th amendment. However, in some States (such as Mississippi, Nebraska, and Missouri, for example) there are almost no abortion clinics. In 2011, more than 95 % of Minnesota’s counties had no private hospitals practicing abortion. Certain States lack hospitals practicing the termination of pregnancies. For example, in Texas (a territory bigger than France), three-quarters of a million women live more than 200 miles away from this kind of hospital. Certain limitations on abortion implementations ratified by a law in 2013 threaten the existence of these clinics.

This shows that the abortion right may also be limited by the infrastructures of a country and not only by laws. Some States of the United States of America perfectly illustrate the lack of clinics practicing abortion.

The abortion right is a global debate which differs according to countries, cultures, religions but also personal desires and infrastructures. Indeed, a woman who wants to have an abortion can’t have one if hospitals and doctors don’t or refuse to practice this operation. The opinion of people changes with the evolution of society but public opinion always remains divided on this issue.

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Graph: we can see global stagnations in the American public opinion. There was no major evolution between 2001 and 2012.

JU Sophie, LEFEBVRE Coline & Margaux NEURANTER

 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/09/ireland-election-abortion-rights-campaign

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/abortion-law-madness-whats-really-going-on-northern-ireland/

http://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/mar/02/supreme-court-abortion-rights-challenge-womens-health-hellerstedt

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/03/louisiana-abortion-texas-law-supreme-court

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/11/italian-gynaecologists-refuse-abortions-miscarriages

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nuLfyY39A0

 

Climate Change

L’année 2015 a été la troisième année la plus chaude depuis 1850 et cette tendance au réchauffement peut avoir de terribles conséquences. En effet, les récents événements aux Etats-Unis semblent de nouveau résulter d’un problème qui se fait de plus en plus oppressant, celui du réchauffement climatique.

 

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Everybody remembers Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed parts of Louisiana in the United States. Ten years later, the city of New Orleans has not yet succeeded to rebuild the entire city and still has to pay for the economic and social consequences of this climate-related disaster.

Recently, the south of the United States of America was the site of a terrible natural disaster with 43 dead and cities completely destroyed by a storm such as Rowlett near Dallas. Moreover, rescue teams are still searching for people who have gone missing: the number of casualties could increase. The East Coast has been affected by heat waves and temperature records have been broken in New York with a temperature of more than 20°C on Christmas Eve. This was quite pleasant for tourists who wore flip-flops as in summer time. Around that time there were heavy snowfalls in New Mexico accompanied with hurricanes. In California, strong wind exacerbated fires that ravaged 500 hectares of forest. However, recent natural disasters have confirmed the fact that we may have entered a new cycle of man-made disasters.

Climate change 1

The world is watching in disbelief the increase of natural disasters, which raises the question of climate change and of the role of human beings in global warming. More than two decades ago, climate scientists predicted a greater frequency of extreme climate-related events. Today, the consensus among scientists is that global warming is irreversible. Nowadays, the outlook is bleak and with the question of global warming that has become more and more paramount, these tragic recent events in the United States confirm that humanity is at constant risk of natural disasters. Moreover, it can affect any area of the world as illustrated by the stark contrast between hot spells in New York or Washington and hurricanes in New Mexico.

New climatic patterns could undermine ecosystems throughout the world. Thus, it is clear that human activities are changing the natural balance of the Earth and it seems incredible that some candidates to the White House are still denying the existence of global warming. Moreover, even if we believe that climate change is real, money is useless against climate-related disasters. Consequently, even richer countries like the United States are not immune from natural disasters.

Obama

Faced with the increase of natural disasters such as storms, flooding, or tornadoes, politicians have to find solutions. Although some people think there is nothing much we can do against the freaks of nature, we should change our behavior towards nature since climate change plays a role in this increase of natural disasters. For president Obama, there is a strong link between the two and it’s the reason why he decided to create the Clean Power Plan (2015). Considered as the strongest action ever taken by an American president to fight climate change, this plan would reduce by 30 percent carbon dioxide emissions in ten years. To reach this objective, Obama wants to develop the use of renewable energy sources and limit emissions from coal-burning power plants. In response to this plan, a number of firms, including eBay or General Motors, gave their support. Some politicians disagree with Obama and argue that there is no relation between climate change and natural disasters. For example, for Donald Trump, a Republican candidate for 2016, global warming doesn’t exist: it’s just “weather”. He believes that climate change is just an invention created by the Chinese to harm the American economy.

Today, the entire world is concerned by global warming. With the historic agreement during the COP 21, we can see that many political leaders are aware of the need to protect the earth. In fact, during this conference, the common objective agreed upon was to limit global warming to 1.5°C from now on to 2100.
 

 

DUVILLIER Ferdinand , IMBERT Maxime, & Antoine PIERRE.

 

Tornade au Mississippi : (récent) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/25/us/storms-mississippi-tennessee-arkansas.html?ribbon-ad-idx=10&rref=science/earth&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Environment&pgtype=article

Lien entre réchauffement climatique et les catastrophes naturelles (année 2012 record) http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/climate-change-impacts/

Température élevée en ce moment peut être la cause de catastrophes naturelles
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/24/science/climate-change-record-warm-year.html?ref=earth

 

Inondation Missouri ( récent)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/energy-environment/rare-winter-flood-threatens-missouri-illinois-levees/2015/12/29/6c629a38-ae8c-11e5-b281-43c0b56f61fa_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_hp-in-the-news%3Apage%2Fin-the-news

Solution du président contre le réchauffement climatique : http://www.environmentamerica.org/programs/ame/global-warming-solutions

Who could save the Queen better than James Bond?

Tout le monde le connait, son nom est Bond… James Bond. Créé en 1952 par Ian Fleming, le personnage de James bond a été adapté au cinéma à de multiples reprises. Son Walther PPK à la main, il a parcouru le monde et traversé les époques. Nous vous proposons d’analyser l’image du monde renvoyée par ce James Bond considéré par Ian Fleming comme le « miroir de son temps ».

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Bond

 

He is everywhere and he travels the world. His name is Bond… James Bond. He is THE British hero, and as the United Kingdom changes, 007 changes with it. Created by Ian Fleming in 1952, Bond’s character has been adapted for the cinema and has evolved over more than half a century, as well as the British society, technology, and the threats that Bond is faced with. The James Bond phenomenon always generates more spending and benefits, breaking records (such as the biggest explosion in cinema history), attracting sponsors and a large audience.

From Dr. NO to Spectre, how has the myth of the well-known spy evolved?

The dark spy rises

In earlier movies, James was a cool guy, drinking his “shaken, not stirred” Martini, and seducing girls thanks to his British phlegm. But as time passes, the character became more complex. While Sean Connery was more interested in flirting with Moneypenny than in fighting his enemies—thereby appalling his boss M—Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig were much more trigger-happy, killing up to 20 bad guys per film. James Bond has now become a darker hero, whose past was disclosed in the last two 007 films. This past seems to reopen old wounds, as the number of martinis (or beer lately) he drinks increases. But 007 isn’t becoming a boor: overall, he is more of a gentleman. Moreover, the women are no longer just the pretty bikini-clad James Bond Girls, they are complex characters themselves, whose advice and history have an actual influence on the story.

In any case, people seem to like this new hard-fighting and hard-drinking Bond and so do the sponsors.

The 007 phenomenon, Money and Penny everywhere

The James Bond movies are a real showcase of their time and every movie differs from the other mainly because of the evolution of the character and of the novelties that appear in each new film. Through many symbols, the saga illustrates social evolutions. The James Bond movies are known for the numerous partnerships with brands—like Aston Martin or Omega—which feature in films. Cars, watches, alcohol, and even mobile phones, every detail of the world of James Bond is chosen to anchor the character in his world, which mirrors the society we live in. Indeed, James Bond’s symbols have been used to make money through numerous advertising campaigns by using the character’s story and accessories. Music is also a very important aspect of the movies and, besides the famous James Bond theme, each movie has its own song performed by current singers like Paul McCartney with Live and Let Die and more recently Adele with Skyfall and Sam Smith in Spectre.

This saga, which has existed since 1962, has thus mirrored the evolution of society.

The threats in Bond’s line of sight

In addition to the usual stereotypes that come with most British spies – femmes fatales, fast cars, high-tech gadgets – another element has contributed to the success of the series: the representation of people’s geopolitical fears. In each film, James Bond lives in a different geopolitical environment. Thus, we can trace the timeline of key global issues through the eyes of the protagonist. In From Russia with Love (1964), the James Bond played by Sean Connery is very much anchored in the Cold War; whereas in 1977, James Bond (played by Roger Moore) teams up with a KGB agent during the US-USSR detente in The Spy Who Loved Me. With Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan, the Cold War is no longer the backdrop of the series. Bond becomes the guardian of a new world exposed to transnational threats such as drug trafficking—for Dalton in Licence to Kill—or financial criminals—for Brosnan in Goldeneye. Other threats Brosnan struggles with are techno-terrorists and media moguls who want to trigger a war in the South China Sea in Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). Today, with recent movies, other threats have emerged such as cyber terrorism in Skyfall (2012). Finally, in the latest Spectre, terrorism, extortion, and espionage seem to be the new issues that we have to face. That’s why we can say that we are able to see the spectre of geopolitics in the Bond movies.

James Bond’s evolution reflects changes occurring in society such as threats, technologies, the place of women, and international relations… James Bond’s myth has evolved over the years, thereby mirroring the evolutions of our own world. The fiction is thus not so different from reality.

GOURDEN, Ambre-Luna, LAPIERRE, Camille, & Noémie ZINSOU.

http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2015/04/the-evolution-of-james-bond.html

http://www.economist.com/news/books-and-arts/21564816-various-bonds-are-more-different-you-think

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/10/daily-chart-13

The Bonds

http://www.lemonde.fr

http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/the-spectre-of-geopolitics-in-bond-movies

https://leschroniquesdecliffhanger.files.wordpress.com

The Clock is Ticking

Un rapport de la Commons Commissions révélant l’état de délabrement du Palais de Westminster et de Big Ben a provoqué de nombreuses polémiques. En janvier 2012, les membres du parlement s’étaient réunis pour discuter du besoin urgent de rénovations mais les problèmes persistent encore aujourd’hui.

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Will the most famous bell in the world stop ringing?

Big Ben has not been restored for over 30 years. Today, the oldest and most famous clock in the world is in need of major repairs.

The clock, designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin in 1859, has become a major symbol of the United Kingdom. When a television producer or a filmmaker wants to indicate that his film takes place in London, a popular way to do so is to show an image of this famous clock in the background.

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However, Big Ben, which is one of the UK’s most iconic monuments, is now in danger and in need of urgent repairs.

A report of the House of Commons Commission revealed that the clock is in a dilapidated state: Big Ben is falling apart.

In August 2015, the bell started to chime up to six seconds late every hour, which interrupted the broadcast of the BBC Radio 4 – PM programme. This lateness has an impact on the international reputation of England because it shows that England cannot afford to renovate its most famous monument.

Even the people trying to fix the clock, like Ian Westworth, do not really know which factors are causing these problems. Westworth told the BBC that the clock “does have a little fit every now and then due to its age”.

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The clock has been faced with other technical problems over the years. As in 1976 when the pendulum weights fell down the shaft and the clock mechanism exploded. It stopped tolling for 26 days over 9 months.

There are other major concerns such as cracking, metal erosion, and structural defects. All these problems have raised urgent questions regarding the renovation of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster.

On 23 January 2012, members of Parliament discussed the report on the structural conditions of Big Ben and the Palace of Westminster. They said that no repairs would be done on Big Ben before 2020. Experts announced that a complete refurbishment of the tower would cost an estimated £40 million. As a result, the complete renovation of the tower won’t begin before 2020.

The renovation cost has been at the center of several debates. According to a report, taxpayers would be confronted with a bill of up to £29 million if they want to hear the famous “bongs” of Big Ben in the future. Moreover, the public purse is already facing a massive restoration bill of up to £7 billion for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster.

Andrew Blick, a lecturer in politics and contemporary history at King’s College, London, said: “Well clearly in a climate of austerity when parliament is voting through cuts in other areas it’s going to be controversial if they seem to authorising expenditure on that scale for a repair to what is essentially their own building. However, Big Ben and the Elizabeth Tower, which it’s on top of, is an iconic image of the UK. It’s arguably the most famous iconic image of the UK, one of the most famous images anywhere in the world, it’s part of the image of the country. I don’t think I know many developing world countries that would allow an iconic status symbol on that scale to fall into disrepair, to stop working or, worse still, maybe bits start falling off it.”

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Big Ben’s bongs could stop for months or even years if the government doesn’t take a decision urgently. But Nottingham City Council has said its Council House bell “Little John” could replace it if needed.

Councillor Graham Chapman said: “It would be a great honour for our bell to serve this purpose. These chimes are iconic across the globe and of course could never be replaced.”

One of the most famous icons of the United Kingdom is today in danger. The government is thinking about the best solution to solve this problem, which is having an impact on the UK’s reputation around the world. Repairs will take a long time and will be expensive. Moreover, is it not dangerous for tourists to take selfies with Big Ben in the background?

CHAPUZET Anaïs, PREVOSTEAU Maxime, and WONG Jenny.

http://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_big-ben-une-renovation-a-55-millions-deuros?id=9112622

http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/after-31-years-big-ben-to-undergo-abig-renovation-that-will-cost-taxpayers-rs-400-crores-246399.html http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/after-31-years-big-ben-to-undergo-abig-renovation-that-will-cost-taxpayers-rs-400-crores-246399.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/34566386

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/oct/18/big-ben-clock-could-cost-

40m-to-fix-say-mps

http://www.smh.com.au/world/towering-60-million-repair-bill-for-big-ben20151018-gkbujo.html

Britain reacts to the Paris attacks

Les attaques terroristes qui ont eu lieu à Paris le vendredi 13 novembre ont bouleversé le monde entier. Orchestrés par l’état islamique, ces attentats visent l’ensemble des occidentaux. C’est pourquoi le premier ministre britannique, David Cameron, est particulièrement enclin à prendre des mesures pour y faire face. La population s’est également mobilisée pour montrer son soutien aux victimes.

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Terrorism can be defined as the use of violent acts to frighten people in an area, especially in order to achieve a political goal. Spreading fear is more important than causing material damage: there is a disproportion between the terrorists’ actual strength and the feeling of terror they inspire. The deadliest terrorist attack since World War II in France occurred in Paris on the 13th of November: a series of coordinated attacks in three popular places of Paris was organized by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. 130 people were killed by terrorists. These victims were enjoying life in the Bataclan theatre, the Stade de France and even in restaurants or cafes in the 11th and 10th districts of Paris. France was already on high alert since the “Charlie Hebdo” attack in January 2015 but with this tragic event, M. Hollande declared a state of emergency for three months. However, these fundamental Islamist organizations did not only attack France because of its military involvement in various international conflicts, but they also targeted occidental values like freedom of expression, secularism and the empowerment of women. Thus, England feels concerned and this attack reminds many British people of the “7/7 London bombings” that happened on the 7th of July, 2005, and which were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks by four Islamist extremists aboard the London Underground trains and in a double-decker bus.

A minute of silence for the victims was held at 11 am on the 16th of November to coincide with the European minute of silence at midday French Time.

Four days after the terrorist atrocities in Paris, England and France played out an international and friendly football match unlike any other. Prince William and David Cameron attended the game.

Terrorism1

Actually, before the football game started, the lyrics of the French national anthem La Marseillaise, were printed in all the English newspapers. The event was a symbolic moment to highlight the strong union between France and England regarding such a tragedy. The French flag was represented alongside the British one as an act of brotherhood. Furthermore, English fans displayed the colours of the French flag to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in the recent Paris attacks.

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English and French teams stand together for a moment of applause before the start of the Wembley game.

Rooney concluded: “It was a difficult night for everyone, especially the French players and staff. Both teams handled it well. The fans were brilliant. This game will show around the world the unity of football. It’s a global game, not about race or religion. We stood tall and together.”

Terrorism 3

Mr Cameron added: “We will not let them [frighten people through terrorism]. We will redouble our efforts to wipe out this poisonous, extremist ideology and, together with the French and our allies around the world, stand up for all we believe in.”

The prime minister said the police and security services would review their anti-terror plans in the wake of the Paris attacks. But he also warned that “we must recognize that however strong we are, however much we prepare, we in the UK face the same threat. That’s why we continue to encourage the public to remain vigilant”.

He finished his statement with a message to the French nation: their fight against IS was also “[their] fight” and he pledged to “defeat these terrorists”.

Mr Cameron delivered a speech to announced a 15% increase in the 12,700-strong staff of the security and intelligence agencies MI5, MI6 and GCHQ with the recruitment of an additional 1,900 personnel. David Cameron abolished the “divide” between the Army and the police because, according to him, it was time to get rid of it. He also dispatched ten thousand troops who will flood Britain’s streets to fight terrorism.

ABADIA Alice, JEANNENOT Charlotte & PEYREFICHE Alexandra

 

Links:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/terrorism

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=wembley+stadium+marseillaise

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/terrorism

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZsO0o2z0ZU

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34829546

 

 

OO7s and the World

Vous connaissez probablement Bond, James Bond ? Que vous ayez déjà vu l’un des épisodes de cette célèbre saga ou non, vous en avez probablement déjà entendu parler. Cette série de films est basée sur les exploits d’un membre des services secrets britanniques. A chaque parution d’un nouvel opus, les recettes sont impressionnantes : celles du dernier film “Skyfall” se sont élevées à plus d’un milliard de dollars. Dès mercredi 11 Novembre 2015, le monde entier a pu découvrir les nouvelles aventures de James Bond dans “Spectre”, l’occasion pour nous de faire le point sur ce succès du cinéma britannique et ses répercussions dans le monde.

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First of all, James Bond is a really famous emblem of the British film culture. Since 1953, all the Bond movies have celebrated the victory of the British intelligence agencies over external threats. James bond was performed by cinema legends like Sean Connery or Daniel Craig who embodied national elegant heroes. This myth has travelled through the ages and the movie’s original soundtrack has been a really popular song known all over the world; it’s almost impossible to listen to it without immediately thinking of James Bond. Moreover, the famous singer Adele has contributed to the creation of one of the recent James Bond movies, Skyfall. The budget for the production of this movie saga shows how important this movie is and producers are eager to feature international relations and tensions in these films.

Bond1

In fact, 007s are not just for entertainment purpose only since the plots are often based on real issues: they describe and analyse international relations. If you want to understand the world and globalization at a precise moment in time, have a look at a James Bond movie. When we think about the Cold War, we cannot but refer to From Russia with love, which is one of the first “James Bond” movies on the USSR threats against the British government in 1963. According to The Guardian, “It is near-impossible to discuss cold war fiction without mentioning Fleming’s vision of the spy”. The recent James Bond movie Skyfall also describes current issues. First, it represents a terrorist organization which had stolen external drives containing the identity of all NATO agents.  Thus, it is about a modern problem: the risk of hacking. This time, even before the release of Spectre, the trailer made it clear that part of the action would take place in Mexico, showing the growing importance of emerging countries in the world.

It is now clear that James Bond’s filmmakers tried, in each episode, to portray international relations and tensions in the world. But James Bond seems to be more than just a movie. Despite the decline of the British armed forces, the United Kingdom still has a major influence on the international scene, and it seems that this movie is a tool for the Realm to use its soft power around the world: James Bond always embodies the refinement of the British culture and British cutting-edge technology in the field of espionage. The presence of James Bond during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in England in 2012 was also warmly welcomed. But if the movie industry celebrates the British nation, other industries are also involved in this “soft power”: the very famous singer Adele sang the renowned song Skyfall in the previous episode of the saga, while, as usual, 007 spied on the world, driving his favourite Aston Martin car.

These are some of the reasons why, whether or not you are a Bond fan, you should rush to the nearest cinema and ask for a ticket to watch Spectre.

AUSSAVY Siméon, CERALINE Mathieu & FAVRETTO Hugo

Bibliographie :