Tuesday, April 23, 2013

International Spy Museum's Nod to Bond Villains

Visit museum website: http://www.spymuseum.org

My boyfriend is away on business and after a long day at work, one of our usual practices is to eat dinner and watch an episode from the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Collection. This time Bourdain was in Washington D.C., a place I would not mind visiting someday. That was until in one of the segments, Bourdain met former CIA agent Peter Earnest and they made a stop at the International Spy Museum, where Earnest is the Executive Director. Whoa, stop the bus! 

I finished up the episode and fired up the Mac. A quick Google search and a click to the home page of the museum; I was immediately excited by the face of Javier Bardem and the title of one of their current exhibitions: “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains.”  Honestly, I was amazed that such an exhibit exists because what makes Bond so good to watch is the juxtaposition he finds himself in with the villain he is facing. From Dr. No to Raoul Silva, audiences have enjoyed seeing just how evil a Bond villain can be. 

The exhibit appears to have classified the villains into eight separate categories based on their motivation for world domination. For instance, “New World Disorder” spotlights Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) while “Cold War Power Plays” focuses For Your Eyes Only (1981) and You Only Live Twice (1967). Each exhibit displays various movie props to help convey the overriding theme that inspired each Bond villain. In fact, back on March 13th, the museum hosted lecture titled “Blowing Blofeld’s Mind: The Psychology of Villainy” and was led by Dr. David L Charney and Dr. Stanton Samenow. Both are noted experts in the study of criminal behavior.

Also online, the museum was promoting a section called “Vilify Me” where the Internet viewer can create a virtual lair of villainy by either iPad application or within the browser. I didn’t try it though. And, no museum is complete without a stop at the shop. The spy store touted a handful of t-shirts, gadgets, and books. However, I was disappointed that there was not an exhibition booklet. 

The exhibit opened February 13, 2013, but there was not a closing date listed. All items were provided by EON Productions. So, next time you’re in Washington, D.C., scope out the International Spy Museum. Maybe I’ll see you there! 

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