2020 will of course be remembered for the pandemic, but it has also taken from us the larger than life character of Sean Connery.
And whilst he starred in many a movie since, he will always be remembered as the iconic and laconic personification of Ian Fleming’s James Bond.
I was born in 1974, consequently Roger Moore is ‘my Bond’, with ‘Live and Let Die’ having started his career at the helm of the movie franchise a year earlier.
Now obviously I didn’t see that film for a few years after it’s release but I do recall going to the cinema for the first time aged about 6 to see ‘Moonraker’, Mr Moore’s fourth outing as 007.
It was in a theatre in a small town in County Armagh which was owned by a friend of my fathers, who had opened up especially just for me and my brothers.
I recall the film stopped part-way through as the film in the projector snapped and had to be spliced together by the expert hand of the projectionist who no doubt had had to do this repair job on many a celluloid strip of cultural history over the years.
I was immensely jealous that my brother was given a gift of one of the frames from the film that had had to be cut out in the rejoining exercise.
It was something that in the scheme of things is pretty valueless. Its not like there weren’t millions of such items in existence, and what would you do with it other than look at it for a few seconds?
However, 40 years later I do not recall the movie I watched as much as I recall the feelings of disappointment that I didn’t get a useless piece of one-inch-square plastic.
I remember vividly re-enacting scenes from the movie in the darkness, between the rows of seats and making sounds of gun fire, fist fights and explosions as we were leaving and the feeling of happiness that was brought to a swift end by what was essentially a gift of incredible kindness as the cinema owner knew my eldest brother at 11 years of age had a hankering to be a movie-maker.
Instead of being supportive and excited and awe struck at this cool gift my sibling was getting, my instinct was to think – why didn’t I get one!
And the answer is of course as I’ve alluded to already – I neither needed one, nor had use for one, nor would I have been inspired by the receipt of one to enter a career in the movie business as my brother has!
It is however, indicative of an unfortunate malaise of modern life that as grown-ups we struggle sometimes to see that other people receiving something does not make them a better person than us.
It doesn’t make us inferior. It’s not a sign that we aren’t worthy or that we should be getting something too.
To echo a later Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, large parts of society now feel that ‘The world is not enough’ to be given to make up for the stuff that others get.
We’re supposed to Live and Let Die understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats.
We might not get something today but that doesn’t mean we won’t get something tomorrow, for Tomorrow Never Dies!
Getting annoyed about what I don’t have compared with someone else is a feeling I had for most of my life but it was only when I stopped feeling that way and started getting joy from the happiness of others that things started to change for me.
And it wasn’t even like I started getting lots of things, I just appreciated what I had more!
The Man with the Golden Gun was not a hero – he was the bad guy you know!