The incredible “007 Elements“ cinematic installation opened after filming of the James Bond Spectre film in Ötztal. Is it worth making the trip to the glacier? As a former Bond fan, the author went to go see.
Bond? James Bond? Exciting evenings from childhood days spent glued to the TV spring to mind, with images of fast cars, beautiful women and exotic locations. The bad guys were so wonderfully dastardly – and all those weapons and gadgets! The suaveness of Sean Connery and Roger Moore was simply second to none. In the days when we only had two TV channels to choose from, this was the highlight of the week. Then came satellite TV and Pierce Brosnan. I, in the meantime, had grown up – without any assistance required or given by the British intelligence services. To be perfectly honest, I couldn’t really give a damn about 007. However, just last week, an invitation to the opening of “007 Elements” fluttered into the editorial office.
On location at 3,040 metres.
The summer gondola ride to Gaislachkogel Peak is undeniably spectacular. It is hard to imagine skiers weaving their way down the scree-covered slopes below in winter. “Ice Q” soon appears on the rocky horizon, a modern glass cube that houses a gourmet restaurant at 3,040 metres above sea level. For the producers of “Spectre”, it was the ideal place to set up a secret alpine clinic.
1,300 square metres of pure James Bond have been installed in the underground realms of Gaislachkogl Peak. In order not to damage the permafrost layer, “007 Elements” is almost completely unheated. 007 tourists meet on the “Plaza” – an impressive panorama terrace with views over the Ötztal mountains.
007 Chambers of Wonder
One’s first impression in the mountain is the music, which fills the room completely. Daniel Craig, flames and writhing tentacles appear on a screen. It is the soundtrack for “Spectre”. The scenery is dominated by cold, plain concrete. “This style is called “brutalism”, architect Johann Obermoser explains to me. “Bond films are dominated by a classically archaic style, which is why it goes so very well together,” says the Tirol-born draughtsman, who also designed the “Ice Q” summit restaurant.
The journey then delves deeper into the cavernous Gaislachkogl Peak, the interactive mixture of film scenes and Bond music intensifies from room to room. Although the focus of the exhibition is on “Spectre”, there is also ample space devoted to my childhood heroes, Sean Connery and Roger Moore.
„Bond films are dominated by a classically archaic style, which is why it goes so very well together.“
Then comes the highlight: the Tech Lab. The fact that there are no “Please do not touch” signs is intentional. You are actually encouraged to try things out here, such as the exploding watch or arm scanner, with which you can register yourself as a secret agent.
What will most certainly fascinate die-hard Bond fans here are the many original accessories on display. For example, the golden Colt dating from 1974, or the harpoons that 007 used under water.
Other exhibition highlights include the plane that James Bond wrote off during a high-octane chase, as well as a movie theatre where the Ötztal mountain scenes from Craig’s last Bond outing, Spectre, are continuously screened.
Is it worth the visit?
The exhibition is an absolute must for die-hard Bond fans. The well-appointed museum is also highly recommended for budding Bond fans, or those looking for a 007 refresher. I, for one, got the irresistible urge to stream a Bond movie tonight and treat myself to a vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred, of course.