jeudi 31 décembre 2009

Those were the days : typical 80's haircuts...I mean The Living Daylights official Gears of course

Aaaaaaaaaaah ,those great Bonnie Tyler / Bryan Ferry's type Hair dos of the 80's !
Unmistakable , like a vintage Duran Duran track ( or ahA, for that matters...).
Purists will note the black coma of hair on the guy's face . Clearly a subtile hommage, no doubts !

mercredi 30 décembre 2009


You recognise the suit, of course.
The “in” suit of 1965. What you might well call a veritable Thunderball of a swimsuit. The suit first turned up in the Pinewood screen tests of the various pin-uppables jetting into town to be trying and vying for the role of Domino Derval. Like... comely French starlet Yvonne Monlaur... ex-Bluebell girl Gloria Paul, a British “star” in Italian movies had to make do with a 007 send up, The Intelligence Men... and South African Marisa Menzies.†
Yvonne was already popular in Britain because of her comedy, Inn For Trouble, and Circus of Horrors (quite a comedy, too!). She went home to thud ’n’ blunder actioners, one of which, Nick Carter va tout casser, opened in America as... License To Kill.
Claudine Auger wore the suit more for publicity pix in the Bahamas than in the movie - where she (or censors?) kept hiding the transparent section with a jacket thingie for her poolside lunch with Bond.
Remember the menu?
Domino: “What sharp little eyes you’ve got.”
Bond: “Wait ’til you get to my teeth.”
Tony Crawley

[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, crawleyscasting]
Photos © Eon Productions, 1965
Those pics have all been embedded with a micro dot ( courtesy of Photoshop ) , enabling me to trace them ,should anyone decide to reproduce the pics without permission . You've been warned .

mardi 29 décembre 2009

Original Dr No / Goldfinger drawning found !

A nice original drawning found in a Second hand Comics bookstore of Marseille...

Raquel Welch IS Domino ( or should have been...)

December 1963, Elstree Studios. The newest Hollywood rage Raquel Welch has a surprises for me. Stretch marks and how she was almost Domino in Thunderball... Cubby Broccoli loved Julie Christie on TV in 1961 but she was too flat-chested for Cubby’s famous tit-test. So he went for the tits of the hour - and signed Raquel. 20th Century Fox was not happy.
“Next thing, the studio called me on a Saturday,” she told me. “Now in Hollywood, nobody calls anybody from the studio on a Saturday. I mean, the head of the studio just doesn’t go near a phone, any phone, on a Saturday. But he did. ‘We gotta picture for you - Fantastic Voyage,’ he said. ‘Well, I don’t wanna do it; I wanna do Thunderball.’ And he said: ‘Well, that’s tough, baby, because we have a deal going with those boys and we have cooled the whole issue.’
“As it turned out, they used four girls in Thunderball. I looked like three of ’em. We would have cancelled each other out. But in Fantastic Voyage, I’m the only girl... No chance of being mistaken for Stephen Boyd or Donald Pleasence!”

As she was an unknown, it was no big deal. Eon released her - “which may or may not have done her a favour,” pondered Cubby. Ironically, she had already tested for Fox’s Bond flick, Our Man Flint. And that did no one any favours.
Tony Crawley
Photos © 20th Century Fox, 1966
[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, crawleyscasting]

lundi 21 décembre 2009

Christmas Bonus : LICENCE TO REMEMBER - exclusive Bond Memories From Tony Crawley - Part 3

More , more ...Much Moore : Roger Moore IS James Bond

Dolphin Square, September 24, 1969.
My first Roger Moore interview is for... Playback, the 3M tape magazine.
On how/why he uses tape-recorders - certainly never to practise accents.

Pinewood, December 31, 1974.
Roger is completing That Lucky Touch (it wasn’t) and talking his head of to me about being a cop’s son... discovered as an extra: “everybody was in a toga, carrying a spear. And my spear was longer, that’s all there was to it... I wasn’t a born talent like Albert Finney, I had to work at it...”
You did a week as a stand-up comic in Wales? “No, four nights. Before they sacked me. Ghastly... In Hollywood, they suggested I was too English... When I first said: ‘My name is Bond, James Bond,’ it sounded just like Sean... I like being Bond, you’d have to be fucking daft not to!” .

Les Ambassadeurs, July 3, 1980.
My final film reception (Sea Wolves) before moving to France. The headline became: NO MOORE BOND. “I’ve done it. I’ve proved I can do it. I’ve proved I can make money. And I object to discussing terms for the next film while being threatened with their many clones being tested. Which strikes me as being slightly bad manners. I’m not into that rat-race.”
Tony Crawley

[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, www.crawleyscasting]

Christmas Bonus : LICENCE TO REMEMBER - exclusive Bond Memories From Tony Crawley - Part 2

Chateau Claudine , cuvée 65'
A meeting with CLAUDINE AUGER

May 17, 1965, was a Monday and the day I met the then newest Bond Girl in her suite at the Dorchester Hotel in London. Corinne Clery, Sophie Marceau, Eva Green, they came later. The very first French Bond babe was Claudine Auger - Domino in Thunderball. She told me many things that afternoon... “James Bond is sometimes very tough with his women. No matter. I like this sort of man... I never wanted to be a beauty queen, winning Miss France was a surprise. My parents were very angry. I was only 16... My younger sister, Anne-Marie, is far more beautiful than me, she’s like a young Sophia Loren. Her favourite star is Sean Connery. Sean gave me a handsome photograph signed specially for her.”
And then she got to her clothes. Or not... “Oh, I must have 120 dresses at home, 50 swimsuits... Funny, non, to have so much. You see, when I’m at home, I’m not wearing anything. I like to be nude in my house. It makes me feel so free. Non, I do not bother pulling the curtains. I’ve never seen anyone looking at me. Yet.”
I was. Just looking at and drinking in her great looks and warm personality... slowly... like a good French wine. Chateau Claudine. Tony Crawley
Photos © Eon Productions, 1965
[Every 007 film has a page on Tony’s website, www.crawleyscasting]

Found this fake on the Web recently . It wouldn't have changed the final ( awful ) product but at least it would have made it looking a bit more...Bondian !

mercredi 16 décembre 2009

Christmas Bonus : LICENCE TO REMEMBER - exclusive Bond Memories From Tony Crawley - Part 1

Warning : all pics property of Media Bis and/ or individuals .
Each pic is embebded with MB logo microdot to trace it .

Intro : as some form of respect to my illustrious ,eeer , Elders , I decided to invite some of them writing something on that Blog about agent 007 .
First one to call back is the great Film journalist Tony Crawley , who graciously sent me several paragraphs of funny anecdotes about his numerous encounters with that man Bond .
So seat back, relax and enjoy a trip down to Memory Lane .
Text & Pics copyrighted Tony Crawley ( otherwise mentionned ) .

The year is 1963.
The first week shooting of FRWL coincides with the publication of OHMSS .
A Media Party is arranged . A coach from London to Pinewood in the Bucks countryside.

More Bucks ( Fizz ) on tables laddened with good muncheables on the FRWL set ( Nb : Gipsy camp set , most probably ) .
The whole team is there . The men who make Bond great : Sean, Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Ian Fleming and Terence Young .
Oh, plus the Duke of Bedford - dunno why ?
I grab a book and get Sean to autograph it . And the Duke .Why not ?
' Hope to see you soon at my shack ' , he scribbled - he has one of the finest UK Tourist glory , the 18th Century Stately Home called Woburn Abbey...

A Journalist Pal shoots me with Sean .
He pulls his Walther on me . Looking into those hard,Bondian eyes is quite ...Something . Almost scary .
He was charming , but then the 007 hysteria and his hassles with disorganised schedules of the franchise had not yet begun.
More champers on the bus back to town where I should say the night ended with me pissing all Fresco in what proves to be Bedford Square . Never told the Duke .
Next Time I saw Sean was on Goldfinger . He was in bed , or rather on it , with Shirley Eaton ( they share his PJs ) seconds before her paint job and his going to a fridge , saying something about the Beatles .
Wasn't everybody in 64' ?

Photo copyright Graham Spears.
Every 007 film has a page on Tony's Website :

mardi 15 décembre 2009

" When you were young and your heart was an open book..."

Last thursday will be engraved in my memory forever .
Through sheer luck I managed to get a free ticket to attend to Sir Paul McCartney one & only French Concert of his ' Good Morning Europe ' 2009/2010 Tour ...The aptly called Good Evening Paris mega gig . More than 15.000 Fans waited for Macca , due to appear by 08.00PM...An hour later , patience was running low and expectations...Very High !
Perhaps to compensate for his lateness , Sir Paul gratified his audience of a 40 minus plus Encore at the end of the Concert...
So now, it's Karaoke time , people !

When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live
( You know you did , you know you did , you know you did )
But in this ever changing World in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry

Say Live And Let Die
Live And Let Die
Live And Let Die

What Does it matters to ya
When you got a job to do
You gotta do it well
You gotta give the other fellow Hell...

You used to say Live and let live
You know you did, you know you did you know you did
But in this ever changing World in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry

The Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die

lundi 14 décembre 2009

Voodoo Dolls , anyone ?

In the " Oh God , how could Danjaq allows such misery to see the light of day ? " department , we present to-day the latest MATTEL James Bond Girls Dolls ...

Is it me , or are the heads definitly ' Thunderbirds ' - like ?

('Kay, the Pussy Galore one is really the most ,uh, ah, the less , err . Awww , can't even find a positive comment for that one ... )

vendredi 11 décembre 2009

Remy Julienne : The Real James Bond behind a wheel - Part II

Let's go on with some more exclusive Remy Julienne Archives :

- The cover of his Promo brochure of 1985

- The real story-board of part of the A View To A Kill Seine bank / Eiffel Tower car chase

- The Man himself goofing around with THAT car ( yes ...We ALL did that , when near an Aston Martin DB5 . Must be compulsory I guess ... ) . That pic was used as the cover of the official Remy Julienne 1995 released VHS video program ' Il Fait Des Bonds ' ( impossible to translate in English . Litteraly , it means ' He Makes Leaps ' . But the French word for ' Leap ' is indeed...Bond ! Aha . Clear enough ? )

Some anecdotes now : to achieve the filming of the chase between the DB5 and the Xenia Ferrari at the beginning of GoldenEye , Rémy had to devise an ingenuous ploy .
Simply mounting a false DB5 body on the chassis of a much sup-upped car ...

For despite all efforts , the poor old DB5 - which was also available as the ' real thing ' for the shooting of the sequence ( close-ups & all ) couldn't compete with the super-charged Italian beauty ...

Several fiberglass made DB5 bodies were available ( many of them turning up much later in various Movie auctions under the false denomination ' GoldenEye one & only Double - car ' ) .
All material copyrighted MEDIA BIS - Do Not reproduce without written authorization

Amos Burke - R.I.P

It is with a great sadness that we report the death of actor Gene Barry today .

Although most well-known in the rest of the World as the suave Gentlemanly Amos Burke ( one-time Secret Agent himself , courtesy of the Spy - craze of the Sixties ) , he will be mostly remembered in France as the equally dashing Gene Bradley , from the excellent I.T.C vintage series ' The Adventurer ' , created by Dennis Spooner , prolific writer whose name is to be found in almost each and every Cult British TV series of the 1960s/70s...
( if there's ever been a Schizophenic series in the World - apart from ' The Prisoner ' , it is indeed that one : a main character playing a namesake Actor who's doing undercover missions for Her Majesty . Great plot indeed ! And note the initials of both actor & character...)

R.I.P Gene Barry

mardi 8 décembre 2009

This Man IS James Bond : Yes sireee...

The Christmas Early Present' from Our Man From Bond Street Team :
( This critic page is dedicated to Pierre Patin )
So you thought you knew your James Bond Canon, down to the Barry Nelson entry , eh ?

In 1979, I was proudly publishing the first photocopied issues of my Fanzine , and started meeting other young crazy Film buffs in Paris . One of them discovered one day an oddity and started at once raving about it . At first we simply couldn't believe our ears when he described the movie he just saw by chance in a low zone Paris Chinatown Cinema .

A Hong Kong film starring a fake Bruce Lee ( ok , that , we were used to . So many copycats Bruce Lee appeared after the death of the Enter the Dragon star . All of them generally awful ) .
But co-starring were the likes of ...Clint Eastwood ' Man With No Name ' silent Hero, Popeye the Sailorman ( I kid you not ! ) , the French erotic symbol of the 70's Emmanuelle and,and...

A character always impeccably dressed in tuxedo and bow-tie called...JAMES BOND !!!!!
And - oh , the irony ! - that James Bond is on the...Villain's side ! ( But it's a ploy ! OMG ! )

Played by US actor Alexander Haig ,who actually looks more like Barney Collier from Mission Impossible than 007 himself ! ( sorry for the awful Caption pics : it's been Hell trying to find extracts of that movie on the Net . ) . What boggles the mind is the fact that Alexander Haig seems to speak...Fluent French ( listen closely to the credits sequence . )

To sum up a rather , errr , bizarre script : story has Bruce Lee ( actor Bruce...Leong ! ) fighting in Heavens against the most Evil Masterminds of all Times : The Godfather , Dracula ( who looks more like BLACKula , due to awful make-up ) ...And the Emperor of Evil Himself ( call it Satan, for us Westerners ) .
On the Good side , along Bruce ,are ...Popeye , Saïtochi the Blind Samuraï , Kato from The Green Hornet and Clint Eastwood !

' In between ' ( so to speak ) is the sensual...Emmanuelle ( in the Sylvia Kristel chic Sexy heroine mould ) , a treacheress " à la Vesper Lynd " ( an inspiration for the Eva Green characterisation perhaps... ) .

Film is called for Westerners ' The Dragon Lives again ' , dated back 1977 , directed by a certain Law Kei ( I kid you not ) and seems to be still available in DvD through a distributor called ' 5 Minutes To Live ' ( honest ! Must be the average time a normal cinemagoer manages to hang on while trying to watch that movie... )

Let's be thoroughly honest : although I finally DID see that...Thing ( yep, am so badly addicted to Bond stuff ! ) , it's really awfull ( The HK ' Ace Goes place ' series looks like a Kurosawa movie in comparison...)
So bad ...It actually becomes Fun watching it !

That is , if you're enjoying a Video night with friends ...And booze !

You can trace in Zone 3 DvD ( Hong Kong / Taiwan ) .

I've PsP format encoded the actual complete overture credits sequence of the Movie - starring James Bond firing against Bruce Lee ...With a soundtrack shamelessly borrowed from Lalo Schiffrin's Enter The Dragon AND ...The James Bond Theme !!!!! ( Danjaq people, I'm actually working for you , right now.... ) .

That sequence is actually a presentation of all the main characters , so you'll get a pretty general idea of the whole thing ...Without having to watch it entirely - how nice am I, eh ?
And , as a special Christmas Bonus , I cannot resisting adding ...Errr , you'll see by yourself !
Last info : this film is actually called in France ' LA RESURRECTION DU DRAGON ' , which makes some more sense ( not much , but still...) .

( Lord , I DO hope I'm not the only one enjoying that piece of crap ... Or else my reputation will go down the drain ! Which reputation ? Awwwww , come on...) .


Aspirin needed - Aces Go Places : The Mad Hong Kong James Bond spoof series , Part 1

Fasten your seat-belts !

I've started slowly with the mild ' From Hong Kong With Love ' and ' Le Magnifique ' but I'm now going full speed with a review of that unique Action/ Comedy HK film series , which I discovered at the Cannes International Film Market in the 80's .

Although truly atrocious by Western standards in terms of comedy and acting , those films hugely make up for with their truly unbelievable stunts , shot without any CGI or computer effect of any sort .

A vehicle for a HK comic duo , formed by Inspector 'Kojak' ( Karl Maka , the Baldy one . at least ,that his name in the US subtitled versions I've seen - and bought in CDV ) and his younger sidekick/ nemesis , Sam , the Ladies Man , subtly nicknamed...King Kong ( honest ! ) played by Sam Hui .

The story of each entry of the film series is basically the same : King Kong tries to commit the theft of the Century ...And Inspector Kojak ( spelt Kojirak in HK original version ) tries to do his best to catch him during the whole movie ...
Now that I think of it , that structure reminds me of the...Pink Panther series !!!

I won't go into describing the various scripts ( more or less the same story ,with different settings ).
Suffice to say the movies are truly spectacular by themselves .

By number two, the series had already gained some international Cult following ( even in France , where the obligatory Cannes Film Market one & only Midnight screening of each new film became THE event not to be missed for young movie critics of my generation . Still clearly remember the pure madness of each of those screening ,with the audience - apparently only composed of Professionnals from the medias & the Industry alike - , screamed , hooted and laughed during each viewing...Not forgetting enthusiastically whistling the catching tune theme of the series ! see & hear video 2 ) .

So let's concentrate on the more ' Bond- orientated ' entries of the series .
Which are ,first , the aptly named 'AGP 3 - Our Man From Bond Street ' , and the following one ' AGP 4 - You Never Die Twice ' ( God , I missed those cheesy titles in our bleak 21rst Century Film entries ) ;
Directed by none other than Tsui Hark himself , AGP3 is a roller-coaster of a movie .

To my knowledge ,two different versions officially exist : a normal Hong Kong edited one , and a slightly more tight one ( story-wise ) for export . Since I got both I won't bother going into specifics and will only review the main set scenes ...

Let's first try to get a decent synopsis out of the frenetic ,no hold barred story .
Said story begins in Paris where our Hero , ' King Kong ' , has just stolen a fabulous diamond belonging to none other than Her Majesty Elisabeth II ...

His scheme to achieve such exploit makes the Ethan Hunt 's Mission Impossible plans truly ...Laughable in comparision ( rocket-propelled skate-board ,underwater re breather anyone ? ) .
Unfortunately for him , the Opposition - in the guise of Jaws ( Richard Kiel himself ) and an Odjobb look-alike - managed to substitute said diamond .

Sam is then recruited by Her Majesty ( who casually cruises under the Seine in her private submarine - as big as the Red October one ! Aboard the ship is also that mysterious ' Man From Bond Street ' , who turns out to be ...You-know-you , and who'll finally appear as a dastardly traitor by the end of the movie .Shocking ! ) to retrieve the Royal diamond and save the Crown of England .

Inspector Kojak , on another hand , is still fuming trying to catch Sam ( which he failed to do at the last minute of every entry of the series ) .

It's really a bit like the classic Warner Road Runner cartoon ...With humans !

That's the main core of the film . Like I said the basic story in itself is not that important . What's really catching the eye is the stunts .

We know HK actors are famous for their Stunt habilities ( see Jackie Chan, a former stunt man himself ) and the ' Aces Go Places ' series is clearly a catalogue of the most fantastic motorized , air-borne and...Underwater stunts ever devised for movies !

And there's also the Gadgets ,which would make Q green with envy : radio controled toys , missile-launching helicopter , twin Machine guns mounted on 'James Bond' vintage coupé sportcar...Not to forget the deadly hat of our old friend Odjobb : those guys obviously knew their Classics !

Oh..I almost forgot to mention the guest-stars , who became a trademark early on in each new entry . In OMFBS , we got Richard Kiel , Peter Greaves ( in Jim Phelps mode ) , the aforementionned Oddjob look-alike - with a right steel-hand ! , a Sean Connery / James Bond sort of ( looking more like OSS 117 Jean Dujardin than the Scottish actor but , heck... ) .

One last word : it's really ...Uncanny how similar are some action sequences from AGP III To...A View To A Kill ones . The Eiffel Tower fight is almost a carbon copy of the 007 one ( made several years later ) . Is Eon a fan of the Aces Go Places film series ? Go figure ( if I may say so ) ...

If you can put your brain on the 'off ' mode for a couple of hours , I'd cheerfully advise you to try at least to watch ' Our Man From Hong Kong ' ... And then perhaps try the following one ' You Never Die Twice ' ,which I'll introduce to you , innocent audience , by a next Post !

lundi 7 décembre 2009

How To Destroy The reputation of The most Famous Secret Agent of The World ?

This is actually the terrific pre-production title of one of the best French Bond spoof ever produced so far ( on which the newest OSS 117 adventures largely dwelled upon ) .

Directed by Philippe de Broca in 1973 , who's also responsible for ' That Man In Rio ' , another Bond spoof , also starring France n°1 Action Film Hero ...Jean Paul Belmondo !

Readers of this blog are probably aware of Jean Paul Belmondo tenuous connection with James Bond : being the then boy-friend of Ursula Andress in 1967 , he starred as the French Legionnaire at the end of the Casino Royale epic fight sequence ( " The French arrived ! Les-Français-sont-arrivés " ) .

In Le Magnifique ( the original title then became only the tag line ) , Belmondo plays a French Spy novelist , living up his dreams through the incredible adventures of his litterary alter ego , the one & only Bob Sinclair .

The clever editing , which mixes the miserable everyday life of the Paris-based writer ( trying to get a raise from his publisher , falling in love with his student neighbour,etc.,etc ) and the grandiose exploits of the formidable secret agent ( both being played by Belmondo, of course ) makes an excellent entertaining film , with gorgeous scenery and some dry humour ( the fim begins with the most improbable death which ever occurred to a secret agent : found dead , drowned and mauled by Sharks in a ...Phone box . You have to see the film to fully understand the gag ) .

One of the most enjoyable scene of the whole movie is the interrogation sequence were a string of interpreters tries to decipher the mumbling phrases of an Albanian spy .
Since the available Albanian translator only speaks...Romanian , they then use a Romanian interpreter who only speaks Serbian, which in turn is only spoken by a Serbian, who is only understood by a Russian who speaks Czech . A language finally spoken by the French translator ...Love it !

As usual, Belmondo does most of his stunts and clearly enjoys sending up his 'Secret Agent' personna .
Car chases , exotic locals ( Mexico and the Aztec pyramids - lair of the infamous S.P.E.C.T.R.E-like evil organization ) , gun à gogo and the exquisite presence of the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset ( as the obligatory love interest - and also briefly appearing herself in the 67' version of Casino Royale as ' Miss Goodthighs ' ) makes this one a 'must see' for every decent 007 spoofs amateur .

A remake of some sort was miserably produced for French Television in 1999 , ' Bob Le Magnifique ' . Word of advice : to be avoided .

dimanche 6 décembre 2009

The 2002 James Bond London Science Museum Exhibition Press Day

As 2010 is slowly looming towards its end and we'll soon enter the 50th anniversary year of the James Bond films series, a little reminder of the last most important event of the 2002 last Anniversary year ...

Back in Autumn 2002 , the usual Bond craziness engulfed the World Medias .

I was hired by a TV production company to cover the Press day of the 007 London Science Museum exhibition - the very first of its kind in Europe , where Eon graciously displayed props, sketches , vehicles and various gadgets used in the James Bond films since 1962...

Add to this a string of super guests stars ( Sir Christopher Lee, various Bond girls ) and the -rare- presence of both Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson together and you'll probably understand why I was drooling like Tex Avery's proverbial wolf ...

Being ' French TV ' , we were given the red carpet treatment and I joyously passed from one Celebrity guest to another , followed by my faifhfull cameraman , to get the most of the unique day .

We were lucky enough to get sweet Caroline Munro , the producer himself - Mickey G - who even called his half-sister to join us ( she declined as usual , being notoriously shy of the medias . Damnit...) , Sir Christopher Lee ,etc.,etc...

But there was someone I had never met so far in the assembly .

A Bond girl of legend , former P.A of a certain Mr Goldfinger ...

So , with my usual French charm , I decided to ask Mrs Honor Blackman a quick interview .

Haven't figured out to this day what happened then, but the lady quickly shot back a stern ' no ' and then headed straight to the toilets ( overdose of petits fours ? ) .

We were really flabbergasted by her behaviour - and even more so when learning later a James Bond Fan friend of mine had managed that very morning to get her pic taken right besides Mrs Pussy Galore ( hated when this happen...To others ! ) .

Incidentally , this kind of ' thank you , but no thank you ' behaviour also occured to me with ...George Lazenby , when trying to interview him at the 2002 Ian Fleming Foundation Stoke Park Anniversary Golf course .

The guy politely told us ' please wait for me here ...' and we never saw him again of the whole day ...

Attending the Shooting of ' Octopussy ' ...

Exclusive pics taken during the actual shooting of Octopussy in 1983 .

Despite what some of us may think the Octopussy crew didn't go to East Germany to shoot the famous sequence where General Gogol ( Walter Gotell ) discovers the treachery of General Orlov ( Steven Berkoff ) and runs to try to stop him provoking armagueddon ...
The John Glen crew settled the cameras in the Neneh Valley , right in the heart of the British countryside ...
A few of my British friends managed to sneak in , and took pictures like frenzy ...
In those days , security wasn't so tight on shooting sets ,apparently !
( you can clearly see a crowd of curious inhabitants on the bridge overseeing the recovered Mercedes ...)
Coming soon : shooting of another classic sequence of Octopussy ...
Many thanks to Ross Hendry ,for kindly giving me copies of the photos he took this very day - and permission of using them .
Those pics have all been embedded with a micro dot ( courtesy of Photoshop ) , enabling me to trace them ,should anyone decide to reproduce the pics without permission . You've been warned .

Remy Julienne : the real James Bond behind a wheel - Part 1

They say the Movie world is full of superficial persons , more concerned with their egos than anything else .

Well, it's true but there are noticeable exceptions .

You can also discover some true genuine human being , immensely talented , enjoying his work like no other ,and still incredibly modest about his art .

Such is the wonderful StuntMan Supreme Remy Julienne who devised every motocar stunts for 007 from 81' till 95' .

Remy is quite your average friendly guy , always ready to discuss with fans and enthuses about some memories of him .

I have the chance of being able to meet him on more or less regular basis ( a mere phone-call and -hop ! - Remy will pop up in Paris in minutes ... ) , and each time feel like a little ten years old boy again, listening to magic stories about days which are halas no more , during which making movies wasn't just a Money affair , but still a joyous , unique adventure ...

We all know the contributions Remy made to the Bond Canon , basically bringing his own style of car chase filming to the 007 films ( I'm thinking there of a ' classic ' Remy Julienne stunt which has cars roaring full speed through...Stairs . See ' The Italian Job ' and then...AVTAK ) .

Remy also devised for the French Disneyland Paris Theme Park the great ' Moteurs , Action ! ' Stunt car attraction , which is still today one of the most popular events of the Movie themed park .

Afficionados of his work will recognize easily some ' Bond stunts ' , nicely adapted to the ' live ' performance , as well as some winks to the Condorman Disney movie ( am not sure this was intentionnal from Remy , but it makes a nice hommage of sorts since Mr Julienne also devised the car chases for that 1981 flick ) .
As a formal recognition of his work in the Movies , The ' Festival de Valenciennes ' ( formerly titled ' Action Film Festival ' ) has created a Remy Julienne Award Prize which is given each year to a new and promising young actor with physical abilities ...

All pics & text copyrighted K.Collette / Media Bis 2009 ( otherwise stated )
Acknowledgment Pics : Julien Vialon ( 007's World )

samedi 5 décembre 2009

The ' Sometimes I do hate my friends when they send me that kind of Pics ' section - Part 1

Right , even if I'm doing my best to Globe-trot around the World as many times as I can ...There are still many places I would like to set foot upon ...
Fortunately , I do have some attentionate friends who, acting as unofficial correspondents ,never forget to send me pictures of their most memorable trips .

Such is my dear Japanese friend Makoto Wakamatsu ( whom I first met in person in Chicago in Summer 2001 , courtesy of Matt Sherman & Raymond Benson ) who sent me the following pics taken during his pilgrimage in Taïwan and Bangkok some years ago , on the trail of ' The Man With The Golden Gun ' actual scenery .

Afficionados will no doubt recognize the then famous 'James Bond Island ' of Scaramanga, near Phuket .

Interestingly , it has now let go of its James Bond inheritance and simply retails these days its original name . Another friend of mine , who shot a commercial in Bangkok two years ago , went there too and couldn't find a trace of the 9th James Bond film except for that ...Souvenir painted rock he graciously brought me back ( now pride & joy of my 007 Merchandise collection ! ) .

The famous ' Klongs ' , on another hand , are still there of course , as well as the Thaï Boxing arena where Miss Anders turned up dead ...

To end on my usual merry note , Guy Hamilton told me the crew was almost permanently food sick while shooting near Phuket...It also seems the Thaï have a very different way of shooting movies than us , Westerners .

For instance , the indoor studios and sets are not ...Air conditionned and not ...Sound proof either .

A detail which could easily drive mad some famous British film director ...

Many thanks to Makoto Wakamatsu and Julien Vialon for their kind help and photographic skills .

Starring Bernard Lee, Loïs Maxwell,Clifton James...

Remember the Kung Fu craze initiated by Bruce Lee and ' Enter the Dragon ' ?

Even the Bond producers took notice and , after shamelessly borrowing from Blackxploitation for the previous film, decided to go Martial Arts in TMWGG...

But wait , another film preempted that entry, starring none other than Bernard Lee as the MI.6 boss, with a faifhfull secretary played by Loïs Maxwell, a stupid C.I.A agent in the guise of Sheriff J.W Pepper himself ( Clifton James ) ...And incredible stunts devised by none other than Remy Julienne ( which may actually have opened him the doors of Eon Productions years later )

Title of that film ?

' From Hong Kong With Love ' ( aka ' Bons Baisers de Hong Kong ' )

Add to that Mickey Rooney himself as a completely mad Villain ( in Mad Hatter mode , to be precise ) , some demented script , a main theme which could have been sung by Al ' Weird' Jancovic himself , some credits title sequence clearly inspired by Maurice Binder's 007 efforts and you get...A total ( but funny ) Mess !

Designed primary as a vehicle for France then Number 1 comic guys , ' Les Charlots ' ( eeer , how to describe them to my US friends : a low level french version of the Marx Bros. perhaps ? But very,very low... ) , the film borrowed heavily on the Bond image ( see official Film poster ) to the point of having a Gunbarrel sequence with ' James Bond ' shot at in the most original opening ever seen in a Bond spoof..

After a very short pre credits sequence starring...Former President Richard Nixon ( stating " I swear everything that follows is the truth and nothing but the truth ! " ) the film then properly begins with an interesting twist : the kidnapping of Her Majesty , Queen Elisabeth II ,during a Golf tournament.
Since the British Secret Service has been decapitated by the loss of his best agent ( hilarious Miss Moneypenny , dressed in black , and still mourning ...
Dialogues :
M : " Get me our best agent asap ! "
Moneypenny : " you're thinking of...James ? But he's been dead for three years now .Sob.Sigh " ...
'M' is therefore forced to call his french counterpart of the S.D.E.C.E in Paris for help...Who in turn mischieviously decides to put his worst agents on the case , Les Charlots !!!!
Hugely popular at the times , Les Charlots ( who were musicians at their beginnings and not actors ) switched to Movies in the early 70s and starred in a succession of Box office hits for almost a decade . They were also Mega Stars in Germany, Spain, Italy...
To ensure some potential sales to both U.K and the USA , it was suggested that two different versions of the film should be shot .
A normal one in French , and an ' export-only ' entirely in English .
To achieve that dauting task , the whole French cast was submitted to intensive practical English courses for two months before the actual shooting starts . Sadly , that ingenuous idea was dropped at the last minute .
Although rapidly loosing any 007 connection in the course of action, and quite frankly becoming a mess story-wise , the film remains entertaining , mainly for its gorgeous photography ( boat chase on the Seine , Kung Fu fights in Sir Run Run Shaw HK studios ,and even the late apparition of a mint Chitty Chitty Bang Bang copycat vintage vehicle ! ) .
In his official memoirs , Jean Sarrus ( one of the Charlots ) admitted they were more interested with Opium smoking while shooting in Hong Kong than with the actual script . Honest !
For more information ( in French ) go to the excellent site :

vendredi 4 décembre 2009

You Only Drink Once ( with moderation )

The time : october 95

The place : the official Goldeneye Eon French Licencees meeting .

Due to my glorified position at that time ( was working for the new version of LUI magazine- which was supposed to issue a special Goldeneye number to tie in with the french release ) I was invited to attend the meeting of the official French Danjaq licencees .

A casual affair where each concerned partner show the object ( or prototype ) he intends to sale to some ' board of directors ' representing Danjaq and Eon interests in France .

Amongst the obligatory usual objects - calendars , t-shirts, caps ,toys , etc. - stood a complete oddity .

A French wine producer wanted to sell a Goldeneye Bordeaux bottle , complete with silhouette and gunbarrel logo on the product !!!

I managed to get my hands on a prototype bottle through cajoling ( and false promises of giving the addresses of some Lui model girls .. ) the representative of the vineyard.

Not surprisingly though , the final product never made it to the supermarket .

When I asked about the reason why Danjaq had finally decided to pull the plug ( after all, they had authorised a prototype to be produced ) I was merely told that this kind of product couldn't be tied in with the younger audience the producers were eager to grasp with the new movie ...

The Magazine that Never Was Affair

In the fall of 1997 I was contacted by some Graphic designers studio to become the appointed editor-in-Chief of a new magazine ...

Modestly called ' Legend ' , that opus had a firm 1960s / Bond / Spy thrillers approach , so I signed at once ( besides I just had then some nasty experience with a Publishing company , which had obtained the Danjaq licence to publish the official ' T.N.D ' french magazine ...Courtesy of yours truly , who wasn't even contacted afterwards to write in said mag . Sigh ).

Anyway , Legend would undoubtly be the new Rolling Stone of the 60's afficionados. Those graphic designers were convinced they already had a sure hit in their hands .

So finally appeared the ' Test issue ' .

For those not familiarized with the Publishing world , I should explain that it's common practice , before actually lauching a new title , to create a kind of ' mold ' within a test copy .

That copy is just to test the visual appeal on potential buyers . There's no real text , or articles printed in it , merely columns of letters to fill in the necessary text space .

To make things short , let's just say that ' Legend ' finally never saw the light of Publishing for various reasons .
All that remain today are some pages from that Test issue I reproduce here for your enjoyment ...