mercredi 10 février 2010

The 00,7 % Solution

While watching Guy Ritchie 's re-invention of Sherlock Holmes , I couldn't help thinking about the parallels with Ian Fleming's own litterary Hero .

Both characters were established stalwart Hollywood heroes , and yet were recently completely turned upside down for a new movie-goers generation ...With a tremenduous success of each of the concerned ' franchise ' ( heck, Holmes movies have been here since the dawn of Cinema too ) .

Some years back I had started writting a comparative study about Holmes & Bond , mainly focusing on the common denominators between the two .
That little piece has never seen the light of printed publication so far so I guess part of it could entertain the readers of that Blog more than a decade later .

Let's start with the obvious : both 007 & Sherlock Holmes have survived the loss of their original creators .
Afficionados will instantly point out the fact that one of the official 007 Continuation novels writer ( such are named the authors having succeeded Ian Fleming with new James Bond litterary adventures ) was also the creator of Holmes nemesis most famous trilogy ,the infamous Professor Moriarty one. ( John Gardner - as it is him we're referring to - wrote three novels using the character of Professor Moriarty , nemesis of Sherlock Holmes in the original ACD series. The third of this series, titled simply 'Moriarty', was delayed due to a dispute with the publisher, but was finally released shortly after his death.).

More intriguing even is the fact that way back in 1988 , a certain John D.Bryan thought he had a brilliant idea and wrote a study simply titled ' James Bond : Did he really live twice ? ' .
With the open goal of thoroughly researching similarities between Fleming's and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 221b resident creations .
Having eagle-spotted said title in a 007 magazine books review section of the time, I got in touch with its author...
Let's be honest : if it wouldn't be for its intriguing subject alone , this book would be a mish-mash of rehearsed ideas , mixing film-biased opinions with literary-ones with the obvious result of completely confusing the poor reader in the end !
( For example , the author heavily insists on the fact that Sherlock too uses...Gadgets - and quote therefore Basil Rathbone's tricked cane appearing during his tenure as Sherlock Holmes . I have re-read Sir ACD original work - with a magnifying glass ! - and have been so far incapable of pinpointing such a ' gadget' as part of Holmes routine equipment... )

This noted , if I had to point out a Fleming - universe character akin to Sherlock Holmes , I would choose myself someone in the like of...Major Boothroyd aka Q , for the sheer genius of some of his inventions ! But this is another story ...

This book succeeds on one idea : trying to put on a same level two very different universes - with their own codes .
Bearing that in mind , it becomes a fascinating reading - since it pre-empted the Martin Campbell / Guy Ritchie efforts by more than 20 years ahead ( if one does indeed see the Richie Holmes variation as some sort of Victorian rejuvenated James Bond ...)

' Re booting ' maybe the 'in' thing right now in Hollywood ...But it certainly ain't no brand new idea either... Unless it's done with utmost care for the original subject .
Which I'm pleased to note , was the case both for 2006's Casino Royale and 2009's Sherlock Holmes as well !
So, ok, I'll admit it's not MY Sherlock Holmes ( and neither is , should I add, Daniel Craig's 007 the James Bond I imagine ) , but both visions will ensure the longevity of Sir arthur Conan Doyle's and Ian Lancaster Fleming's litterary creations for the 21rst century movie goers generation . And for this alone we should be grateful ...

Acknowledgements : M.Thierry Saint Joanis & La Société Sherlock Holmes de France .

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