jeudi 27 mai 2010

New James Bond Continuation Writer announced

Not quite sure the litterary James Bond should be revived ad nauseum though .
As of today , the Ian Fleming Publication company announced another writer to step into Ian Fleming's shoes,this time to coincide with 2011's Ian Fleming birthday date ( heck, wasn't it last time 2008 Devil May Care to honour Fleming 100th anniversary ? Why this obligation to link each and every new novel to some historical landmark, I wonder ).

American thriller writer Jeffry Deaver is best known - in English language countries at least - for his Lincoln Rhyme books, most notably The Bone Collector, which was adapted for film in 1999, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

In 2004, Deaver won the Crime Writers’ Association’s Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for his book Garden of Beasts. In his acceptance speech he talked about his lifelong admiration of Fleming’s writing.

This may have triggered the Ian Fleming Publication company interest for this writer indeed .

Let us hope the result will be a substantial improvement upon Sebastian Faulks bloated hommage ...And, ahem , please , please guys , leave the grandiose Promo launches to Eon and do not try to mimic them with a pseudo Bond girl delivering the book in military attire amidst embarrassed Naval officers of Her Majesty...

" Six bullets to your one ? " - " I only need one... "

Everyone at Our Man From Bond Street wishes Sir Christopher Lee the very happiest of birthday for his 88th year .

dimanche 9 mai 2010

When Le Figaro sent me on the trail of James Bond...A Political affair of some sort !

Although there is an official « James Bond Walk » in London ( sort of ) , there's nothing more exhilarating for a Fan than to re discover by himself places of interest linked to the 007 saga ...

I was contacted in Autumn 95 by Le Figaro newspaper to write a piece on ' James Bond's London ' to coincide with the then new release of Goldeneye in France .

Promotion was high on that first Pierce Brosnan adventure , everyone was waiting for a new movie for quite some time .

Le Figaro paired me with a lovely Photographer lady , booked us in a London Palace ( separate rooms halas ) , and off we went , searching for places of interest for James Bond fans in the city .

My goal was simple : using ' Bill Tanner ' ( aka Kingsley Amis ) funny little ' Book of Bond ' I wanted to have a look on some specific Fleming described places - plus some classic Film version ones as well...

We dutifully went to that ' little square off King's Road ' to try to pinpoint Bond's flat ( that silly writer didn't give any precise reference house n° in Moonraker ) , then to the College of Arms ( O.H.M.S.S ) ,then to Fleet Street ( for a Fleming Hommage pic ), etc, etc...

Anyway those two rather pleasant days passed like the wind - all expenses taken care courtesy of Le Figaro .
We went back to Paris . I dutifully wrote my piece .
And then waited with baited breath for publication in ' Le Figaro Magazine ' , the week end published extra mag .
And waited .
And waited again .

And then the Paris lavish Goldeneye Premiere took place , the hectic Press conference with Pierce and the whole cast ...And still no article in Le Figaro ( and no pay check either of course ) .

I finally decided to call the editor himself to ask about the situation .
The answer was dreadfully simple : Le Figaro , notoriously right winged media , had been appalled by Pierce's declaration during his Paris press conference , when he made a direct reference to the disaster-bound Rainbow Warrior Affair ( a Flemingesque story where two French military scuba divers had been caught trying to blow up a Green Peace ship , by order of the French goverment . )

Le Figaro's reaction was swift , painless and deadly : they erased each and every trace of Goldeneye coverage in their columns ...Not forgetting to erase my proposed salary too . Sigh .

Politics .

I will never get into that .

I swear .

dimanche 2 mai 2010

Bottom of the Barrel ( French / Italian style ) : Shut Up While U Speak !!

Category : to be avoided

Rethorical question : is it humanly possible to shoot a Bond parody actually worse than the Italian James Tont movies ?
Pragmatic answer : just try to watch " Tais toi quand tu parles " .

This 1981 Franco Italian venture hasn't been released on DvD yet ( even in France ! ), so you might have trouble looking for it ( that is , if you're a real masochist , eerr I mean completist ! ) .

Film tells the story of you and me , that is the ultimate James Bond Fan whose real life is a misery and who finds escapism into the movie adventures of a certain British agent with a licence to Kill .

Trouble is : when such a basic idea gave us interesting plots like " The Man With One Red Shoe " ( US remake of French ' Le Grand Blond Avec une Chaussure Noire ' ), or even the interesting ' Operation Kid Brother ' , that Philippe Clair-directed comedy is a total mess .

Main responsible : the director itself who would make the 3 Stooges comedies pass for an Ernst Lubitsch 's masterpiece .
Really .
With an humour as subtle as a twelve tons Sherman tank , director Philippe Clair ( who appears in a cameo as a North African contact ) offers a basic ' what if ' comedy with Aldo Maccione ( Italian comic who should have stayed beyond the Alps ) trying to pass for France's greatest secret agent on a deadly mission in Tunisia .

Fact that said ( French ) agent is named...James is irrelevant of course .
Giacomo ( "James " in Italian...Wink , wink, nudge , nudge),a 007 fan whose flat is decorated with Bond Posters with his face replacing those of Connery and Moore (ahaha) is therefore mistaken for his Hero during a trip to Tunisia .

Reality and delusion clash together when the guy also got mistaken by the ' Opposition ' as a real secret agent , and who then tries to eliminate him from the surface of the Earth...

Trouble is : as the movie continuously switches between the 'real ' Giacomo who manages to stay alive by pure luck only AND the fictionous invincible version of himself ( his...Avatar . Sort of ) , one has trouble understanding what is really happening on the screen !!

On the plus side , the presence of bellissima Edwige Fenech ( whose first apparition is a casual frame-by-frame re-shot version of Ursula Andress in Dr No ) as the obligatory Female interest ( AND double agent , of course ), some nice locations and some - scarce - funny gags ( mostly directed toward Bond Fans : when Giacomo is finally recruited by the French Secret service for a deadly mission , he answers " Ah, I hope it's the Goldfinger mission and not the Moonraker one . That last one sucked ! " ) .

And that's all .

You've been warned !

samedi 1 mai 2010


B.J. as his team called him (“for Big Jerk, I guess”) was the second of the Bond stars to die (at the absurdly young age of 45) in 1970, six years after Ian Fleming. A hard-drinking American from Newark, New Jersey, Robert Brownjohn created the style and impact of all 007 credit titles. For just a brace of Bonds... The writhing names shimmering around the undulating belly-dancer (actually, three) at the start of From Russia With Love and the projection of clips and names upon the gold-painted body of actress Maggie Nolan for Goldfinger .
B.J. was design director for the major McCann-Erickson ad agency when meeting 007’s producers via mutual friends. They made mention of a belly-dancer in one scene. Bingo! Or, indeed, in BJspeak: “Duck soup!” (Easy!) His mind went back six years to when he was teaching typography with a slide-projector. “This student came in late, walked in front of the projection beam. Immediately, the type being projected shot on to his shirt. Obviously, the shirt was not flat like the screen, so the type changed shape and size. It look great!”
Voila, Bond movie credits were born.
B.J. created more credits for Where The Spies Are, The Night of the Generals and Michael Kohlhaas - Der Rebel but never worked for Eon again.
Eon was not pleased with him daring to title a rival spy film and B.J. was not pleased with on money. “Few companies will meet my price of £5,000. Not much when I have to pay my team and hire a studio. I’m lucky if I make £1,000. In the States, Saul Bass gets £17,000 a movie.”

Tony Crawley