The James Bond Fan Club Newsletter August 2012

Newsletter                                                     August 2012
007 on 007: Moore Praises Craig
On the eve of the 23 rd official James Bond movie, and Daniel Craig’s third adventure as 007, former Bond Sir Roger Moore has lavished praise on the current holder of the double-0 status. Writing in the UK’s Mail newspaper, Sir Roger offered his reflections on the Bond franchise to help publicise his new book Bond on Bond, and said at one point: ‘I loved Casino Royale and Daniel Craig. He is a wonderful actor, certainly the best actor to play Bond’. The former Bond also wrote: ‘I believe that Skyfall is going to have a lot more humour in it than Quantum of Solace did, something I’ll be pleased to see’. Sir Roger’s exciting new book, which helps celebrate 50 years of the official Bond franchise on screen, also promises a good range of material on the evolution of the 007 series, the key characters behind the scenes on the movies, and Moore’s own personal reflections on some of the experiences he had during his seven-film tenure as 007. At one point, Sir Roger revealed that his old producer friend Sir Lew Grade, reacting to the news that Moore was to be the new 007, said (with tears in his eyes): ‘Roger, don’t do it. It’ll ruin your career!’ According to Roger, Sir Lew ‘could not have been more wrong. I had such fun with James Bond’.
007 and Counting...
The days and hours are counting down. It is not long to go now before the 23 rd James Bond film hits the big screen, and a stark indication of how important this is to the backing studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was made plain in a recent edition of the UK’s highbrow newspaper The Financial Times (August 23). In a special article by Matthew Garrahan, the newspaper revealed that a huge amount is resting on the box-office success of ‘Skyfall’ this autumn, especially after the studio’s recent return to stability after several years in the financial wilderness. According to Garrahan, the new James Bond film could propel an initial public offering of the studio, with MGM appointing advisers to the public markets just two years after it emerged from bankruptcy. If this goes ahead, MGM will join a small and select club of standalone, quoted Hollywood studios. And ‘Skyfall’, and subsequent Bond movies, could play a crucial role in this. The company’s new management team of Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum have won much praise in the movie industry for rescuing MGM, and they are strongly looking to James Bond to help them consolidate this success. According to industry insiders, it is also one of the reasons why the Bond production cycle is being switched back to one movie every two years.
Barbara’s Bond With 007
James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli gave a wide-ranging interview to the London Evening Standard newspaper on Thursday August 16. She gave her thoughts on ‘Skyfall’, the world of 007, and on the movie industry in general. The lengthy interview took place at the Gielgud Theatre in London, which has been temporarily turned into a racetrack for the 1924 Olympics, as part of the new stage version of ‘Chariots of Fire’ (which is co-produced by Barbara Broccoli). The interview started out with Barbara reflecting on the surprise people felt when Queen Elizabeth II made her Bond debut in the short 007 film made by Danny Boyle for the recent Olympics Opening Ceremony. ‘We saw the back of the Queen and everyone I’m sure thought, ‘It’s Helen Mirren’. And when she turned around it was like a volcanic eruption. How wonderful of her to have done it’. The daughter of legendary Bond producer Cubby Broccoli also revealed that she grew up in a household where James Bond was talked about so much she thought he was a real person until she was about seven!
Broccoli on ‘Skyfall’
Turning to the new Bond movie ‘Skyfall’, Barbara Broccoli said that the film has a lot to say about contemporary evil. ‘It’s extraordinary Ian Fleming wrote the books 60 years ago. It feels like we’re in the right groove now for what he had to say about how villainy is coming from individuals – not just political states, but individuals who are wielding all sorts of treacherous plans on earth’. On the choice of Sam Mendes as director of the new Bond movie, she said: ‘When Daniel suggested him, we were unbelievably thrilled that he would be interested because he is such a fine director’. When the interview again turned to the theme of villainy, Barbara told the Standard that Spanish actor Javier Bardem 0who plays the main baddie Raoul silva in the movie) ‘is really extraordinary in this film and the blonde wig he wears is part of his story. He spends a lot of time creating a character, and it’s something he devised with Sam. It’s very much his mystique – it gives an unnatural element’.
No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine
Interest in the life and times of James Bond author Ian Fleming continues apace. A well-written article in the UK newspaper the Independent in May explored the food and dining habits of our favourite secret agent 007. The article, written by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson, looked at the links between Fleming’s fascination with food and the dining habits he gave to his fictional creation James Bond in his spy novels. An article by Robert Ryan in the Sunday Times in early July looked at Fleming’s favourite haunts in the Austrian Tyrol and the village where he spent a lot of time in the 1920s. Fleming’s mother sent the 19-year old there to be tutored by the Forbes Dennises, who ran a hotel in the village. Ernan Forbes Dennis was a former MI6 officer, and Ryan claimed that this may have inspired Fleming’s writing imagination. There was also some interesting new revelations about the Bond author in the new issue of the UK magazine British Archaeology (September/October, 2012), which explored how Fleming developed his passion for hunting for treasure, both at sea and on land. The 007 author was apparently one of the first to recognise and pioneer the technology used for metal-detecting.
ITV’s Bond at 50 Season
The UK’s ITV network continued its ‘Bond: 007 at 50’ season of Bond movie screenings with ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ on July 7. Although a superb digital print, the ITV censors had got to work, however. This was particularly noticeable in the pre-credits sequences, where the bikini-around-the-neck sequence, with Denise Perrier as Marie, is now deemed too strong for today’s audiences. Strangely, ITV screened the 1967 spoof ‘Casino Royale’ directly before ‘Diamonds’ on the same day. The ITV Bond anniversary season continued over subsequent weeks with all the Roger Moore Bond movies.
Sky Full of Bond
It was announced in early August that, for the first time in British TV history, all of the James Bond movies will be made available on one special channel. In a press release issued by ‘Sky’, the company revealed that it is going to dedicate an entire channel - SKY MOVIES HD - to the full James Bond catalogue throughout October, 2012. The 007 adventures will be available in HD, without those annoying commercial breaks, and all in one place. Two non-EON titles, 1967’s ‘Casino Royale’ and 1983’s ‘Never Say Never Again’, will also be part of the package. Bond fans were also promised loads of extra material’. The new channel will launch on October 5, 2012, to help celebrate 50 years of 007 (‘Dr. No’ was released on October 5, 1962). Pure bliss!
Screen Another Way
What does the rise of digital mean for those who were behind the 35mm reels in the projection room at cinemas? The British newspaper The Independent recently asked this question and, in the process, had a profile of Dave Norris, who has stood down as projection manager of ‘The Empire’ cinema in Leicester Square, in London. Norris also happens to be a big James Bond fan. The first major film he recalls seeing was ‘Goldfinger’. He nagged his parents to buy the soundtrack LP, and it turned into a lifelong hobby. Before he replaced them with CDs, he had a collection of around 1,000 vinyl soundtrack albums. He also converted his passion for cinema into a career. He served for 26 years at the famous Odeon, Leicester Square, which was often the cinema for 007 premieres, and a further six years at the ‘Empire’, Leicester Square. In fact, until recently, Norris was the longest serving projectionist left in London’s cinemas. The first film he screened to the public was The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. He was responsible for 25 Royal Film Premieres, including 10 of his beloved James Bond films. He told the Independent: ‘There’s probably not another projectionist alive who’s done 10 Bond premieres. My first was For Your Eyes Only in 1981. I did the last few Moores, the Daltons, the first three Brosnans. Then after I moved to the Empire in 2006, I did Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace’.
Live and Let Live
Although clearly nostalgic about the days of celluloid, Dave Norris does not see the rise of digital film in itself as a problem. However, he added: ‘The problem is that now, if something goes wrong in a screening, there’s nobody there to fix it. That is wrong’. In fact, some film critics are even more outspoken about this than Norris. The BBC’s Mark Kermode, for example, has even claimed: ‘A building without a projectionist is not a cinema. It’s a sweet shop with a video’. Indeed, as the Independent also pointed out, digital has had an enormous impact on the people ‘behind the scenes’ in cinemas, including the reliable old job of projectionist. With the rise of digital technology in UK cinemas, by 2010 eighty per cent of UK releases were digital prints. In 2011, most of the projectionists at the famous Odeon Leicester Square retired or were made redundant, replaced by automated projection.
Designing 007
There is still a small window of time to see the ‘Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style’ exhibition at the Barbican arts centre in central London, but you will have to hurry: it ends on September 5, and then goes on tour. A small band of longstanding JBIFC members and their friends visited the exhibition on Sunday August 12, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The small exhibition ‘Bond Shop’ certainly did well, too. In the late afternoon, the group also briefly visited the car-park entrance to the nearby Smithfield Meat Market, where a scene was shot for ‘Skyfall’ last November. The Sunday culminated in a nice meal on the South Bank, by the River Thames, close to where key scenes for the pre-credits to ‘The World Is Not Enough’ were shot in 1999. The JBIFC is working on a possible London 007 locations walk in the future. Watch this space.
Let James Bond Entertain You
The American showbiz magazine ‘Entertainment Weekly’ (EW) were very generous to 007 fans once again recently when they published a special issue devoted to 50 years of James Bond. Bonds both past and present featured in the souvenir issue, which hit news-stands on August 3. The popular magazine carried a classic photo of Sean Connery as 007 on its front cover, together with smaller photos of the five other actors who have played Bond in the official EON series. There was an introductory essay by EW’s resident Bond devotee Ben Svetkey, and, all in all, no less than 26 pages were devoted to our favourite spy. A set of behind-the-scenes photos were annotated by Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, while ‘Skyfall’ director Sam Mendes gave some reflections on his new Bond adventure. Surprisingly, Michael Wilson revealed in the magazine a minor spoiler: he said that Javier Bardem’s villain, Silva, ‘knows a bit about M’, and is ‘involved in a revenge’. The special issue of EW also included an interview with one-time Bond George Lazenby who, at one point, commented: ‘They offered me millions under the table to do another one, but I thought James Bond was over’.
Did You Know?
One of the earliest glimpses for British Bond fans of George Lazenby’s 007 for came in the September, 1969, issue of the popular movie magazine Films and Filming. In a pictorial preview spread over two pages, with five B/W stills, the magazine told its readers the new Bond movie ‘introduces a new star, George Lazenby, as Bond and this time the emphasis is on character and plot rather than the technical gimmicks of the other Bond films’. The same issue carried a rare profile of Bond producer Harry Saltzman.
Bond Bits: Brief News Items You May Have Missed
Singer and Bond song writer Chris Cornell, who performed the title song ‘You Know My Name’ for ‘Casino Royale’ (2006), told MTV in June that British singer Adele would be the ‘perfect choice’ for the next Bond movie. ‘I can’t think of a better one’, he said, adding: ‘She’s phenomenal and it’s nice, in a day and age where so many vocals are fixed by computers, that the biggest album of last year was somebody who sings for real’...
Gemma Arterton, who played Strawberry Fields in ‘Quantum of Solace’, has been in negotiations to be in the movie ‘Mystery White Boy’, which is the career of the late rock star Jeff Buckley. She will take the role of one of the women in the rock musician’s colourful life...
The other Bond woman from ‘Quantum of Solace’, Olga Kurylenko, was also in the news recently when wicked tabloid gossips tried to link her romantically to actor Tom Cruise. She is co-starring with him in the film ‘Oblivion’. But the agent for the Ukrainian-born actress insisted rumours of a romance were ‘completely untrue’. In fact, Kurylenko is actually dating her ‘Magic City’ co-star Danny Huston...
Dame Diana Rigg, who played Tracy opposite George Lazenby’s 007 in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (1969), is to star alongside her actress daughter Rachel Stirling for the first time, in an episode of the British sci-fi series ‘Dr. Who’ specially written for them. The script is by Mark Gatiss, who recently had a role in the BBC radio version of ‘From Russia, With Love’, transmitted on July 21...
What did former Bond author Sebastian Faulks choose as his summer holiday poolside book when asked in a survey by the UK’s Daily Telegraph (July 7)? Interestingly, he chose ‘Waiting for Sunrise’, by William Boyd. Boyd, of course, also happens to be the latest Bond author...
Bond costume designer Lindy Hemming, whose work was celebrated in the ‘Designing 007’ exhibition recently, worked on the new Batman movie ‘The Dark Knight Rises’...
Dedicated Bond historians are in for a treat. The British monthly magazine History Today has announced that its next (October) issue will have a special article by Klaus Dodds on why James Bond has proved so popular since 1962. The October issue will hit newsagents in the UK on September 20...
Pinewood Studios, the traditional home of James Bond, is pushing ahead with new growth. The group who run Pinewood Shepperton is going ahead with expansion plans despite losing a major planning application earlier this year. Chairman Lord Grade told the London Evening Standard newspaper (August 28): ‘A long-term plan for growth and investment at Pinewood is necessary to remain globally competitive’...
Tourism bosses in Scotland intend to feature the Scottish Highlands heavily in a new global marketing campaign, and James Bond will feature prominently in their campaign. Key scenes for ‘Skyfall’ were filmed at Dalness Lodge, in the Highlands, before the crew moved on to some similar Scottish-style landscape in Surrey...
His boss ‘M’ should be very pleased. Daniel Craig knows how to keep a secret top secret! According to ‘Mandrake’ in the UK’s Daily Telegraph (August 21), although Dame Judi Dench is a close friend of Craig and loves to gossip with him on set, he did not breathe so much as a whisper about how he would be appearing alongside the Queen in Danny Boyle’s mini Bond film for the Olympics. Dame Judi’s daughter revealed that her mother ‘had absolutely no idea that they were doing it. She thought it was brilliant and hilarious when she saw it’...
So there was a ‘Plan B’. It emerged on August 25 that the actress Helen Mirren would have been called on as an understudy if the Queen had declined to take part in the film for the Olympics Opening Ceremony. The director of ceremonies, Martin Green, said Mirren was the fallback for the scenes with Craig’s 007: ‘We did talk about Helen, but didn’t have to go to any other plan’

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