Spy Games: 6 Months and Counting

We’re 6 months into the year-long celebration of James Bond’s 50th anniversary and I thought it would be a good time to take another look at the various worldwide tributes and festivities that have accompanied it. Here at the Movie Morlocks I’ve been regularly sharing new posts about various espionage films under the title “Spy Games” but I’m not the only one observing the 50th anniversary of the Bond film franchise. Below are a few of the highlights from the last 6 months as well as some exciting things Bond fans can look forward to before year’s end.

. . .

The renowned Barbican Centre in London is currently playing host to Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, which opens on July 6th and runs through September 5th. The exhibit focuses on the costumes, gadgets, weapons, poster art, storyboards, set and character designs that have made the Bond films so appealing to audiences for the last 50 years. After the exhibit closes in London it’s traveling to Canada where it will be on display at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) Bell Lightbox Oct. 26th through Jan. 20, 2012 so 007 fans will have two opportunities to see it. If you can’t make it to London or Toronto you can still enjoy the exhibit from the comfort of home. The Barbican Centre has compiled a wonderful gallery of images from Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style on the their website.

Another London event worth noting is the Philharmonia Orchestra’s upcoming James Bond 50th Anniversary Gala at the Royal Festival Hall taking place Nov. 23. Carl Davis will be conducting the program, which includes music from all of the Bond films and he’ll be joined by vocalists Lance Ellington and Mary Carewe. More information about the James Bond 50th Anniversary Gala in London can be found at the Philharmonia Orchestra’s website.

West Coast fans of the Bond film franchise are encouraged to visit LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) where they’re hosting . . . Is James Bond. This AV (audio-visual) exhibit takes place June 9th through Sept. 9th and showcases the complete opening credit sequences from the first 22 James Bond films. The credit sequences are thematically grouped, looped and displayed on 40” monitors while individual headsets provide audio. This unique exhibition showcases the Bond film credits as stand alone pieces of filmmaking and impressive works of art. LACMA will also be presenting a James Bond double feature every Thursday night during July and Sept. in partnership with Film Independent. Further information about . . . Is James Bond is available on LACMA’s website.

Back in April the Castro Theatre in San Francisco hosted their own James Bond 50th anniversary film festival where they showed DR. NO (1962), ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE (1969), FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (1963), DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971), THE SPY WHO LOVED ME (1977), THUNDERBALL (1965), LIVE AND LET DIE (1973) and FOR YOUR EYES ONLY (1981). The Castro Theatre hired artist Max Dalton to design two special posters for the event and they were a big hit with attendees. Even if you missed Castro’s Bond tribute you can still purchase Dalton’s unique pop art inspired posters but quantities are limited. You’ll have to act fast if you want one of these beauties to hang in your own home. Posters can be purchased at the Spoke Art website.

No James Bond film festivals taking place near you? You can still enjoy the Bond films at home. As I mentioned way back in January, MGM will be releasing their Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection Blu-ray DVD set in September. If you haven’t already pre-ordered it you might want to consider taking advantage of Amazon’s current exclusive deal that includes the MGM’s Bond 50 DVD collection as well as a copy of DK Publishing’s new book, James Bond 50 Years Of Movie Posters. The list price for Bond 50 is $299 but Amazon is currently selling it for half the price. More information is available at Amazon’s website.

Speaking of books, a lot more James Bond related books are planned for publication this year. Some of the more interesting titles include James Bond Unmasked by Bill Desowitz, which chronicles the 50-year evolution of 007 on the big screen and features exclusive interviews with all six of the Bond stars. We can also look forward to The Music of James Bond by Jon Burlingame that details the surprising real-life drama behind some of the most memorable movie themes ever recorded. Life Magazine’s 50 Years of James Bond promises to be a real treat for Bond fans who appreciate great photography and the previously mentioned James Bond 50 Years Of Movie Posters from DK publishing should appeal to anyone who likes good design. All of these books should be available at your local bookstore by the end of the year and you can also purchase them online.

Bond fans should also consider picking up the latest issue of Cinema Retro magazine. It features a great Sean Connery cover and the staff visits the Bond in Motion vehicle exhibit currently taking place in England. The new issue also includes reviews of new Bond related books and CDs as well as some eye-catching film poster reproductions. Overall it’s a great issue that Bond fans will appreciate. You can find more info about Cinema Retro at their website.

If you want to really immerse yourself in the world of James Bond you can pick up a copy of Activision’s upcoming video game for Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 titled 007 Legends. The game is being released in conjunction with Bond’s 50th anniversary and according to a recent press release 007 Legends will allow players to “relive a selection of James Bond’s iconic and intense undercover missions from the popular films.” If you prefer board games to video games you can always give Monopoly’s new James Bond 50th Anniversary Edition a whirl. Monopoly can be enjoyed by the whole family and this special edition of the game features imagery from all the Bond films as well as Bond-inspired playing pieces including a miniature Aston Martin and Oddjob’s bowler hat.

Last but certainly not least, Bond fans can look forward to the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London next month. Bond star Daniel Craig will appear in a special film production directed by Danny Boyle. Daniel Craig is also expected to drop into the Olympic stadium from a helicopter as millions of people watch worldwide. According to British news sources, “Daniel is determined to open the ceremony with a bang and he and the BBC producers have pulled out all the stops.” Craig’s fans can also look forward to the upcoming Bond film, SKYFALL, that debuts later this year. A trailer for the film is posted below and I must add that I think it looks pretty impressive. Of course you can’t judge a book by its cover and you can’t judge a movie by its trailer. I’ve had mixed reactions to the recent Bond films but SKYFALL has my attention and I’m looking forward to seeing it in November.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24mTIE4D9JM]

For further reading about all things James Bond I recommend visiting some of the following websites and blogs:

- The Official James Bond 007 Website
- MI6: Home of James Bond
- Sean Connery’s Official Site
- Roger Moore’s Official Site
- Spy Vibe
- Double O Section
- Illustrated 007
- Finding Connery – A Sean Connery Blog

0 Response Spy Games: 6 Months and Counting
Posted By Arthur : June 28, 2012 3:41 pm

James Bond marked a watershed in many ways. The hero in fiction, as increasingly in fact, was being shown as possessing a bad side to complement his good. And sex was coming out of the closet.

He also heralded the British invasion, as did the Beatles, and Pres. Kennedy was connected to both. Fleming’s novels, he told the press, were a favorite, and when he was assassinated the nation fell into a deep doldrums broken six weeks later by the arrival of Fabulous Four.

And the Bond films were a landmark in the development of the idea of a “film franchise.” The first three or four make sense and seem to flow sequentially. Bond is seen as a real secret agent going through a series of adventures in a somewhat real world. After that I lost interest. The latest ones, to me, would have been much, much better with but a tenth of the mind numbing action. But then again, like any franchise, to survive they had to change with the times. . .

Posted By Arthur : June 28, 2012 3:41 pm

James Bond marked a watershed in many ways. The hero in fiction, as increasingly in fact, was being shown as possessing a bad side to complement his good. And sex was coming out of the closet.

He also heralded the British invasion, as did the Beatles, and Pres. Kennedy was connected to both. Fleming’s novels, he told the press, were a favorite, and when he was assassinated the nation fell into a deep doldrums broken six weeks later by the arrival of Fabulous Four.

And the Bond films were a landmark in the development of the idea of a “film franchise.” The first three or four make sense and seem to flow sequentially. Bond is seen as a real secret agent going through a series of adventures in a somewhat real world. After that I lost interest. The latest ones, to me, would have been much, much better with but a tenth of the mind numbing action. But then again, like any franchise, to survive they had to change with the times. . .

Posted By Jenni : June 28, 2012 5:02 pm

Thanks for the update and links of special Bond attractions for those of us who can’t travel to the cities and the museums to see the Bond stuff in person! Love it!

Posted By Jenni : June 28, 2012 5:02 pm

Thanks for the update and links of special Bond attractions for those of us who can’t travel to the cities and the museums to see the Bond stuff in person! Love it!

Posted By Susan Doll : June 28, 2012 5:26 pm

So interesting. I am not a major Bond fan but I love the Bond “world,” such as the fashions, the opening sequences, talking about the different actors who played Bond, etc.

Posted By Susan Doll : June 28, 2012 5:26 pm

So interesting. I am not a major Bond fan but I love the Bond “world,” such as the fashions, the opening sequences, talking about the different actors who played Bond, etc.

Posted By chris : June 28, 2012 10:14 pm

It would’ve been nice to see a James Bond tribute at the Oscars this year. Run a montage of clips followed by all the Bonds on stage would’ve been great. Oh well.

Posted By chris : June 28, 2012 10:14 pm

It would’ve been nice to see a James Bond tribute at the Oscars this year. Run a montage of clips followed by all the Bonds on stage would’ve been great. Oh well.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 29, 2012 7:38 am

I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery.
Love Fleming´s original Books.
“From Russia with Love”is still my favorite Bond Movie.
Lookin forward to “Skyfall”.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 29, 2012 7:38 am

I think Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Sean Connery.
Love Fleming´s original Books.
“From Russia with Love”is still my favorite Bond Movie.
Lookin forward to “Skyfall”.

Posted By swac44 : June 29, 2012 8:56 am

I remember being quite excited about the revamped Bond franchise with Casino Royale, and the thought that starting from scratch and updating Fleming’s original stories would be a great way to go, but the non-Fleming-inspired Quantum of Solace (the title comes from a Fleming short story, but that’s it) deflated those expectations, as well as the realization that new versions of From Russia With Love or Goldfinger probably wouldn’t work so well. But the Skyfall trailer is getting my hopes up again (despite my disappointment with Quantum, I still like Daniel Craig as Bond), and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be up to the challenge of celebrating 007′s 50th year.

Posted By swac44 : June 29, 2012 8:56 am

I remember being quite excited about the revamped Bond franchise with Casino Royale, and the thought that starting from scratch and updating Fleming’s original stories would be a great way to go, but the non-Fleming-inspired Quantum of Solace (the title comes from a Fleming short story, but that’s it) deflated those expectations, as well as the realization that new versions of From Russia With Love or Goldfinger probably wouldn’t work so well. But the Skyfall trailer is getting my hopes up again (despite my disappointment with Quantum, I still like Daniel Craig as Bond), and I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be up to the challenge of celebrating 007′s 50th year.

Posted By DBenson : June 29, 2012 6:05 pm

50 years. Holy cow.

Old enough to remember seeing “From Russia With Love” in a theater and my father chuckling something to effect the book was a little different (about the time Bond ignited a fleet of pursuing speedboats). Don’t recall if it was my first, but I knew who Bond was from TV and newspaper ads. Also remember not getting a lot of things. I was old enough to appreciate pretty women, but not to understand what happened after a clinch and fadeout.

I had about half a set of James Bond trading cards — b&w photos on one side with text descriptions on the back — acquired in 5¢ packs with gum I felt honor-bound to try and chew. Coveted the 007 attache case; never got it. For a long time older Bonds appeared only on ABC on Sunday nights. That was event television, even with the clips and bleeps (“My name is – - – Galore.”).

As an adult kept going to the theater to see the latest, even when they were almost explicitly comedies (“Moonraker” had a car chase past a series of hilariously unsubtle product placement billboards; the audience gradually began laughing). The worst of them still delivered the promised titillation, stunts, explosions and production values, usually free of dull nutritional value. All made physically larger by Bond music.

I stuck with Bond up through the last Moore and the first Dalton. That’s about when I drifted away, even though I enjoyed “Living Daylights”. I picked up the fancy DVD sets a few years back and keep intending to work my way through the canon.

Posted By DBenson : June 29, 2012 6:05 pm

50 years. Holy cow.

Old enough to remember seeing “From Russia With Love” in a theater and my father chuckling something to effect the book was a little different (about the time Bond ignited a fleet of pursuing speedboats). Don’t recall if it was my first, but I knew who Bond was from TV and newspaper ads. Also remember not getting a lot of things. I was old enough to appreciate pretty women, but not to understand what happened after a clinch and fadeout.

I had about half a set of James Bond trading cards — b&w photos on one side with text descriptions on the back — acquired in 5¢ packs with gum I felt honor-bound to try and chew. Coveted the 007 attache case; never got it. For a long time older Bonds appeared only on ABC on Sunday nights. That was event television, even with the clips and bleeps (“My name is – - – Galore.”).

As an adult kept going to the theater to see the latest, even when they were almost explicitly comedies (“Moonraker” had a car chase past a series of hilariously unsubtle product placement billboards; the audience gradually began laughing). The worst of them still delivered the promised titillation, stunts, explosions and production values, usually free of dull nutritional value. All made physically larger by Bond music.

I stuck with Bond up through the last Moore and the first Dalton. That’s about when I drifted away, even though I enjoyed “Living Daylights”. I picked up the fancy DVD sets a few years back and keep intending to work my way through the canon.

Posted By robbushblog : July 2, 2012 12:14 pm

I love Bond. I’m excited about Skyfall and the slate of new books coming out. I already have all of the movies on DVD so it may be quite some time before I buy the new set on Blu.

Posted By robbushblog : July 2, 2012 12:14 pm

I love Bond. I’m excited about Skyfall and the slate of new books coming out. I already have all of the movies on DVD so it may be quite some time before I buy the new set on Blu.

Posted By Tuthmoses : July 2, 2012 7:01 pm

Why doesn’t TCM show the Bond films? I never watch them on other channels because they are slashed to pieces and have hundreds of bilious commercials. So, why don’t they show them especially since this is the year that was.

Posted By Tuthmoses : July 2, 2012 7:01 pm

Why doesn’t TCM show the Bond films? I never watch them on other channels because they are slashed to pieces and have hundreds of bilious commercials. So, why don’t they show them especially since this is the year that was.

Posted By Jenni : July 2, 2012 7:54 pm

Excellent question Tuthmoses. I would rather watch a Bond Marathon on TCM, with no commmercial interuptions.

Posted By Jenni : July 2, 2012 7:54 pm

Excellent question Tuthmoses. I would rather watch a Bond Marathon on TCM, with no commmercial interuptions.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : July 2, 2012 8:19 pm

Thanks for all the feedback folks! It’s nice to see so many Bond fans taking time to comment.

As for why TCM isn’t showing any Bond films right now, I can’t say. I’m not in charge of programming but they did showcase DR. NO at the TCM Film Festival earlier this year and Bond girls Eunice Gayson and Maud Adams were in attendance to discuss the film with fans. We’re only 6 months into Bond’s 50th anniversary so TCM might have something planned in the coming months. I’ll try to keep an eye out for news about Bond films showing on TCM and if I hear anything I’ll let you know.

Posted By Kimberly Lindbergs : July 2, 2012 8:19 pm

Thanks for all the feedback folks! It’s nice to see so many Bond fans taking time to comment.

As for why TCM isn’t showing any Bond films right now, I can’t say. I’m not in charge of programming but they did showcase DR. NO at the TCM Film Festival earlier this year and Bond girls Eunice Gayson and Maud Adams were in attendance to discuss the film with fans. We’re only 6 months into Bond’s 50th anniversary so TCM might have something planned in the coming months. I’ll try to keep an eye out for news about Bond films showing on TCM and if I hear anything I’ll let you know.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 10:02 am

Kimberly:I have mentioned before that my twin sister is such a fan of Sean Connery. Well,I am too. We love him! He is so handsome,and by far the best Bond. My twin watches all the Bond movies. I love the photo of Sean Connery at the start of the article! I love him!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 10:02 am

Kimberly:I have mentioned before that my twin sister is such a fan of Sean Connery. Well,I am too. We love him! He is so handsome,and by far the best Bond. My twin watches all the Bond movies. I love the photo of Sean Connery at the start of the article! I love him!

Posted By rdmtimp : July 18, 2012 1:32 am

@Thuthmoses: TCM did show the Sean Connery Bond films in May 2009, when he was Star of the Month.

I’d love to see TCM do something for the 50th as well.

Posted By rdmtimp : July 18, 2012 1:32 am

@Thuthmoses: TCM did show the Sean Connery Bond films in May 2009, when he was Star of the Month.

I’d love to see TCM do something for the 50th as well.

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