Tuesday, February 11, 2014

James Bond Presence in Zulu Issue of Cinema Retro

Cinema Retro, Vol 10, Issue 28

I’m a fan of Cinema Retro, edited by eminent film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall, who may be familiar to readers for their entertaining and educating commentary on The Quiller Memorandum (1966, dir Michael Anderson, Cinema Classics Collection). Both have edited together and separately, books on James Bond as well. Typically, the magazine will include at least one mention of our suave spy. However, in the latest issue, Bond got two articles and two short mentions. Let’s take a closer look.

Bond On The Backlot: GoldFinger (pgs 10 – 13)
Aerial maps of Pinewood Studios anchor the myriad of behind-the-scene black/white and colour photographs spread over four pages in a pictorial celebration as Goldfinger (1964, dir Guy Hamilton) turns 50 later this year (September). Sets for Fort Knox and Goldfinger’s mansion and farm were built on the studio lot and given authenticity with shots captured by the second unit that traveled to Kentucky during production. The automobiles sported Kentucky license plates – of course – and it helped that the English studio had good weather as well, so audience-goers were fooled.

Gert and Honor on the backlot of Pinewood Studios
Pinewood Past (pgs 48 – 49)
Pinewood Studios is most closely identified with the James Bond franchise, however the studio began decades earlier when Charles Boot bought Heatherden Hall in 1934. A year later, Boot and J. Arthur Rank spent approximately £1 Million, converting the estate into a film studio – Pinewood, named in honor of the trees growing around the mansion and to sound like “Hollywood.” Home to spies, aliens, superheroes on the big screen to the small screen, there have been many peaks of success that defined Pinewood’s history, however there were some valleys too. This two-page article spotlights the year 1987 when the studio had to diversify and become a “four-wall” facility (the article explains it as renting out sound stages and the filmmakers would bring in their own crew). The headcount was reduced and Managing Director Cyril Howard recounts how estate manager, Bill Harrison, pulled in commercials and props to supplement the feature films that were being shot at Pinewood. From near financial ruin, in 2009 Pinewood Studios received the BAFTA award for outstanding contribution to cinema.

The Living Daylights shoots into Raymond Benson’s Top Ten Favourites for 1987 (pgs 8 – 9)
Benson cited the chemistry between Timothy Dalton (his first outing as James Bond #4) and Maryam d’Abo (Kara Milovy) as elevating The Living Daylights (dir John Glen) in the canon of Eon Productions films. In addition, he felt that Dalton’s portrayal was an accurate depiction of Fleming’s literary spy that even Craig has yet to match. 

World News: Lotus Esprit Sells at London Auction (pg 6)
Known as “Wet Nellie” and the only fully functioning white Lotus Esprit automobile constructed to double as a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977, dir Lewis Gilbert) was on RM Auctions block last September. The iconic car sold for £550,000 ($822,000).

Visit your local bookseller to purchase your copy before they’re gone.

Honor's not in Kentucky