CommanderBond.net
  1. Waltz on, Blofeld

    The new German bi-annual Zeit-Magazin Mann has an extensive Christoph Waltz interview as cover story of its premiere issue. Naturally, Waltz’s role in last year’s SPECTRE was also a topic. A brief excerpt:

     

     

    Financially, SPECTRE has been a huge success. It had a box office of $ 880 million, only one other James Bond film earned more.

     

    And yet, Waltz isn’t satisfied – with his own performance, with the result.

     

    ‘I cannot claim that I’ve really nailed Blofeld. Overall it held water, was okay. But it wasn’t what I’ve been looking for. I was searching for more inspiration.’

     

    He has been getting this vibe even before shooting started, but by then it was already too late.

     

    ‘An actor can only be really good when there are shared possibilities.’

     

    He refuses to be any more specific about it, but it’s clear what he means by that: apparently the chemistry between him and director Sam Mendes didn’t play out the way he would have wished for.

     

    How does one survive a PR spectacle such as James Bond?

     

    First he says ‘I’ve survived worse’ and then he adds ‘There is a tendency to excessiveness. I understand you want to invite as many guests as possible to a premiere. But does it absolutely have to be the Royal Albert Hall? That doesn’t really help the whole cause. In the end it’s a film, and it should remain a film. The next premiere will probably be a national holiday; it almost was this time. I don’t see what’s so bad about the Odeon at Leicester Square for a premier cinema?’

     

    At the end of SPECTRE his Blofeld is still alive – is a sequel with Waltz possible?

     

    ‘I don’t know about that, nobody knows. It wasn’t talked about, except in the press. Right now nobody even knows which studio will produce the next and if Daniel will return. All of that is filed under “carry on”‘

     

    Excerpt from Zeit-Magazin Mann No. 1 / 2016

    Translation by HS

     

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-09-06
  2. The 007th Chapter: Icebreaker – Rivke

    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart – this time cunningly presented as a rerun. It’s summer time after all…

     

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    A famous episode of Hancock’s Half Hour is “The East Cheam Drama Festival”. Hancock, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and Daniel Craig Sid James grapple “Look Back in Hunger” and “The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven and the songs that made him famous” and, titweepingly magnificently, “Jack’s Return Home.” In a coruscating exposure of the zeitgeist, poverty-stricken Joshua (Hancock) and wife Martha (Hattie) are menaced by landlord Jasper Stonyheart (Sid). It’s complex. Their son Jack is presumed dead – impaled by “the Zulus” – but Martha claims she insured his life, so all is well. Inopportunely, Jack (Bill) returns home, penniless. So Martha shoots him. ©BBC Worldwide, amongst others (prob’ly).

     

    Hancock: Aha, me old darlin’, you’ve shot Jack.

    Hattie: Yes, and I took out a policy on you as well, so watch it.

    Hancock: Wait a minute, I have a surprise for you. For thirteen years, you have thought I am Joshua, your husband.

    Hattie: Well, aren’t you?

    Hancock: No; stand back while I take my wig off. There…

    Hattie: Good heavens! Frederick!

    Hancock: Yes, Frederick. What do you say to that, Jasper Stonyheart?

    Sid: I’m not Jasper, I’ve been wearing this wig and pretending to be Jasper. This is who I really am. There!

    Hancock: Good heavens! Jonathan!

    Sid: Yes, Jonathan. I didn’t trust either of you, especially you, Martha.

    Hattie: And you were right not to, Jonathan, for you see, I am not Martha!

    Hancock: Not Martha?

    Hattie: No! There, now do you recognise me?

    Hancock: Gad! It’s Gladys.

    Hattie: Yes, Gladys, the girl you wronged.

    Hancock: Then who pray is the poor wretch we’ve killed?

    Bill: Fear not! You didn’t kill me! I was saved by my silver cigarette case. There! Do you not recognise me without the wig?

    Sid: Yes, I should have guessed – Ronald!

     

    Welcome to Icebreaker.

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-07-12
  3. Contemporary, fun and familiar – Bond returns to the comics

    BY TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

    © Dynamite Entertainment

    © Dynamite Entertainment

    ALTHOUGH widely popular courtesy of his big screen exploits, James Bond has his origins in the literary world. The character debuted in 1953’s Casino Royale, where author Ian Fleming first introduced his cold-hearted assassin with a penchant for fast cars, women, liquor and good food.

    Although Bond is no stranger to comics, he has been absent from the format for quite some time. Dynamite Entertainment has broken this drought by publishing monthly James Bond comics as part of a ten-year licensing deal with Ian Fleming Publications. So far the results have been sensational. continue reading…

    Heiko Baumann @ 2016-06-10
  4. The 007th Chapter: Licence Renewed – King of the Castle

    A literary meditation by Jacques Stewart (yep, this one should have come before For Special Services, you get a cigar…)

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    In my youth (that’s not a location update) I set a “quiz” for my College. Brain-mashers like “Abbreviations excluded, name the only U.S state written using one line of typewriter keys” (Alaska; no-one knew (no-one cared)) and “Name the only country written using one line of typewriter keys”. Peru, but some “body” said Eire (fair point), another that “it’s Republic of Peru, actually, I know thart, actually, because I gap-yeared tharh, actually, licking yurts, communing with my spirituality, yah, and photocopying for my uncle at KPMG Lima.” There was such a fight. I encouraged it. Ectually.

    I also had a round on “James Bond”. This was 1993 (hence “typewriter”), with 007 as relevant and welcome as anything else dead for four years that sane folks hoped would never return, like Eastern European communism, that Dr Who children’s programme or the Ayatollah Khomeini (give him time). Select questions went:

     

    1. Which two Bond films to date do not feature a helicopter? (Child-like optimism to say “to date”, but child-like I was (rather than current lifestyle choice of childish), and brilliant. Precocious, smackable little weasel)

    2. Why is A View to a Kill unique amongst the Bond films? (Keep it clean. In early 2015, this answer still holds)

    3. Which author has written the most James Bond novels?

     

    There were others, such as Q’s I.Q. to the nearest five points (it’s five; trick question), something something watches something (it really doesn’t matter) and Anne Fleming’s inside leg measurement (loads of people knew it; some reputation, that) but I’ve forgotten the rest.

     

    Question 1? Yes, you, with the mittens…

    continue reading…

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-05-09
  5. Guy Hamilton dies at 93

    According to various sources – here The Guardian – four time Bond director Guy Hamilton has died at the age of 93 at his home on Majorca.

    Guy Hamilton was a household name of British cinema at least since he directed The Colditz Story in 1955. A number of hugely successful films followed with Goldfinger, Funeral in Berlin, Battle of Britain and of course his further Bond duties at the helm of Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die and The Man with the Golden Gun. Earlier in his career he acted as director’s assistant and worked three times with director Carol Reed, amongst them on The Third Man.

     

    Our condolences to his family and friends.

     

     

     

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-04-21
  6. Peter Janson-Smith dies

    According to various sources, Peter-Janson-Smith, Ian Fleming’s long-time literary agent, has passed away aged 93.

    Janson-Smith was a key figure behind the success of the James Bond novels. His relation to Ian Fleming started in 1956, when Janson-Smith got the job of selling the foreign language rights for the Bond books.  After Fleming’s death in 1964, he became a board member and eventually chairman of the board of Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications), which he remained until 2001.

    In 2010, Commanderbond.net published an extensive article on Peter Janson-Smith by Bond continuation author Raymond Benson, which was also published in the March-April issue of Cimespree Magazine of the same year. Unfortunately, the images to the article went lost during an update a while ago.

    Condolences to family and friends.

    Heiko Baumann @ 2016-04-16
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    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-03-22
  8. Sir Ken Adam 1921 – 2016

    Sir Ken Adam – Photo: Thomas Schmidt (NetAction)

    Sir Ken Adam – Photo: Thomas Schmidt

    On March 10th 2016, Sir Ken Adam passed away in London, aged 95. The world of movie making and especially the world of James Bond mourns the loss of one of its most talented production designers who has influenced the style of the Bond movies like barely anyone else. His ground breaking set designs include seven James Bond films: Dr No (1962), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979). In his career, he won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, 1975 for Barry Lyndon and 1994 for The Madness of King George and was nominated three more times. He is survived by his wife Letizia, to whom the team of Commanderbond.net wishes to express their sincerest condolences.

    Sir Ken Adam was born on February 4th 1921 as Klaus Hugo Adam in Berlin-Tiergarten. He was the third of four children of a wealthy Jewish family who ran a large sports and fashion store. In 1934, the family fled from Nazi terror to London. In 1937, Adam joined the Bartlett School of Architecture, following the advice of art director and Academy Award winner Vincent Korda who told him that this would be the best way to start a career as a movie architect.

    He took a break from his education in 1941 and joined the British Royal Air Force to become a pilot and fight the Nazis in his native country, knowing full well that he wouldn’t be treated as a prisoner of war but killed as a traitor in case he was captured by the enemy.

    In 1947, he became a British citizen and adopted the first name Ken. Soon after that, he got his first job in the movie business as a draughtsman at Twickenham Studios and started working his way up in the industry. Through his work on Captain Horatio Hornblower in 1951, he made himself a bit of a name as an expert for historic ships which lead to him working on The Crimson Pirate in 1951. While shooting this movie on the Italian island of Ischia, he met his future wife Letizia who was a model at that time. They married a year later and Letizia would become his lifelong source of inspiration.

    In 1956, his work on Around the World in Eighty Days gained him his first Oscar nomination (with Ross Dowd and James W. Sullivan). His other two unsuccessful nominations were for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Addams Family Values (1993). Ironically, four of his five nominations (including his two wins) were for historic set designs and not his futuristic, Bauhaus influenced style that made him famous.

    His work on The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) brought him in contact with producer Albert R. Broccoli, who would later hire him to do the set designs for the first James Bond movie Dr No. In the years to come, Adam would design some of the 007 franchise’s most iconic sets and elements: Dr No’s underground lair (including the famous, minimalistic “Tarantula room”), the interior of Fort Knox and of course the gadget-ladden Aston Martin DB5 for Goldfinger, the underwater vehicles and the Disco Volante hydrofoil boat for Thunderball, the famous hollowed-out volcano for You Only Live Twice, the moon Buggy and Blofeld’s lair for Diamonds are Forever, the tanker interior for The Spy who Loved Me for which the 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios was specially built and of course the space station and the Space Shuttle control room for Moonraker. Additionally, he was responsible for the production design of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (and the car itself), based on the book by Ian Fleming.

    Even though Adam’s famous credo was to design the sets “larger than life”, many of his creations were taken for real by the audience. This also happened with one of his most famous sets, the “War Room” for Dr. Strangelove. No story about Ken Adam would be complete without this anecdote: when Ronald Reagan became President of the United States he demanded to see this room and was slightly disappointed that the equivalent didn’t even remotely look like what he saw in that movie. Despite the great result, Adam vowed to never work again with Strangelove director Stanley Kubrick, as his erratic way of working led to the production designer suffering from not one but two nervous breakdowns. Luckily, Adam broke this vow to work with Kubrick on Barry Lyndon, for which he won his first Academy Award in 1975.

    He won his second Academy Award for The Madness of King George in 1994. In 2003, Ken Adam received a knighthood for his services to the film industry and Anglo-German relations. In 2012, Ken Adam donated his entire archives to the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, including many drawings, photographs and memorabilia (among them his two Oscar statues) under the condition that the archives would be made publicly accessible. The process of digitizing all these materials and publishing them as an online archive is still in the works and has been postponed from March 2015 to mid-2016. Sadly, Ken Adam didn’t live to see this last project being finished.

    Heiko Baumann @ 2016-03-12
  9. Sad losses…

    2016 is already shaping up to become known as a year of sad losses. This past week has been considerably cruel in taking away two of the most accomplished men of our time, two major characters whose influence on our culture will go far beyond their lifetime.

    On 08. March Sir George Martin passed away at the age of 90. His merits as music producer have been lauded for decades and will no doubt continue to be praised. He has been right at the epicentre of the music business in the last century, putting his mark on pop culture – before the term was even used – like only a very few before or after him. His score of Roger Moore’s 007 debut Live and Let Die and the spectacular main title song remain a favourite of the entire series with many fans, me included. As he also produced Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger he is behind two of the most popular classic Bond songs.

    On 10. March Sir Ken Adam died at the age of 95. His influence on production design is already legendary, his work is so iconic that it is now a central piece in any class of film/motion picture design. He donated his considerable archive with countless sketches and storyboards to the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin, the major German film archive. Since I’m a fellow countryman of Sir Ken I’d particularly like to express my thanks for his services in freeing Europe and my – our – home country.

     

    CommanderBond.net team and members hereby express our condolences to the families.

    Gentlemen, we salute you.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-03-11
  10. We told you so…

    CommanderBond.net team and members hereby congratulate Sam Smith on winning an Oscar for Writing’s On The Wall. Now it is written there: Best Original Song.

    Helmut Schierer @ 2016-02-29
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