Written by CBn Forum Member ‘Simon’
James Bond Movie Posters: the Official Collection, this book landed on my doorstep this morning.
James Bond Movie Posters: the Official Collection
For me, a book like this which is advertised as an apotheothis to the worldwide James Bond campaigns and as a collection of conceptual designs that never made it to release stage, has to succeed on three levels. It should be very well produced, on high quality stock paper, with superbly reproduced artwork; it should have interviews with the artists to follow the methods of design and the way in which the work evolved and it should have examples of concept artwork for all the titles.
On the first count, it succeeds admirably. It is a very large format book, the dustjacket is a matt finish with a tactile feel to it, it is suitably heavy, the reproductions of the posters are top notch (save a Diamonds are Forever reproduction). It is without doubt a coffee table book for a flicking through type of reference.
Unfortunately the secound count is none existant. I feel able to voice disppointment here as I feel I was promised some insight but all we are given are some profiles at the back of the book. I would love to see what impacts affected the reasoning behind why some posters were discarded and why those that succeeded had of course to go through various stages of approval. Sadly this is not evident.
The third count for conceptual design is fairly well represented. However, The Art of James Bond web site has managed to secure a better collection in this area. There are some very interesting concept posters from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service which I have not seen before, but nothing from The Man With The Golden Gun to Tomorrow Never Dies, which I find very disappointing. UK readers may have seen the Marler Haley sets in Odeon theatres if they are old enough to have seen A View to A Kill in the theatres. Again there wasn’t a complete set of these represented in the book from the first film they were introduced in to the last (I believe A View To A Kill).
In summary then, the book is a very professional undertaking in reproduction and publishing, but I feel could have incorporated a more insightful and complete picture of this fascinating world of advertising. The Art of James Bond web site is certainly more complete, the German book is again probably more complete and could certainly do with a translation into English. A combination of the three would probably be the definitive work in this area.