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  1. Sean Connery has died

    Connery. Sean Connery.
    What can you say about a man whose work already had achieved a legendary status during his lifetime? A man who was one of the last true movie stars. A versatile actor who got the chance at big time stardom early in his career by taking on a part which nobody knew would still generate blockbuster movies almost 60 years later.
    Countless obituaries will give you all the details about Connery´s long and productive career, about the many awards he was given, the big range of films he starred in. In fact, I had already written one such obituary, as it is always done for newspapers so one can react immediately at the sad news which inevitably come. But when I learned about Connery´s death today and reread what I had written I did not think it did justice to what I actually thought and felt. So I threw it away and started again.
    Because we´re here on a James Bond fan site. And people come and discuss all things related to this character for one reason.
    Sean Connery.
    If he had not starred in “Dr. No” we would not have gotten the series of films which built on that surprise success. If Connery had not embodied Ian Fleming´s creation so charismatically, giving the character his own spin, audiences would not have wanted more of it.
    Sure, every generation gets its own Bond actor to celebrate, and some here would consider Connery not even their favourite. I was born in 1969, ironically the year of George Lazenby´s only turn as Bond, but I grew up with Roger Moore, the one actor who was able to carry the torch Connery had left behind and cemented the immortal status of the film series for all future incarnations. When I saw Connery as Bond for the first time I was even taken aback at how different he was from Moore. I was admittedly a bit scared of him because he was so much more forceful and sardonic and at times even cruel. But I discovered very soon that he was a perfect Bond. I saw a man who entered a room and commanded it. A man who was really a man, possessing strength and wit and skills, employing brute force but only when it was needed, showing fear without giving in to it, standing his ground even in the face of insurmountable problems or bad guys trying to start World War III from a hollowed out volcano. A man whose toughness was never mean-spirited but an asset to rely on.

    Of course, as we all know, the proudly Scottish actor born in Edinburgh as Thomas Sean Connery, was eager to move on from Bond, establishing himself not only as a popular star actor but also as someone who did not play along with the idiocy of the film industry. He always fought for what he felt was right, he carved out his space and delivered performances which proved that he could do anything as an actor. His wry humour lifted every film he starred in, his appearance even seemed to become more powerful the older he got. The camera loved him, and so did world wide audiences. When he decided to retire and not make any movie anymore, cinema was all the poorer for it.

    Yes, I never knew Sean Connery personally. And I would never claim that I at least felt as if I knew him, just from watching his movies. Still, there is a certain (pardon the pun) bond between a performer and his audience. Something that immediately pulls us into a story when the actor is skilled and charming and compelling enough to do so. Sean Connery was one of those rare actors, and to think that he, even after a long life of 90 years, has left us, is hard to accept.  Because this reminds us that this part of the past is really gone. His absence is a huge loss. There are not many actors of such iconic stature around anymore, and there are not many who reach that point in today´s cinema. And in a year which already saw the deaths of Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg and Michael Lonsdale, the passing of Sean Connery is another gutpunch for us Bond fans. A year which did not allow us to watch the last Bond film of Daniel Craig´s tenure now even takes away the first and greatest and best Bond of them all.

    But as Sean Connery as Bond has taught us: never give up. Fight for what is right. Keep up the good work. And stay in the game until the evil geniuses are taken care of.

    Photo: © 1962 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq, LLC.

    Stefan Rogall @ 2020-10-31
  2. Michael Lonsdale dies aged 89

    He was an actor, a director and a painter – but I, like so many here, encountered him in 1979, displaying a steely, eerie calmness as Sir Hugo Drax, hiding his contempt for James Bond withstanding every amusing attempt to rid him of his life.

    Michael Lonsdale followed the wonderful Curt Jürgens, playing another megalomaniac insanely planning to change the world through mass murder, but while Jürgens, in the massively successful “The Spy Who Loved Me”, brought a creepy world weariness to his Stromberg, Lonsdale played Drax in “Moonraker” as a deeply determined, arrogant oligarch enjoying his luxurious life – and delivering his sardonic one-liners with slow-burn glee. He is the perfect counterpart to Roger Moore´s playful Bond, both underplaying the silliness of the whole extravaganza, thus making it work even better and transforming it into one of the most entertaining Bond films ever.

    Born in Paris on May 24, 1931, the son of a French mother and a British father lived in London, Morocco and Paris where he studied acting. His breakthrough in the films of Francois Truffaut (“La Mariée était en noir” / “Baisers volés”) was followed by more than 240 films. One of the most celebrated character actors, Lonsdale worked with legendary directors such as Louis Malle (“Le souffle au cœur”) , Marcel Carné (“Les assassins de l’ordre”), Jacques Rivette (“Out 1: Noli me tangere / Out 1: Spectre”), Orson Welles (“Le procès”), Fred Zinneman (“Day of the Jackal”), John Frankenheimer (“Ronin”) and Steven Spielberg (“Munich”). Fun fact: he is one of the rare Bond villains who acted with three other Bonds: Roger Moore (“Moonraker”), Sean Connery (“The Name of the Rose”) and Daniel Craig (“Munich”).

    In 2011 he won the César, after being nominated three times, for Xavier Beauvois´ “Des hommes et des dieux”. He died on September 21st, 2020, in Paris, in his grandfather’s apartment, where he had been living since 1949.

    Stefan Rogall @ 2020-09-22
  3. 20 years ago: THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

    The third one´s the charm.

    That at least is the conventional wisdom concerning actors playing Bond in more than two films. For Connery, GOLDFINGER catapulted him and the character of James Bond into the stratosphere of worldwide fame. For Moore, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME not only saved his tenure but also the franchise, establishing him as Connery´s equal with different qualities and turned him into a hugely beloved and successful Bond alter ego who managed to give us seven films, so far the most of any tenure. And while Lazenby never even got a second one he could have rebounded from with a third one, Dalton at least starred in two great ones before his third one fell by the wayside of the dreaded MGM situation.

    continue reading…
    Stefan Rogall @ 2019-11-14
  4. CAST AND LOCATIONS FOR STILL UNTITLED BOND 25 REVEALED

    Bond producers and cast members at the Bond25 production launch in Jamaica: Producer Michael G. Wilson, Léa Seydoux (Madeleine Swann), Cary J. Fukunaga (Director), cast members Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig (James Bond), Naomie Harris (Monneypenny), Lashana Lynch, Producer Barbara Broccoli.
    Photo: Universal Pictures International Limite
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    Live from Jamaica producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson finally announced principal photography for the 25th Bond film which at this point still has no official title. Director Cary Joji Fukanaga presented Daniel Craig, Leá Sedoux (returning as Dr. Madeleine Swann), Naomie Harris and new cast members Ana de Armas (“Blade Runner 2049”, “Knives Out”) and Lashana Lynch (“Captain Marvel”). In addition to the returning Ralph Fiennes as “M”, Ben Whishaw as “Q” and Rory Kinnear as “Tanner” the new film will also bring back Jeffrey Wright as “Felix Leiter”. Furthermore BOND 25 will feature Billy Magnussen (“Game Night”), David Dencik (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”) and Dali Benssalah (“A Faithful Man”). And, as rumoured extensively before, Oscar winner Rami Malek will play the main villain, promising via satellite: “I will be making sure Mr. Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this”.

    BOND 25 will be shot at Pinewood Studios and on location in Jamaica, London and Italy. Shooting in Norway, due to weather conditions, has already been completed in the previous weeks. Filming will continue in Jamaica on Sunday, April 24th.

    According to a short synopsis the story will pick up Bond after having left active service and enjoying life in Jamaica. Old friend Felix Leiter then asks for help in rescuing a kidnapped scientist, a task which will lead Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

    Bond 25, from longstanding 007 gatekeeper and producer Eon, is being released in the U.S. on April 8, 2020 by Metro Goldwyn Mayer through its United Artists Releasing joint venture with Annapurna, and through Universal and MGM in the U.K. and internationally from April 3, 2020.

    Regular Bond scribes Neil Purvis and Robert Wade will be credited for scripting duties together with Scott Z. Burns, Cary Joji Fukunaga himself and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

    Stefan Rogall @ 2019-04-25
  5. Title of new “Young Bond” novel revealed

    “Heads you die” is the title of the second YOUNG BOND novel penned by Steve Cole.  It will be published in paperback by Red Fox in the UK on 5th May 2016.

    Following series creator Charlie Higson, Steve Cole published his first Young Bond novel “Shoot to kill” in November 2014.

    heads you die

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-10-11
  6. New artwork for SPECTRE

    Another week, another SPECTRE poster.  This one brings back the classic “007 with Bond girl”-motif, keeping the “Day of the Dead”-pic in the background – but with more colors!

    There´s also a new banner artwork –  so one may doubt that this is the final one sheet.  Maybe there´s another one combining Bond with the villain called… um… what´s his name?

    PORTRAIT-FB

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-09-11
  7. Shooting SPECTRE: Clapperboard #12

    … and, finally, we´re in Morocco!

    CIC1aovWcAII4U0

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-06-22
  8. Shooting SPECTRE: Clapperboard #11

    From 2nd Unit this time… more boat action?

    Clapperboard 11

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-06-14
  9. FIRST TEASER FOR “SPECTRE” COMING!

    It´s official – the first scenes of the next James Bond film will be revealed in a teaser on either Friday 27th or Saturday 28th, depending on your time zone.

    Check out the countdown on 007.com:  http://www.007.com

    1123220 - Skyfall

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-03-25
  10. BOND IN MOTION exhibition extended – SPECTRE vehicles will be added

    If you haven´t had the chance to see this – you will get another one!

    Due to popular demand the London Film Museum will remain dedicated to Bond in Motion until further notice. It will see new exhibits added in 2015, including vehicles from the latest Bond adventure, SPECTRE.

    To mark the first anniversary of BOND IN MOTION at the London Film Museum, the museum will be hosting a weekend of Bond-themed celebration on 21st and 22nd March 2015. Distinguished Bond film crew and contributors will be holding talks, tours and open Q&A sessions in the museum throughout the weekend. Speakers will include stunt supervisor and action director Vic Armstrong, a veteran of seven Bond films and production designer Peter Lamont who worked on 18 Bond adventures. The official Aston Martin owners club will be descending on the Covent Garden Piazza outside the exhibition for the weekend with over 30 vehicles from the past to the present. All anniversary activities within the museum will be free to BOND IN MOTION ticket holders.
    Special guests may change without notice.

    Tickets are available at the venue box office daily. To avoid the queue please purchase your tickets in advance. *Check website for special event announcements as these may result in the Museum being closed. Museum closure notices: Closed all day on 28th May 2015

    jbbr_skyfall_forbes_china1

    http://londonfilmmuseum.com/home/

    Stefan Rogall @ 2015-02-27