Let’s watch a French James Bond parody

There are so many important elements to a James Bond film: danger, beautiful women, product placement…..

With that in mind, here’s a French 007 parody — spoofing Quantum of Solace Daniel Craig as well as elements of classic Bond movies — that our friend Kevin Collette told us about. Even if you don’t speak a word of French, it’s pretty easy to follow. Bear in mind that Casino is the name of a major French retailer:

Conference seeking 007 material

The is seeking authors to write studies and commentaries about James Bond movies and novels. Some of the suggested topics from a Web page by the group:

Quantum of Solace hit the theatres and many criticized it as being too much like the Jason Bourne movies? Is this accurate?

Raymond Benson or James Gardner as Bond Novelist Presumably they mean John Gardner.

How does James Bond novel Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks stand up as a direct sequel to Man with the Golden Gun by Ian Fleming.

Connery and Never Say Never (history of this film)

How is the current Casino Royale different from the 1967 spoof

How does Daniel Craig stand up as a Bond against who have come before?

How does Craig as Bond compare with Bond as Ian Fleming wrote him in the 1953?

Roger Moore Vs. Sean Connery

The Post Fleming Novels

Time is getting short, however. The submission deadline is Dec. 15. To view all the information (including the contact information and more details about the conference, which will be in New Mexico): just CLICK RIGHT HERE.

The Real Loelia Ponsonby

From the Tripped over Something Interesting department, filed under You Learn Something New Every Day:

The real Loelia Ponsonby

Loelia Ponsonby

A website most of us, I suspect, would have little reason to visit is David Patrick Columbia’s New York Social Diary. It’s exactly what it sounds like — Mr. Columbia reporting on what happened at parties he’s been to, and what people in his orbit (and, presumably, the reader’s,) are doing. I’m sure it’s interesting stuff for its intended target.

His latest column will be of interest to James Bond fans. Through a chain of associations, Mr. Columbia comes to reflect on a person considered to be one of the Bright Young Things in 1920s Edwardian society: Loelia, Lady Lindsay, a.k.a. Loelia Ponsonby, wife of the 2nd Duke of Westminster, a.k.a. James Bond’s secretary in the Ian Fleming novels Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever — yes, that Loelia Ponsonby!

In real life, she definitely did not need to work as a secretary. As Columbia writes,

Loelia Mary Ponsonby was born on Feb 6 1902, the only daughter of the courtier Sir Frederick Ponsonby, later 1st Lord Sysonby. ‘Fritz’ Ponsonby was assistant private secretary to Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V, and wrote Recollections of Three Reigns.
Young Loelia once occupied the lap of Edward VII and amused His Majesty by seizing his beard and demanding: “But King, where’s your crown?”

Noel Coward and Ian Fleming were mutual friends of hers; Coward wrote the forward to her memoirs, while Fleming immortalized her in popular fiction as 007’s secretary. (Mr. Columbia mistakenly writes of her as the inspiration for M’s secretary, the famous “Miss Moneypenny.”) Sharp-eyed readers might also infer parallels between the story of her ruined marriage, and Fleming’s tale of a similarly toxic relationship, “Quantum of Solace.”

The whole story is included in his report Cooler but far from chilly for mid-November, and will add just a little bit more to your store of James Bond knowledge.

HMSS Weblog on Twitter

We’ve only mentioned this in passing in responding to comments on some posts: the HMSS Weblog is also available on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/hmssweblog. It’s a modest presence, but we’re linking posts here.

Report: MGM may go on sale (yet again)

MGM, the home studio for James Bond movies, may be put on the sales block yet again, Peter Bart of Variety writes.

An excerpt from Bart’s Nov. 11 story:

Several sources say they expect that MGM will essentially be auctioned off within the next few weeks.

This would mean that a major, such as Time Warner, could buy the MGM-UA library while another entity might acquire the logo, and yet another deal could be made for United Artists. Sources speculated that Kirk Kerkorian, who has already bought and sold MGM twice, might buy the logo once again.

All of this raises uncertainty for the future of the Bond franchise as our co-publisher Paul Baack wrote in a Sept. 30 commentary. Eon Productions may produce the films, but it relies on its studio partners for financing.

Happy 89th birthday, (literary) James Bond

Nov. 11 is the birthday of the literary James Bond, as set by author John Pearson in his “biography” of 007, with a birthdate of Nov. 11, 1920.

So much that could be said, but we’ll suffice with happy birthday, Mr. Bond.

Eva Green re-creates Charlotte Rampling nude shot

Over at the Huffington Post Web site, there’s a short item about how Eva Green, who played Vesper in Casino Royale, did a nude shot to re-create a similarly posed nude shot by Charlotte Rampling in 1973.

To read the item, and see the photo, just CLICK HERE.

Attempting to read the (few) Bond 23 tea leaves

Over at the Commander Bond Web site, there was a Nov. 6 article about an appearance by Daniel Craig on the “Live With Regis and Kelly Show.”

The main thrust of the article was that Craig confirmed that Bond 23, the next 007 movie, is supposed to be out in 2011. Craig talked mostly about his play A Steady Rain so there weren’t a lot of details. But the full quote as reported by Commander Bond, was a bit intriguing:

“The plan is to start shooting the next one at the end of next year so it’ll be ready for 2011. So we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

That would imply there’s about a year of pre-production work left before cameras roll. That leaves more questions than answers, including:

1) How’s the script coming along? MGM and Eon Productions said in June that Peter Morgan would join 007 veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade in scripting the next Bond movie. In the press release, we were told a date for the start of production is yet to be confirmed and that Morgan also scripted the upcoming The Special Relationship for HBO and Hereafter for DreamWorks. He will turn his attention to Bond 23 on completion of these duties. So at that time, it wasn’t known when Morgan would even start work on Bond 23.

2. When’s a director going to be hired? While a lot of pre-production duties may not need a director on board, there’s only so much progress that can occur. A director wants to make his or her own impact on a script before shooting starts, for example. Also, certain key personnel (such as directors of photography) tend not to be hired a director is at work.

3. Why is Daniel Craig the only person talking publicly about Bond 23 lately? Eon bossman Michael G. Wilson only goes public so often and his half-sister Barbara Broccoli even less than that. When they have talked, it has been more about possible non-Bond projects than about Bond 23.

None of this is terribly satisfying. The sports equivalent is the “hot stove league” where baseball fans talk about possible trades or keep track of developments at their favorite teams during the off season. That’s not a perfect analogy, though. Baseball fans at least know when the next season starts. Nobody really knows that much about Bond 23.

Feds nab ‘Octopussy’

From the strange-but-true department, today (Nov. 5), a famous name in the 007 canon was invoked by U.S. authorities.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against “a pair of lawyers for tipping inside information in exchange for kickbacks as well as six Wall Street traders and a proprietary trading firm involved in a $20 million insider trading scheme,” according to an SEC press release.

So far, so good. One of the people involved, according to the SEC, was Zvi Goffer, described as “a proprietary trader at New York-based firm Schottenfeld Group.”

Here’s the kicker from the same press release: “Goffer was known as ‘the Octopussy’ within the insider trading ring due to his reputation for having his arms in so many sources of inside information.”

No word yet whether Eon Productions or MGM will file a lawsuit against Goffer for trademark infringement.

To read the entire SEC press release, just CLICK HERE.

UPDATE: The New York Times weighs on this story, and its James Bond references, in a story you can read by CLICKING HERE.

USC Film School celebrates Cubby Broccoli and James Bond

cubby_broccoliJames Bond fans lucky enough to be living in Southern California can look forward to a nice weekend: starting this Friday, November 6, the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts will be celebrating the life of James Bond film producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli. The three-day festival will feature panel discussions, an exhibition of 007 movie props, costumes, and other ephemera, and, of course, screenings of selected Bond films — introduced by USC film professor Rick Jewell.

Jewell, who teaches a pop-culture course on James Bond, will also be heading up two panel discussions on the subject. One, on “Bond Today,” will feature Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, Marc Forster, and our good buds Neal Purvis and Rob Wade. The other, completely about Cubby Broccoli, will feature Broccoli & Wilson again, with Tom Mankiewicz, Richard Kiel, and the most yummy Maud Adams.

After this weekend, the exhibition will continue through Friday at the Hugh M. Hefner Exhibition Space in the George Lucas Building on the USC campus. (Ya gotta love SoCal institutions of higher learning!)

Read all about it at the USC website. There’s also a good story about it at the Los Angeles Times website.