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.

A tiger by the tail

cubby_broccoliBritish newspaper The Independent‘s website has an interesting article about the legendary producer of the James Bond films, Cubby Broccoli — the man with the golden franchise. 2009 marks the centenary anniversary of Broccoli’s birth, and we’re bound to see many tribute pieces in various media.

The article covers some brief biographical information, and then gets down to the meat of discussion — James Bond. It talks of what Broccoli, an Italian-American, brought to the British fictions of Ian Fleming’s fantasy world. Thunderball issues, vis-à-vis Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham looked at. And the really interesting question is posed: prior to Bond, Broccoli produced war films, comedies, custom dramas, etc. After Dr. No in 1962, the balance of his career was exclusively devoted to the adventures of 007 (notwithstanding another Ian Fleming property he produced, 1968’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang):

Was he frustrated at having to confine himself to 007? His daughter and stepson insist not. “He was happy to make the Bond films. He loved it. He said that he had a tiger by the tail and that he couldn’t let it go,” remembers Wilson.

The British Film Institute is running a retrospective of Broccoli’s films. Cubby Broccoli: From The Red Beret to Bond runs the last three weeks of April at BFI Southbank. Programs, showtimes, and ticket sales are at their website bfi.org.uk.