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Film Newspaper Twitter

One Skyfall screening is not enough

As my latest Edinburgh Evening News column isn’t on the website I thought I’d publish it here instead. I couldn’t resist writing about Bond as Skyfall takes the box office by storm.

It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice that there’s a new Bond film in town, the 23rd adventure for Britain’s favourite spy.

Skyfall ignores the lacklustre Quantum of Solace (2008) and returns the series to its bombastic best, sending 007 (Daniel Craig) on a mission that takes him around the globe and back in time.

I revelled in every second of the spy saga, with one of the series’ classiest casts – from Dame Judi Dench as the steely M to Javier Bardem as the seriously nasty Silva – doing justice to a script that gives its audience something fresh while respecting its past glories.

On the subject of the past, my own memories of seeing Bond at the cinema stretch back to 1987’s The Living Daylights. With no internet to build the hype, we were left with TV adverts and promotions on packets of Trio biscuits to whet our appetites.

While I still think Sean Connery was the best Bond, I’ve a soft spot for Timothy Dalton as a harder-edged 007 who questioned his motives long before Daniel Craig picked up his Walther PPK.

Somehow I missed 1989’s Licence To Kill on the big screen and it wasn’t until 1995 that I was able to head to the Dominion to watch Pierce Brosnan don his tuxedo in GoldenEye. Since then I’ve waited patiently for each new Bond film, sneaking a peek at the trailers and reading the occasional plot outline without wanting to find out too much.

For Skyfall I had to avoid Twitter, Facebook posts and TV specials for weeks, ensuring no spoilers leaked through. MI6 couldn’t have done a better job.

I have a feeling I’ll be heading back to see Skyfall again soon, one screening is not enough.

Full disclosure time: memories of The Living Daylights Trio promotion were recalled thanks to the fantastic new Bond book, ‘Catching Bullets‘, by Mark O’Connell – here’s my Good Reads review.

Categories
Broadcasting

Bond on the BBC

Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson
Meeting the first Bond Girl, Eunice Gayson

I was sent on a Top Secret mission by the BBC a few weeks ago, my task to infiltrate a gold-plated briefcase containing 22 James Bond Blu-rays that had been dispatched from Eilean Donan Castle on its way to the small Argyll town of Lochgilphead as part of 007 Days of Bond.

Luckily it wasn’t quite so Top Secret that I couldn’t tweet the odd photo and record and edit a package for BBC Radio Scotland’s Movie Cafe.

I flew in a helicopter (here’s some footage captured on my iPhone), visited a location that doubled for the Adriatic in 1963’s From Russia With Love, met the original Bond Girl, the now 84-year-old Eunice Gayson, and got soaked in the process on a wet Argyll afternoon, but it was still a fantastic day for a 007 nut like myself.

Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin
Eunice Gayson and the Aston Martin

The segment can be heard over on iPlayer for the next few days:

My 50th anniversary Blu-ray set arrived in the post a few days later, here’s the trailer if you haven’t ordered yours yet:

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Interview Newspaper Online Writing

Yuki 7 infiltrates the UK

Before I go any further, please turn your speakers up and press play on the trailer below – I’ll see you in 2 minutes 22 seconds:

How cool was that? As a spy fan, and someone who appreciates a decent homage, I was bowled over by Yuki 7 when I first heard about her. She’s the creation of US illustrator Kevin Dart, a man with a love of the movies and a finely tuned sense of humour (he likes Jim Henson, who I may have mentioned on this blog a few times).

After watching the trailer I got in touch with Kevin regarding the possibility of running a feature in my Edinburgh Evening News column, with an associated interview on the Reel Time blog. I’ve not read about Yuki 7 in any UK press up to know, so I’m not sure how widespread her fame is on this side of the pond.

For someone working on the release of his second high profile book, Looks That Kill, Kevin was generous with his time. The feature ran today in the paper and I duly tweeted about it, but it’s impossible to get across just how gorgeous this book is until you see it. With a bonkers, Avengers-ish, plot and some truly eye and mouthwatering illustrations, this is a book for anyone who misses those 60s spy movies that jumped on the Bondwagon back in the day.

Looks That Kill cover, courtesy Kevin Dart
Looks That Kill cover, courtesy Kevin Dart
Inside the pages of Looks That Kill, courtesy Kevin Dart
Inside the pages of Looks That Kill, courtesy Kevin Dart

I’m hoping a few more people now sample the world of Yuki 7 and the Gadget Girls and I can’t wait for the promised short film he mentions in the interview and the third book in the series. In the meantime, head over to the Yuki 7 website and find out what all the fuss is about.