February 27, 2010

LA DOLCE VITA: FELLINI

LA DOLCE VITA: FELLINI
Francis Coppola said that when he was coming up in film in the 1960s there were three giants: Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini. I first saw a Fellini film when I was twelve and I was quite baffled by it (Juliet of the Spirits). But my imagination was also ignited by the images I saw. From that moment on, I knew there was an outer border where some creators dare to dwell. Fellini began as a cartoonist (another reason for me to relate to him), and he made an important transition from the Neo-Realist films of post-war Italy to wildly imaginative works that allowed fantasy and dream imagery to collide with narrative. The movie that rests between these two periods is the classic, La Dolce Vita (1960). Famous for its scene between Anita Ekberg and Mastroianni in the Trevi fountain, La Dolce Vita brought the emotional level of his earlier characters into a hip, young setting. Images of Vespas, open-top sports cars, and Mastroianni in his dark suit, thin black tie and sunglasses established what we envision as early-mid 1960s Italian cool. It is a Spy Vibe that has been copied and parodied countless times (anyone see Saturday Night Live's La Dolce Gilda?). The open sexuality and loose morality of the film caused quite a scandal- a scene that was humorously played out in another Mastroianni film a couple of years later, Divorce Italian Style.




A new Fellini book is due from Rizzoli in March. Federico Fellini: The Films. Published on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the debut of La Dolce Vita, this is the most authoritative survey ever of Federico Fellini’s complete oeuvre. This definitive and important contribution on Federico Fellini chronicles the body of work of one of the most influential and revered directors of all time, and one of Italy’s most important modern cultural icons. It features the great director’s own drawings, sketches, storyboards, notes, and commentary along with behind-the-scenes photographs—both on set and off—and covers each film from the entire span of his career. Largely never before published, the material collected in this lavishly illustrated volume is drawn primarily from the archives of the Fellini Foundation and from the Fellini family’s private collection. Incidentally, Rizzoli has a similar book devoted to Kurosawa coming out in early March as well!


Like Teshigahara and Takemitsu, Fellini enjoyed a special collaboration throughout his career with one composer- Nino Rota. Below is the quintessential piece from his soundtrack to La Dolce Vita, a sound that would help define and inspire the resurgence of lounge soundtrack music in the 1990s and a song covered by the band, Combustible Edison.



February 26, 2010

TATI TIME

TATI TIME
News from The Criterion Collection about a special event this weekend: A boon for Los Angeles Tati fans this weekend: The Magnificent Tati, a new documentary by Michael House that traces the career of the Playtime auteur, premieres at the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, as part of the series Tati Time. After the screening, the Aero will show rare shorts co-written or directed by Tati, including René Clément’s 1936 Soigne ton gauche and Tati’s 1947 School for Postmen. The usual gems- Mon oncle, M. Hulot’s Holiday- will also be there to delight. Spy Vibe's coverage of the Mid-Century Modern Playtime here.

February 24, 2010

TIME TUNNEL: CONTEST

TIME TUNNEL: CONTEST
Enter to win a copy of the 1960s Complete Time Tunnel comics by Gold Key. For those who did not see the show, The Time Tunnel was a Sci-Fi series (1966-1967) about two scientists who fall through the tunnel in their lab into a constant flux through history. As their colleagues struggle to figure out how to bring them back to the swinging 1960s, the travelers engage in weekly adventures to survive. A bit of an Irwin Allen take on Doctor Who, with Allen's signature attention to style and entertainment. Just look at the set designs below! The repetition and perspective of the tunnel itself was a fantastic graphic. Translate those stripes to fashion and you have the costumes from Our Man Flint! That's no surprise, as series Art Director Jack Martin Smith also worked on Our Man Flint, In Like Flint, Batman, Green Hornet, Valley of the Dolls, and Allen's Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

For Spy Vibers interested in checking out the show, see One Way to the Moon. In this Cold War-inspired episode, the two men appear on a rocket ship bound for Mars. The astronauts immediately suspect them as foreign spies! And because of their added weight to the craft, the flight commander decides to make a fuel stop on the moon before bringing the mission prematurely back to earth. Of course, our guys aren't spies. But there is a saboteur on-board! And he's got murder and mayhem planned for the crew! Gold Key Comics are well-known among Spy Vibers for their 1960s TV tie-in comics. For samples, see Spy Vibe's coverage of Man From UNCLE end pages and Mister 8's coverage of Secret Agent #1. To win a copy of The Complete Time Tunnel comic collection from Hermes Press, see details here. Contest ends March 1st.

February 23, 2010

WINNER!

WINNER!
Gareth-Micheal Skarka is the winner of James Bond: History of the Illustrated 007! Thank you to everyone who entered. It has been really cool to read about your fave spy art. I may have to track down samples of everything and create a gallery post! Remember that there is a current contest for the complete reprint book of Gold Key's 1960s Time Tunnel comics (based on the TV show by Irwin Allen). The deadline for entry is March 1st. Plus- more prizes coming up, including Vintage! Thanks for being a part of Spy Vibe!

February 21, 2010

SIGNAL FROM AGENT J

SIGNAL FROM AGENT J
For a chance to win a copy of James Bond: History of the Illustrated 007, remember to have your entry in by tomorrow (Feb 22nd). It's been fantastic to read everyone's entries so far! Details
here. And if you are a fan of Irwin Allen's 1960s Sci-Fi adventure shows (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, Time Tunnel, Land of the Giants), or the 60s TV comics from Gold Key, enter for a chance to win the new Complete Time Tunnel book from Hermes Press that reprints all of Gold Key's Time Tunnel stories- plus lots of behind-the-scenes info and images. Details here. VINTAGE prizes coming up as Spy Vibe celebrates Year One!

February 18, 2010

TESHIGAHARA: FACE OF ANOTHER


TESHIGAHARA: FACE OF ANOTHER
Before taking on the family business of cutting-edge flower arranging, Hiroshi Teshigahara created avant garde films with futuristic elements and haunting, visual poetry. Like the Paris experience of Picasso, Cocteau, and Satie, Teshigara's Japan of the late 1950s/1960s was a fertile hotbed of collaboration with novelist Kobo Abe and composer Toru Takemitsu. Their 1966 film based on Abe's novel, Face of Another, should stand out for Spy Vibers for its Sci-Fi vibe and unforgettable, modern/graphic set designs. Fans of Akira Kurosawa will recognize lead actor Tatsuya Nakadai -often cast as the nemesis to Toshiro Mifune. Here, Nakadai is given a new face and leads us down the rabbit hole of this startling film about identity and trust. Recommended!

February 15, 2010

CONTEST: TIME TUNNEL

CONTEST: TIME TUNNEL
Spy Vibe's birthday celebration continues with its series of prize contests. Prize #2 is a copy of The Complete Time Tunnel from Hermes Press. Hermes has done an excellent job reprinting a number of Gold Key comic series from the 1960s, including Irwin Allen classics The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (and coming soon- Land of the Giants!). Gold Key comics offered a cool package of TV tie-in adventure and bonus end pages with B&W production stills and extras (see Spy Vibe's coverage of the espionage history illustrations from Gold Key's Man From U.N.C.L.E. comics here). The Hermes Time Tunnel collection offers all of the thrills of these complete comics- and more! The 80 page Time Tunnel edition also packs ten pages of behind-the-scenes production artwork, photographs, and images of vintage collectibles- a treasure for Irwin Allen fans! To enter the random drawing, just add a comment at this post on the Spy Vibe blog (or e-mail me at jason[at]spyvibe.com with "Tunnel" in the subject line) and tell me what your fave Irwin Allen TV show is and why (Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, etc). Which has the best Spy Vibe style? Deadline is March 1st.


From Hermes Press: It's back, the complete reprint of Gold Key comics Time Tunnel comic book series. This is the second volume of Hermes Press's complete reprints of all of the Irwin Allen sci-fi television show tie-in comic books. Now, for the first time in over forty years read both issues, back-to-back, together with documentary material, essays, blue prints from the show and more! Full color and digitally remastered, Time Tunnel: The Complete Series brings these comic books back looking better than when they first hit the stands.

To enter contest #1 for a copy of James Bond: a History of the Illustrated 007 from Hermes Press, see contest details here. Deadline is February 22nd.

February 9, 2010

AARNIO BALL CHAIR SALE

AARNIO BALL CHAIR SALE
Spy Vibe received exciting news from the Regency Shop about a number of items currently on sale that will appeal to Mid-Century Modern enthusiasts (isn't that everyone?). The list includes an Eames Lounge Chair, a hanging bubble chair, and for those of us who always wanted to decorate the lair in the style of Number Two from The Prisoner, an Eero Aarnio Bubble Chair (on sale for $455!).

From their website: New Modern Eero Aarnio Ball Globe Ball Chair - Brand New! Retro-Futuristic, sit, turn, stretch, talk, rest, dream. Molded fiberglass shell featuring a polyester seating section and fully padded inner walls.The globe is attached to a reinforced steel lacquered base which also allows the chair to rotate. This is a high-quality redesign of the original while staying true to the original craftsmanship. The main Regency website is here. I have not shopped with them, but I've seen good reviews. If any SpyVibers pick up a futuristic treasure, leave a comment at this post at the Spy Vibe blogsite and tell us about your experience with Regency.

February 8, 2010

CONTEST: ILLUSTRATED JAMES BOND

CONTEST: ILLUSTRATED JAMES BOND
Celebrate Spy Vibe's first year with a series of prize contests! Up first, a copy of the fantastic book, James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007 by Alan J. Porter. Just post a comment on this announcement at the Spy Vibe blogsite, or e-mail me at jason[at]spyvibe.com with "Illustrated Bond" in the subject line. In your communique, describe your three favorites from the world of spy poster art or illustration. Don't need the book? Tell us about your faves anyway and specify you don't need to be added to the random drawing. Your entries must be made by February 22nd. Good luck!

Details from Hermes Press: Now for the first time, the complete history of the illustrated James Bond is chronicled by pop culture historian Alan J. Porter in James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007. Porter's new book examines James Bond's adventures in newspaper strips and comic books. Before Bond became world famous with his movie series, the character was the subject of successful English newspaper strips and later in comic books. With the explosion of Bond on the screen the character and his exploits become even more popular in comic strip and comic book versions all over the world. James Bond: The History of the Illustrated 007 examines it all, and covers Bond's newspaper strip and comic book appearances from the 1950s to the present. The release of this all-new history is timed to coincide with James Bond's newest movie appearance and is sure to be a must for all Bond fans. The cover of the book presents a never-before- seen painting by noted artist Bob Peak who made a significant contribution to the Bond canon's movie poster art.

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