July 26, 2011

MOVIE POSTER PRIZES

While Agent J is away on a mission, enter to win one of these movie posters from Spy Vibe: GOLDFINGER, DANGER DIABOLIK, BARBARELLA. Winners will be picked in early August- see details and deadlines below.

It's reader appreciation time and we're giving away prizes! Prize #1: Barbarella poster style B, 11x17 poster originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Barbarella" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 9th. Why we love Barbarella here.

Poster #2- Danger Diabolik, 11x17 Italian style B, originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Diabolik" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 11th. Why we love Danger Diabolik here.


Poster #3 Goldfinger,
11x17 style E, originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Goldfinger" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 15th. Why Cinema Retro's Lee Pfeiffer chose Goldfinger as #2 in his top-5 list of spy movie sets here.



Check out Spy Vibe's production set series, an event that gathered together many writers to celebrate the best spy sets from cold war-era film & TV. Guest Set Lists: Lee Pfeiffer, Jeremy Duns, Armstrong Sabian, Steve Bissette, Roger Langley, Matthew Bradford, Wesley Britton, David Foster, Matt Kindt. Spy Vibe's Set For Adventure here, Set Countdown #10, #9, #8 ,#7, #6, #5, #4, #3, #2, #1.

July 24, 2011

FAB GEAR

Fab Gear, an in-depth book about Beatles fashion, is due for release on October 24th! From Amazon: "The Beatles knew how much image mattered in the 1960s, and whether it was Nehru jackets, skinny ties, granny glasses, or the Cuban heel boot-if John, Paul, George, or Ringo wore it, the rest of their millions of fans followed. Renowned music and fashion author Paolo Hewitt takes readers on a fashion tour of the Beatles' career and the trends they co-opted. From their Hamburg debut in sunglasses, leather, and black sweaters to the conservative suits they were ordered to wear by their manager Brian Epstein; from their infatuation with Pierre Cardin's collarless jackets to their more casual corduroy; from their Mod madness to psychedelic spaciness to faux-military attire to hippy-chic-each style is revealed as a reflection of the music they made and the world views they embraced. Filled with fabulous photographs and with an appealing retro feel, the book features numerous images, many of which have never been published before. It offers insights into how the band's meteoric rise and enduring success shaped their fashion choices. There's even a chapter devoted to their hairstyles. Fans of all ages, as well as anyone interested in fashion, will be enthralled with this first ever Beatles stylebook that proves the Fab Four were as timely as they were timeless."


PAOLO HEWITT began his career writing for Melody Maker and New Musical Express. He has contributed to newspapers and magazines as well as a series of books on sports, fashion, and music. He served as the official biographer for the groups The Jam and Oasis, runs his own Mod-style knitwear label in Italy, and has written a memoir, The Looked After Kid. He lives in London.

July 22, 2011

POSTER PRIZES: DANGER DIABOLIK

It's reader appreciation time and Spy Vibe is giving away movie posters! Poster #1 is Barbarella, see details here. Poster #2- Danger Diabolik, 11x17 Italian style B, originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Diabolik" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 11th.


Why we love Danger Diabolik (1968): Danger Diabolik came in at the top of our Top-10 Setlist of all-time! Imagine clicking your garage door opener on a mountain road, engaging a giant clam-shell door, and driving into a series of electronic hatches and elevators down (deep deep down) to a cavernous lair that sports a fleet of E-type Jaguars, Sci-Fi gadgets, a Habitrail-like network of tubes and chambers, glass "see-through" showers, and a giant revolving bed with futuristic technology and television monitors. I’ll give you a moment to recover. You’re right- it’s simply the coolest pad any spy, criminal mastermind, or lounge cat could crave (they had me at Jaguars). More of Danger Diabolik #1 in Spy Vibe's Top-10 Setlist here.


July 20, 2011

DEAL ALERT: MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

Deal Alert (Ended): Amazon's deal of the day is the complete series collection of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. 41 discs, four seasons, the pilot. the first film, and many bonus features priced at a low $84.99!

Famously housed in a cool briefcase, the set includes:
all four seasons (105 episodes)
color pilot "Solo"
theatrical feature One Spy Too Many
nine bonus features about the show, style, gadgets, etc
retrospective interviews w cast/crew
guest star celebration
tv award shows
design/photo galleries
Tom & Jerry's The Mouse From H.U.N.G.E.R.
& more!
Amazon page here. Review at DVDtalk here.

July 19, 2011

POSTER PRIZES: BARBARELLA

It's reader appreciation time and we're giving away prizes! Prize #1: Barbarella poster style B, 11x17 poster originally purchased from Movie Goods. To enter, just send an e-mail to Spy Vibe (jason[at]spyvibe.com) with "Barbarella" in the subject line and your mailing address. The winner will be chosen from a random drawing on August 9th.

Why we like Barbarella (1968): Although Vadim's film has more camp and static composition than the original comic by Jean-Claude Forest, the film still delivers as a sexy sci-fi time capsule. The opening credits (which feature a space-age strip tease) and the promotional graphics are all fantastic! But the star of the film is really the fashion designer who inspired the costumes, Paco Rabanne. Rabanne was one of the inventive culprits chopping paper-dress patterns in the 1960s. Similar in construction to using plastics, the paper clothes could be cut in-form out of Vilbond and color cellophane tape without stitching. The dresses really took off in 1967, a year in which Rabanne also designed a line of Pacojamas (paper PJs) for Hilton hotels. Rabanne was celebrated for his experiments with creating clothing from sculptural components. The advantage of these NASA-inspired materials was that clothes held their shape, rather than being draped over the body. Synthetics, bright colors, black and white, and silver with geometric and zipper-accents created an architectural silhouette of angular lines- a sculpted form for a new generation focused on the Twiggy-thin youth market. Rabanne is credited along with Jacques Fonteray for designing the costumes for Barbarella. You can see similar costumes based on Rabanne's futuristic, gladiatorial armor in Casino Royale (1966) and The 10th Victim (1965). Spy Vibe was quoted in an article that offers further info about Rabanne here.


July 18, 2011

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE COMPLETE SERIES

Mission Impossible (1966-1973) is one of the greatest spy shows from the cold war era. I loved how it focused on a team who could sabotage the enemy without firing a shot, and in many cases, would leave the mission still undetected by the other side. Although I really enjoy the movie franchise, its more conventional use of an armed, solo hero doesn't quite capture the spirit of the original. Spend some time with the Impossible Missions Force this week. Two fave episodes from the first season (pre-Mr. Phelps), are episode #10 The Carriers and episode #24 The Train. Great cold war spy TV! Spy Vibers can read all about the making of The Train at the blog archive of director Ralph Senensky here. You will also find posts about his work on other cult classics such as The Wild Wild West and Star Trek. The Mission Impossible- Complete Series DVD box set is the "daily deep deal" at Deepdiscount.com. They have matched Amazon's current low price of $160.79. [DEAL ENDED, but they continue to offer the set for around $170]. If you have been waiting to add the show to your library, this may be a good time to pick it up. All seven seasons are also currently available for streaming on Netflix.

July 17, 2011

SPY VIBE TOPS 200,000

Spy Vibe topped 200,000 visitors on Sunday. As a thank you to Spy Vibers everywhere, we'll be holding random drawings to give away a series of movie posters this week. Stay tuned for details!

DEAL ALERT: PINK PANTHER

Amazon is offering the Pink Panther Ultimate Collection on DVD today at an amazing discount. Down from the list price of $199.98, the set is marked down to $34.99. If you have been wanting to add these classics to your collection, today's the day to think pink! Deal of the day at Amazon here.


The 18-disc set includes all but one of the films (Return of the Pink Panther is distributed by Universal, not MGM), and all of the cartoons. Read more about the history of the franchise and a review of the Pink Panther Ultimate Collection at DVD Talk here. Set contents:
Disc 1: The Pink Panther Collector's Edition '64 Feature Film
Disc 2: A Shot in The Dark Feature Film
Disc 3: Inspector Clouseau
Disc 4: The Pink Panther Strikes Again Feature Film
Disc 5: Revenge of The Pink Panther Feature Film
Disc 6: Trail of The Pink Panther Feature Film
Disc 7: Curse of The Pink Panther Feature Film
Disc 8: Son of The Pink Panther Feature Film
Disc 9: Pink Panther 2006 (SONY)
Disc 10: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 1
Disc 11: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 2
Disc 12: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 3
Disc 13: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 4
Disc 14: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 9
Disc 15: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 5 (Ant and the Aardvark)
Disc 16: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 6 (The Inspector)
Disc 17: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 7 (The Inspector Volume 2)
Disc 18: The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 8 (Roland and Ratfink)

July 15, 2011

THE AVENGERS SOUNDTRACK CD

Screen Archives Entertainment is now taking pre-orders for their 2 CD set of soundtrack music from The Avengers! From SAE: "The double album includes an attractive 16 page booklet with full colour stills and extensive notes on music and episodes from the TV programme.

Alongside Johnny Dankworth and Laurie Johnson, Howard Blake is the third, none-the-less important, but often forgotten, contributor to The Avengers TV series music. Dankworth’s laid-back jazzy theme was the signature tune of the first three series, while Johnson penned the flamboyant rousing up-tempo theme to the three series shot on 35mm film.

Brought into the job late in the series in 1967 by Laurie Johnson, and on the recommendation of Bernard Herrmann, Howard Blake scored ten episodes in the sixth and final series starring Linda Thorson as Tara King alongside the stalwart Macnee. From big-band sound with modern jazz inflections and spooky trombone choir, flutes and vibraphones, to bass clarinets, solo piano, timpanis, amplified harpsichord, 'wah-wah' guitar and Fender-Rhodes electric piano, Blake created a rich and relevant score that remains a classic to this day"

While you are on their website, be sure to check out other CD collections of spy soundtracks from I Spy, The New Avengers, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. They also carry the fabulous Network CD collection of The Prisoner.

July 14, 2011

THE PERSUADERS 40TH

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Persuaders, starring Roger More and Tony Curtis, those magnificent folks at Network have released a new Blu-ray edition box set of the series. There is also an anniversary event planned, where fans can attend episode screenings and a Q&A with Roger Moore himself! The original restored Aston Martin from the series will also be on display. Information at Network here.




From Network:
Regarded by many as being the finest of Lew Grade's ITC film series, The Persuaders! stars Roger Moore and Tony Curtis as the mismatched playboys with an eye for the ladies and a penchant for landing themselves in trouble.

Highly anticipated on Blu-ray, this highly popular action adventure series is presented here in stunning High Definition for the first time. All 24 episodes are featured alongside a wealth of special features, many previously unseen:

Special Features
• Digitally restored, High Definition transfers
• 156 page fully-bound book of viewing notes by Andrew Pixley
• Recently found, extensive textless material (including some behind the scenes)
(HD)
• Previously unseen alternate title sequence (HD)
• Extensive HD image galleries of rare and previously unseen stills
• 1972 Sun TV Awards footage with Tony Curtis
• Contemporary French interview on location from 1971
• Moore and Curtis reunion on the Alan Titchmarsh Show from 2008
• Merchandise image gallery (HD)
• The Morning After - Remembering The Persuaders! exclusive documentary
• Commentaries with Roger Moore, Tony Curtis and production staff
• AVROSkoop contemporary documentary from 1971

• Top of the Pops promotional video for John Barry's theme

• Promotional spots
• Trailers and archive newsreel footage
• Tony Curtis interviewed by Russell Harty
• French titles
• Commercial break bumpers
• Script PDFs
• International movie versions and trailers for London Conspiracy, Mission: Monte
Carlo, Sporting Chance and The Switch

July 13, 2011

MRS PEEL IN UNDERWEAR

Today we celebrate one of our fave episodes of The Avengers, Death at Bargain Prices (1965). From the first Diana Rigg season, the episode is filled with the kind of playful banter that brought so much charm to the show. Although Honor Blackman appeared dressed in underwear in earlier episodes, Patrick Macnee's John Steed got to enjoy a stronger dose of innuendo here with this memorable line: "I asked the chief predator where to find you and he said, 'Our Mrs. Peel is in ladies' underwear.' I rattled up the stairs three at a time." Priceless! More info and trivia about Death at Bargain Prices at Avengers Forever here. Spy Vibe's Peeling Off the Trenchcoats here.



July 11, 2011

BISH FESSES UP

Pulp Fiction/Spy connoisseur and fellow C.O.B.R.A.S. writer, Paul Bishop of Bish's Beat, will be interviewed on Martini in the Morning on Tuesday, July 12th at 9:30am (pacific). Tune in and catch Bish as he talks about lounge music, gumshoes, and his new reality TV series for ABC, Take The Money And Run- from the producers of CSI and The Amazing Race, the new series premieres on August 2nd!

July 8, 2011

THE ROYALE TREATMENT

Issue #10 of MI6 Confidential is now available for order. The new edition of this deluxe magazine explores the legacy of Ian Fleming's Casino Royale, from the 1954 television adaptation to the 2006 re-launch of the 007 franchise with Daniel Craig. The publishers offer their usual in-depth articles, high production value, and many rare images- including book covers from the Illustrated 007 collection! MI6 Confidential is available for order here. They also offer a special rate if you buy the Casino Royale edition with issue #9: Bond Girls. Details here.

July 7, 2011

RINGO ROCKS AT 71

Happy Birthday to Ringo Starr! The former Beatle is still rocking at age 71 on a tour throughout eastern and western Europe. Concert info at his official website here. Ringo Starr, born Richard Starkey, had rough beginnings in the Dingle section of Liverpool, with serious illnesses and "hard knocks with rival gangs." The skiffle craze carried him into a lifetime career in entertainment when he formed Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group in 1957. He joined the Raving Texans in 1959- renamed Rory Storm and the Hurricanes as Rock music prevailed as the dominant form. Ringo's band was quite popular in Liverpool and Hamburg, where life on the road brought him into contact with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison. Won over by Ringo's steady beat, warmth and humor, The Beatles eventually welcomed him as their new drummer on August 18, 1962. Photo below (looking slightly like a proto-Jason King) by Richard Avedon.


Many of Ringo's best post-Beatles songs are about relationships and include a number of collaborations with fellow-Beatles and other friends from the industry. The songs lyrically express Ringo's emotions of love and loss for the people in his life. The cream of his work is quite touching and down-to-earth, a quality that speaks to his early passion for country music (Ringo's second solo album, Beaucoups of Blues (1970), was a collection of country songs). Ringo spent his wild years in the 1970s, making mayhem with pals Keith Moon, Marc Bolan, and appearing in two all-star Rock events, George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh and The Band's The Last Waltz.
Starting with his acclaimed performance in A Hard Day's Night (1964), Ringo has also had a long movie career, including Candy (1968), the cover story of the current issue of Cinema Retro magazine. Ringo's IMDB page here.

Ringo has collaborated often with his fellow Beatles on projects since the band's split in 1970.
Stop and Smell the Roses (1981) was planned to include all four members of the Beatles. Ringo recorded with George Harrison and Paul McCartney in 1980, but John Lennon was killed in December before the two could meet in the studio. The record includes Harry Nilsson, Stephen Stills, Al Kooper, Ronnie Wood, and ends poignantly with promo spots for gun control. Photo below with wife (and James Bond girl) Barbara Bach (The Spy Who Loved Me) at the premiere of Cirque du Soliel's LOVE show in Las Vegas in 2006.


If you haven't explored Ringo's work lately, here are a some essentials. I hope you will spend some time with Ringo on his birthday. Cheers, Ringo!

Films: A Hard Days Night (1964), Help (1965), The Magic Christian (1969), The Point! (1971), Caveman (1981), Ringo Starr VH1 Storytellers (1998).

Beatles Tracks: I Wanna Be Your Man, Boys, Act Naturally, Tomorrow Never Knows, Rain, With a Little Help From My Friends, Strawberry Fields Forever, A Day in the Life, Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road (album).

With Fellow Beatles: Beautiful Night (McCartney/George Martin), All Those Years Ago (Harrison/McCartney), John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (album), Take it Away (McCartney), When We Was Fab (Harrison).

Ringo Solo Tracks: Early 1970, Step Lightly, It Don't Come Easy, Photograph, Goodnight Vienna (reprise), Back Off Boogaloo, Never Without You, King of Broken Hearts, Liverpool 8, Harry's Song.


July 4, 2011

DEAL ALERT: THE PRISONER

Deal alert! The Blu-ray edition of The Prisoner by Patrick McGoohan is currently on sale at Amazon for 75% off, bringing the box set down to $25! Sale ends July 9th. Details at Amazon here. The Prisoner was #6 in our Set Countdown here. Spy Vibe trivia:The passing of McGoohan, my childhood hero, inspired the creation of Spy Vibe in January 2009 (blog version here).


POST-WAR DOCS

The space race, the cold war, the sexual revolution, and the rise of consumerism were all aspects of post-war culture and essential ingredients to the changes in society that would follow. Dive deeper into the cultural history of sex, atomic paranoia, and shiny new prizes with these four great documentary films- currently streaming on Netflix!


Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, Rebel (2009) Hugh Hefner's professional success and personal exploits have influenced American culture and sexual politics since the 1950s. This documentary examines the pajama-clad titan's long reign in the public's consciousness. Through interviews and footage, the film chronicles Hefner's journey, from the founding of Playboy magazine -- and the launch of the sexual revolution -- to his support for a wide range of progressive causes. Interesting segments on black-listed artists, free speech, jazz, Playboys Penthouse, and notions of liberation.


Heavy Petting (1989) Famous baby boomers who lived through the Sexual Revolution recall their sexual awakening during the squeaky-clean 1950s. The hilarious recollections -- courtesy of David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Spalding Gray, Sandra Bernhard, Abbie Hoffman, William S Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and others -- are accompanied by kitschy clips of '50s sex ed videos. Obie Benz's witty, fast-paced documentary was a Grand Jury Prize nominee at the 1989 Sundance Film Festival.


The Atomic Cafe (1982) A chilling and often hilarious reminder of Cold War-era paranoia in the United States, this film artfully compiles newsreel footage, government archives, military training films and 1950s music into a singular cinematic experience. Also covered are Washington's Communist witch hunt, the historic trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and the sagely prophetic comments of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.



Affluenza (1997) This tongue-in-cheek in style, sharp-edged social commentary produced for PBS takes an in-depth look at the social effects of America's love affair with materialism and boundless consumption of resources. Hosted by NPR's Scott Simon,
Affluenza examines the high price of the high life.
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