September 30, 2013

MAD FOR MONDRIAN

Mad for Mondrian on Spy Vibe. Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), is celebrated for his post-1920 theories regarding pure color, flat forms, and dynamic tension. His work inspired fashion by Yves Saint Laurent and pop minimalism in the 1960s. His legacy continues as new designers pay homage to his ideas. Below are some fab examples of geometric color designs pre and post Mondrian: ad for david Peyser fashion, maquette of Schroder House by Gerrit Rietvelt, Mondrain dresses by Yves Saint Laurent, Mondrian's Composition II w red and blue, Simplicity patterns, Flint movie design, White Stripes album cover.



Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletPeter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 29, 2013

THE PRISONER & CAPTAIN SCARLET ANNIVERSARY

It was on this day in 1967 that two groundbreaking programs made their debut: Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner and Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. If mystery/adventure of the early-to-mid-1960s captured the youthful energy of a new jet-setting generation, these two programs marked a growing sense of consequences and uncertainty for agents of the space-age.


McGoohan's Danger Man had been on the air since September, 1960. His stories often exposed the darker sacrifices deemed necessary to protect the common good. His John Drake, though slightly insubordinate, presented the image of a man who could recognize -but look beyond- the distasteful consequences of his job in order to carry out his duties. As a viewer, I felt this sense of distaste rose to a boiling point that finally exploded in his next project, The Prisoner (1967-1968). McGoohan's character in The Prisoner, now an unnamed spy, has resigned his job on a matter of principle. He has been kidnapped and placed in a remote village, where he undergoes constant psychological torture to determine why he resigned and whether he will spill his secrets. Capturing a later-60s mistrust of authority, he never knew if his torturers were the enemy or his own people (or indeed, his own mind). Known as Number 6 in the Village, McGoohan's spy established the theme of individual freedom at the beginning of each episode, proclaiming, "I am not a number. I am a free man." There was a 2010 mini-series based on The Prisoner, starring Ian McKellen. Although it didn't quite measure up to the original, the story did a good job bringing the "Village" concept up to date in the form of the complacent, consumeristic communities we see developing around globalization.


Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation programs, high-octane Sci-Spy adventures, had appealed to kids throughout the early 1960s. After establishing himself with inventive programs like Supercar, Fireball XL5, and Stingray, he found international success with Thunderbirds (1965-1966). The show had Anderson's familiar cocktail of futuristic gadgets and intrigue, but now featured blockbuster stories that focused on a network of global rescuers determined to keep the world safe. Like Bond's Thunderball, Thunderbirds was an ambitious large-scale effort by Anderson, which was followed by the inevitable later 1960s tendency to go deeper and darker.


Anderson's next project, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967-1968), began with a team of space explorers discovering a mysterious city of energy. They were excited and filled with wonder, as most Space-Age viewers would have been at the time. But the sense of dark consequences, which began to prevail during the Vietnam War and the Cold War, was destined to set the dramatic conflict for the entire series. In a single act of misunderstanding, the explorers mistook an innocent Mysteron gadget as a weapon and swiftly obliterated the city from the planet. As it turned out, the aliens could re-create any matter that has been destroyed. The city magically returned and the Mysterons vowed to take revenge on humanity for its cruel nature. The program was a much more violent affair. Even the hero, Captain Scarlet, began the series as an alien-constructed double agent assigned to assassinate the world's president. There was even a devastating suicide-bomber scene in the pilot. Once Scarlet was killed, he was able to regenerate and escape alien control. This established the arc of each episode, where the hero ultimately experienced a brutal death and resurrection. His colleague, Captain Black (below), remained a rogue killer-agent for the enemy. Children's programming? Dark times indeed!


If these two programs illustrated transitions in the popular imagination, the trend seemed to take an odd turn by the following year. In a visit to the 1968 Exhibit in Oakland, I was struck by the odd juxtaposition of truly violent historical experiences in the news, public anxiety and protest, and the strange effort of mainstream TV to create a lulling oasis with shows like Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, and I Dream of Jeanie. Filmmakers had more liberty to present subversive material, creating films like Easy Rider, The Monkees Head, and Night of the Living Dead. The Prisoner and Captain Scarlet illustrated a culture trying to cope with the circumstances of the times within a mainstream medium. Whether it was questioning freedom and individuality, or consequences and culpability, these programs stand the test of time because they weren't afraid to ask questions and to frame them in ways that evoked excitement and real empathy. Happy anniversary to The Prisoner and Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons.


Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 28, 2013

JAMES BOND INTERVIEW

Author William Boyd published an "interview" with James Bond in The Guardian yesterday. 007 fans will enjoy Boyd's tone and the many references from Fleming's original novels. This brief scene is a good example of how Boyd weaves in Bond's personality and background: "The vongole arrived and a half-litre carafe of valpolicella that Bond had ordered. Carmencita tried to sprinkle my vongole with grated parmesan but Bond wouldn't let her. "Not on a vongole," Bond explained. "And that parmesan was probably grated two weeks ago. You might as well shake sawdust on your food. It's got to come straight from the block." "What you eat and drink is very important to you," I observed. "Any fool can eat badly," Bond said. "We have to eat to live. You might as well take some trouble over what goes down your throat." The vongole was excellent – as was the valpolicella, young and fruity. I had one glass – Bond coped with the rest. "If you eat and drink well," Bond went on, warming to his theme, "then, for a moment, you have the illusion that life is good and the world is on its proper course. And we're all entitled to an illusion from time to time." It made a kind of sense, I thought, not bad for a diurnal philosophy." Read the whole interview here

William Boyd's new James Bond novel Solo is out now in the UK. It will be released in the US on October 8th. The author below at the Solo book launch, complete with vintage Jensen, lovely flight attendant, and a clear briefcase containing a rare signed first edition destined for one of seven points around the globe.


Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 27, 2013

ROGER MOORE: THE SAINT INTERVIEW

Take a trip back in time with Roger Moore in his Volvo P1800 and hear about his career and experiences making The Saint. It's a wonderful 13-minute 1960s interview from the French TV archives (in English), where they even ask Moore to sing and to draw a caricature. Link here. Thanks to agent Thierry for putting this on our radar! Images below: publicity photo with Roger Moore, vintage P1800 from the Volvo Museum.


Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour,Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns


Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 26, 2013

DAVID TENNANT CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

Out today! Amidst the excitement of today's launch of the new 007 novel by William Boyd, another important Ian Fleming creation has been released. Actor David Tennant (Doctor Who, Spies of Warsaw) has narrated a new audio book edition of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Fleming's novel about a family with a sports car that has special abilities and gadgets. You can download the unabridged book from AudioGo and Amazon in the UK (Audible in the US), and a CD version of the book is available through Amazon (UK and US). David Tennant gave an absolutely charming 8-minute bonus interview with Lucy Fleming about the project last year, where he discussed Fleming's original book, the 1968 film adaptation, and his own fantasies regarding magical cars and special super powers! They also talk about the new novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, which doesn't seem to be available as an audio book yet. Continues below. (nice shirt, David!)


As many Spy Vibers will remember, David Tennant took part in a recent Ian Fleming audio book series as a reader for On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Volume one of the series was released as a CD box set last year (US and UK). The remaining stories have now been recorded and released and the Volume 2 box set will be available October 24th. Lucy Fleming herself reads 007 in New York! More info at the Ian Fleming website here. In the meantime, enjoy this fun Chitty Chitty Bang Bang interview with David Tennant below.


Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour,Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 25, 2013

NIHON SURF

Fans of Vic Flick, Dick Dale, Man Or Astro-Man, and surf guitar music should cast an eye eastward toward Japan's Takeshi Terauchi. Terauchi (Terry) began his career in a Japanese Country and Western band called Jimmy Tokita and the Mountain Playboys. Catching the modern wave in the 1960s, he achieved success with his bands The Bunnys and the Blue Jeans. He even found his way to the big screen in Campus A-Go-Go in 1965. Takeshi Terauchi and the Blue Jeans are still picking. Their last release was Mr. Legend in 2008. Cover below from a 2011 Big Beat compilation. Full discography here.


Below is a 1960s track by Takeshi Terauchi named after the famous Kabuki play, Kanjincho. The original story tells the tale of Yoshitsune's escape through enemy territory. Disguised as a lowly porter, Yoshitsune allowed his warrior vassal, Benkei, to beat him in order to throw the border guards of the scent. Terauchi does a nice job setting the Kabuki tone with a vocal "Yo!" at the start of the track. The 1960s were an interesting time for reappropriating classic idioms for use in modern forms. We saw this in Pop Art in the West, and musicians like Terauchi, Joji Yuasa, and Toshi Ichiyanagi (Yoko Ono's first husband) were well known in Japan for redefining traditional themes in their various experiments. Terauchi is followed below by the fabulous Ensemble Nipponia's traditional version of Kanjincho. The track is from one of my desert island albums, Kabuki and Other Traditional Music (Nonsuch/1980). Click to watch on YouTube if videos don't play here. Enjoy!

 

Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Peter AsherGerry Marsden tour,Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

BOND BOOK LAUNCH

James Bond has always been strong on style and the new 007 novel by William Boyd got a very special photo launch today. In an event that included a host of lovely flight attendants, a fleet of vintage Jensen sport cars, and first editions housed in clear briefcases, copies of Solo set out from the Dorchester to points around the globe. The book will be released to us civilians on Thursday (UK) and on Oct 8th (US). I pre-ordered the UK edition and can't wait to dive into Boyd's adventure. Sadly, my copy will not be delivered by one of the attendants below. More info and images at the Ian Fleming site here



Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Peter Asher, Gerry Marsden tour, Elio Petri on Blu-ray, Sophia Loren, new Beatles BBC album, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 24, 2013

GERRY MARSDEN TOUR

Gerry Marsden (Gerry and the Pacemakers) has scheduled a new memoir tour filled with music, images, and stories from his career performing alongside The Beatles and other bands in the 1960s. Gerry and the Pacemakers, like The Beatles, were managed by Brian Epstein and recorded by George Martin at EMI. They released three number one singles in a row, a streak that wasn't broken until the 1980s, and Marsden's chipper vocals and bouncy rhythm guitar epitomized the sound of The British Invasion. Marsden's band became an international sensation with original hits like Ferry Cross the Mersey and Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying, and with inventive interpretations of standards like My BabeSummertimeYou'll Never Walk Alone, and Jumbalaya. The original group disbanded in 1966, the same year The Beatles stopped touring. Gerry Marsden went on to do cabaret and stage work, before reforming the Pacemakers in the 1970s. He re-recorded Ferry Cross the Mersey with Paul McCartney in 1989 for a charity event. Marsden's memoir tour has 37 dates scheduled in the UK between now and the end of 2014. In addition, The Pacemakers kick off a "60s Gold Tour" tomorrow. They will join The Searchers, PJ Proby, and others on stage almost nightly between Sept 25th and Nov 29th. All tour info is available on the official Gerry and the Pacemakers website here

Gerry Marsden was born today in 1942. Happy Birthday, Gerry! Many Happy Returns from Jason at Spy Vibe. Original mono LP below (not in my collection, sadly), followed by his official 2013 video tribute to Liverpool for You'll Never Walk Alone. If the video doesn't play here, you can click to watch it on YouTube. Enjoy!



Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Peter Asher, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address

September 23, 2013

ELIO PETRI BLU-RAY

The Criterion Collection's December lineup will include a rare cult classic by director Elio Petri, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970). Petri was known for exploring challenging themes regarding moral decay in modern society. In his classic The 10th Victim (1965), Petri called attention to the hunger for spectacle in a world that views violence as entertainment. This Sci-Spy tale of gladiators, starring Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress, anticipated the rise of reality TV. As a collector of 10th Victim artifacts, I contributed the poster and still gallery to the Blu-ray edition. In Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, Petri examined moral decay and the abuse of power by the right wing by focusing on the transgressions of a high-ranking police official. In his modern spin on the Fall From Grace archetype, Petri showed how corrupt society can become when it values power and the status quo over individual responsibility. Where The 10th Victim captured the Mod design sensibility of 1965, Investigation drew on the stylish edge of Italian crime films and the avant-garde. Brutal at times, but fascinating. Score by Ennio Morricone. Available December 3rd on Blu-Ray and DVD.


From Criterion: "The provocative Italian filmmaker Elio Petri's most internationally acclaimed work is this remarkable, visceral, Oscar-winning thriller. Petri maintains a tricky balance between absurdity and realism in telling the Kafkaesque tale of a Roman police inspector (Gian Maria Volonté, in a commanding performance) investigating a heinous crime—which he committed himself. Both a penetrating character study and a disturbing commentary on the draconian crackdowns by the Italian government in the late 1960s and early '70s, Petri's kinetic portrait of surreal bureaucracy is a perversely pleasurable rendering of controlled chaos." 


Special Features:
  • New 4K digital restoration by the Film Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Archival interview with director Elio Petri, conducted by critic and filmmaker Alexandre Astruc
  • Elio Petri: Notes About a Filmmaker (2005), a ninety-minute documentary on the director's career, featuring interviews with friends, collaborators, and filmmakers
  • New interview with film scholar Camilla Zamboni
  • Investigation of a Citizen Named Volonté (2008), a fifty-minute documentary about actor Gian Maria Volonté
  • Music in His Blood, an interview with composer Ennio Morricone from 2010, conducted by film critic Fabio Ferzetti
  • Trailers
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Evan Calder Williams and excerpts from a 2001 book by author and screenwriter Ugo Pirro

Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, Japanese fashion model and spy! The creator of Spy Vibe has written a novel called Elevator Girl, inspired by his love of Ian Fleming and based on newly declassified intel from the Cold War. More info at Whiton's website here. Recent Spy Vibe posts: Peter Asher, new Hercule Poirot novel, Beatles fall 2013 releasesA Hard Days Night cinematographer diesMagic Christian on Blu-ray, Early Beatles image archive, Julie NewmarErno GoldfingerHitchcock tribute, Ian Fleming memorial, Emma Peel Megaset returns

Recent Ian Fleming posts on Spy Vibe: Erno GoldfingerIan Fleming Music Series links: Noel CowardWhispering Jack SmithHawaiian GuitarJoe Fingers Carr, new Ian Fleming CatalogJon Gilbert interview, Double 007 Designs, Bond audio book reissues, discovery of one of Ian Fleming's WWII Commandos, James Bond book coversIan Fleming's Playboy interview for Kindle, Spy Vibe's discovery of a rare Ian Fleming serialization, rare View to a Kill, Fleming's Royal gold typewriter, Ian Fleming's memorial address
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...