October 28, 2013

EDITH HEAD

Google paid tribute today to costume designer, Edith Head, who was born on this day on 1897. Celebrated for her long film career and immortalized in Pixar's Incredibles, Spy Vibers will be familiar with many of her classic designs from these movies: Wings (1927), Beau Geste (1939), Road to Singapore (1940), Holiday Inn (1942), Road to Morocco (1942), Double Indemnity (1944), Road to Utopia (1946), Sorry Young Number 1948), Sunset Blvd. (1950), My Favorite Spy (1951), War of the Worlds (1953), Roman Holiday (1953), Rear Window (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Funny Face (1957), Vertigo (1958), Blue Hawaii (1961), Last of the Secret Agents? (1966), The Swinger (1966), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), Topaz (1969), The Sting (1973), Great Waldo Pepper (1975), Man Who Would Be King (1975). Continues below.

With 35 Oscar nominations (and 8 awards), she is the most celebrated costume designer in Hollywood history. Ms. Head was famous for being photographed in thick glasses, which were in fact blue lenses to help her see how colors would photograph in black and white. In the TV clip below, she talks about working with Audrey Hepburn on Roman Holiday. Stills below are some of her designs for Alfred Hitchcock, including outfits for her friend and favorite leading lady, Grace Kelly. 



Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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.


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 covers, Ian 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

October 26, 2013

IKARIE XB1

Spy Vibers who enjoyed dancing in the Raumpatrouille Orion lounge yesterday should also check out Ikarie XB1. Produced in Czechoslovakia in 1963, this cult classic was adapted from The Magellanic Cloud by Stanislav Lem (Solaris) about the space-faring adventures of a colony ship. The film's production design, based on geometric white patterns over deep blacks, was a direct influence on the later Raumpatrouille. The film even included a lounge scene with "futuristic" dance moves. And like Lem's Solaris, the film shares aesthetics and pacing with 2001 A Space Odyssey Ikarie XB1 was released for the English-speaking market as Voyage to the End of the Universe in a slightly re-cut form. PAL DVD available on Amazon here. You can watch the film (no English subtitles) streaming on Archive.org here. In-depth discussions on DVDTalk here and Teleport City here. Thanks to agent Mark Hodgson at Black Hole Reviews for the heads up!


Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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.


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

October 25, 2013

SPACE LOUNGE

Enjoy your weekend, Spy Vibers! Put the ship on autopilot and spend time in the Astro Lounge and recharge the batteries. I had a busy week teaching and plan to spend a couple of days listening to records and working on my Miki Zero novel. Stylish decor below from the German Sci-Fi program Raumpatrouille Orion (1966). This cult classic included art direction by Rolf Zehetbauer (Cabaret, Odessa File, Brass Target), and score by Peter Thomas (Der Kommissar, Fists of Fury). The dance scene below never loses its charm!



Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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

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

October 23, 2013

BRAUN DESIGN

Some of my agents have been looking at stylish stereos from the 1960s and it's difficult to top the designs made for Braun by Dieter Rams. Here is post with images I took at his SFMOMA exhibit. 

If your secret lair or bachelor pad has a modernist vibe, employing minimal Ikea shelving systems or Apple computer products, your environment owes a lot to German industrial designer, Dieter Rams. Rams, who is recently retired, was the visionary behind decades of sleek and functional gadgets produced by Braun and home organization and furniture by Visoe. If you're like me, you might have grown up in a household filled with Rams-designed clocks, coffee grinders and coffee-makers, juicers, hair dryers, and electric razors. Rams also designed cameras, and my favorite, a long line of stereo components and speakers. The philosophy that tied his work together was the notion that objects should be created to be instantly understood and useful. His pieces had a beautiful simplicity and functionality that were a direct inspiration for Apple products. In his foreword to a new book about Rams, Apple designer Jonathan Ive said, “surfaces that were without apology, bold, pure, perfectly-proportioned, coherent and effortless. No part appeared to be either hidden or celebrated, just perfectly considered and completely appropriate in the hierarchy of the product’s details and features. At a glance, you knew exactly what it was and exactly how to use it (Examiner)."



The exhibit, Less is More: The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, ran at SFMOMA from Aug 2011 through Feb 2012. From SFMOMA: "Widely regarded as one of the most influential industrial designers of our time, Dieter Rams produced iconic works and innovative ideas (in particular his advocacy for "less but better" design) that have proved seminal for our contemporary design culture. For more than 40 years, Rams was the lead designer for the German household appliance company Braun. He has also been the active designer for German furniture company Vitsœ since his start there in 1959. This exhibition includes more than 200 models and objects by Rams and his team, as well as contemporary designs influenced by his Ten Principles of Good Design, such as Apple computers."

Here are some preview images I made at the museum to share with Spy Vibers. The piece that excited me most was his 1956 record player, the SK4 (image #6 below). When the original sheet metal hood rattled at higher volumes, Rams suggested using a transparent plastic lid- a material that only recently had appeared on the market. Detractors thought the plastic hood was too much in line with temporary fashion (see Spy Vibe's article Fear and Fashion), and the SK4 was nicknamed "Snow White's Coffin". Of course, the clear cover became ubiquitous around the world and changed the look of turntables forever. To learn more, check out the books, Dieter Rams: As Little Design as PossibleLess and More: The Design Ethos of Dieter RamsBraun- Fifty Years of Design and Innovation. There is also a short video presentation with Rams at SFMOMA on Vimeo. Portrait above from the nice overview post, Who is Dieter Rams?


October 22, 2013

LOST AVENGERS TRAILER RELEASED

Dr. Keel, we're needed! Long before Avenger John Steed was partnered with Emma Peel and Cathy Gale (played by Diana Rigg and Honor Blackman- both left the series to do James Bond films), he was the shadowy partner of Dr. David Keel (played by Ian Hendry). Although some of those early programs have been released, many remain missing. Fans of Doctor Who may be familiar with the syndrome, as it was once common practice to wipe studio tapes. Much of early television in the UK was shot on video and remains lost forever. If only they knew about the future of syndication, home video release, and streaming content back then. Big Finish Productions has been filling the gaps by producing outstanding audio adaptations of early Doctor Who shows. Recently the company set their sights on lost episodes of The Avengers. Big Finish has just released a trailer for their upcoming Volume 1 set!


Big Finish has been working with Studio Canal to resurrect twelve lost episodes of The Avengers from the Keel/Steed era. The audio productions are based on the original scripts and they are releasing three 4-disc sets. From today's press release: "Suave, stylish and out for payback: meet Steed and Keel - The Avengers - in the first trailer for upcoming box set The Lost Episodes: Volume 1Coming in January 2014, The Avengers - The Lost Episodes: Volume 1 begins Big Finish's recreation of the first series of Avengers episodes which were wiped after this original Sixties transmission. Little remains of this opening run, but working from the original scripts, these stories are brought to life once again on audio."

"Starring Anthony Howell (Foyle's War) and Julian Wadham (The English Patient) as Keel and Steed, the first box set contains the stories Hot Snow, Brought to Book, Square Root of Evil and One for the Mortuary recreated as full cast dramas, with guest stars including Colin Baker and Sophie Aldred (Doctor Who), Tim Bentinck (The Archers), Blake Ritson (Da Vinci's Demons) and Terry Molloy (The Archers and Doctor Who's Davros)."

The box set will be available as a CD and download in January 2014 and can be pre-ordered now. More info at Big Finish here.


Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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

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

October 20, 2013

I'M BEDAZZLED

Spy Vibe takes you behind the scenes of one our favorite films, Bedazzled (1967). Built on the satirical comedy of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, the film offered Stanley Donen (Charade, Arabesque) a chance to bring the classic Faustian tale to Swinging London. Pete and Dudley had spent years crafting characters and razor timing in their troupe, Beyond the Fringe, and their television show, Not Only But Also. Bedazzled also stars Eleanor Bron (Help!, Alfie) and includes a memorable appearance by Rachel Welch as Sin. More in our post UK Satire Boom and Stanley Donen


Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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

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

October 19, 2013

BATMAN IN SWINGING LONDON

Cartoon Saturday: The new Batman '66 comic series from DC is taking the Dynamic Duo to Swinging London! Based on the 1966 TV series with Adam West, the new comics capture the Pop Art flair and fun for a new generation. In issue #4 (Oct 16th): "Batman and Robin head to 1960s London to take on The Mad Hatter! When the Caped Crusader hears that hats are being stolen from England's famous Beefeaters, he knows it can only be the work of Jervis Tetch. But something's also amiss at Big Ben. Could the Clock King be up to his old tricks?" Mad Hatters on television have been played by David Wayne, Ted Knight, and Roddy McDowall. From Bat-Mania: "Jervis Tetch aka the Mad Hatter has an incredible obsession for hats, his crimes involve him stealing hats to add to his collection, his biggest prize of all would be Batman's cowl. In his first caper he kidnaps the jury who convicted him previously and of course steals their hats. When he returns in the second season, he is still after Batman's cowl and revenge against him. He also uses radiation to turn the Batman cowl pink (pictured below). Oh yes, you better watch out for his mesmerizer which pops out of his tricky hat!" Original DC comic art by Jonathan Case for sale here. Stills below are from Bat-Mania here




Recent Spy Vibe posts: Steranko S.H.I.E.L.D. Artist Editions, David Tennant's Ian Fleming audio books, The Prisoner & Captain ScarletHMV returns to Oxford st w Beatles promo, Diego Fortunato & Verner Panton,  Saturday Morning CartoonsAssassination Bureau on DVD, new Young Bond series,  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

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

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