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Topic: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

My recipe for a Bond film renaissance:

1) Find an actor who resembles and can mimic Sean Connery. Connery’s portrayal is so iconographic and foundational that it is similar to Peter Seller’s portrayal of Inspector Clouseau. No one can play Clouseau like he did. The same goes for Bond, in that Connery stamped on screen what a screen Bond should be like. All the other Bonds after him apart from perhaps Lazenby and Dalton (in some aspects) seem bland.

2) For non-action scenes, revert back to the camera style used up until TLD. This slower, more definite and leisurely style, using a colour process that balances the full range of colours in such a way so as not to emphasis the blue and green colour spectrums (like modern films tend to do) made the look of a Bond film glamorous, languid and luxurious.

3) For action and fight scenes, revert back to the editing used in OHMSS. I don’t think this needs much explanation.

4) Dress Bond in clothes that don’t look too small on him. They should not hide his physique but neither should they make him look like he is about to burst out of his suits.

5) Re-introduce the kind of car (etc.) chases used in OHMSS, DAF and LLD. Let’s get away from the almost pedestrian (no pun intended) chases used in the Bourne films etc. More multiple cars, boats and skiers need to be chasing Bond (and these need to be shot in a visually clear way—no shaky cameras nor too fast and confusing editing etc.

6) Bring back David Arnold to do the musical scores. But ask him to make them more closely resemble John Barry’s style. The Bond music has to be more than just “action” music. It also needs the full range of musical instruments that Barry used: flute, saxophone, harp, bongos etc.

Some might say this is too retrograde an approach, but I view the Bond cinematic world as timeless, and existing in a parallel aesthetic universe, similar to how some view Shakespeare’s plays.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Hiring an actor to mimic Connery would be a huge mistake. Connery was fantastic as Bond, but Bond actors must find their own interpretation of Bond. Beethoven didn't become a wonderful composer by mimicing Mozart. Bond actors must be physically and mentally prepared to play Bond, read Fleming and make Bond their own. The only time an actor should mimic Sean Connery is if he plays Sean Connery, not James Bond, in a movie.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

I see your point, but I don’t think the analogy to Beethoven is altogether accurate. Beethoven wasn’t an actor hired to play a character that has set the standard for all other actors who follow him. I don’t see the role of Bond as being to let actors “do their thing”. They need to follow as much as possible the foundational template that Connery created for the role.

There have been many actors who have played Inspector Clouseau over the years, and all (with various levels of success or failure) have tried to keep the essentials of the character intact. That is all that I am asking of a Bond actor.

One could say that Connery’s portrayal of Bond is not the “character” but a portrayal of the character as Connery saw it. I agree. But he has stamped so much of himself onto that portrayal that it has now become so much of the character—in the films, anyway.

When I look at the other Bond actors, I feel that they are “impostors”—like the “Bonds” in the 1967 spoof version of Casino Royal. The closest actor to the Bond in the novels is Timothy Dalton, in appearance, manner and temperament; at least he was in TLD. But he is not a “filmic” Bond, and so looked out of his depth in a filmic context.

Lazenby tried to mimic Connery to an extent, and to that extent he succeeded. Moore and Brosnan didn’t try. And Craig seems to be basing his portrayal on Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen, with a bit of Red Grant thrown in.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

I agree the Mozart/Beetoven analogy wasn't the best. There are other comparisons that may work better. Should all Robin Hood actors mimic Douglas Fairbanks? Should all actors playing Sherlock Holmes mimic Basil Rathbone till they stop making Holmes movies? I could give examples till the cows come home, but no comparison is perfect. I still think they illustrate how wrong the idea of mimicing Connery is.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

You make a good point, but I think Bond is different because the impact of Connery’s portrayal far outreached the cultural phenomenon that Fairbanks’s and Rathbone’s portrayal of Hood and Holmes had in their day. Many have said that James Bond films in the 1960s were equivalent to The Beatles as a cultural phenomenon. Bond mania at the time was almost equal to that of The Beatles. I don’t think there was an equivalent mania for Hood and Holmes in the 1930s and 1940s.

So from this perspective, I think we need to make an expectation for Connery’s Bond. I should make clear that a carbon copy imitation of Connery’s portrayal might not be desirable, but at least an approximation of it (or homage to it) should be considered.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

It could also be argued that the Beatles was a thing of the 1960's and would not have had that inpact in that form in any other decade.
I have no problem with performances inspired by or reminiscent of Connery, but mimicing is too restrictive and several steps too far.

Last edited by Number24 (31st Jul 2016 18:00)

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Yes, mimic was too strong a word. Homage is a better one.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

I have no problem with subtle homages. What you first wrote was an extremely bad idea, a subtle influence is fine. An example is the way Craig walks in the PTS of SPECTRE - several people said it reminded them of Connery.

Last edited by Number24 (1st Aug 2016 14:56)

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

osris wrote:

6) Bring back David Arnold to do the musical scores.

Whereas this is an extremely GOOD idea.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Barbel wrote:

Whereas this is an extremely GOOD idea.

I don't know why they got rid of him. Or why the got rid of Barry for that matter. That was the biggest mistake of the franchise.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

osris wrote:
Barbel wrote:

Whereas this is an extremely GOOD idea.

I don't know why they got rid of him. Or why the got rid of Barry for that matter. That was the biggest mistake of the franchise.

They got rid of Barry because he demanded too much money. They got rid of Arnold because Mendes wanted to bring in his own guy.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Matt S wrote:

They got rid of Barry because he demanded too much money.

Not entirely, although certainly money was involved.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Barbel wrote:
Matt S wrote:

They got rid of Barry because he demanded too much money.

Not entirely, although certainly money was involved.

Wasn't he willing to do GoldenEye for £1,000,000, or something like that, and they wouldn't pay him?

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Has to be Arnold these days,  Barry's and Arnolds style just seem right. Arnold definitely utilises Barry in his scores, I'm not sure anyone else has that bond feel, I heard hans Zimmer mentioned and although I like some of his work they tend to be very similar, I can't tell if it's batman or davinci code I'm listening to half the time???

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Chriscoop wrote:

Has to be Arnold these days,  Barry's and Arnolds style just seem right. Arnold definitely utilises Barry in his scores, I'm not sure anyone else has that bond feel, I heard hans Zimmer mentioned and although I like some of his work they tend to be very similar, I can't tell if it's batman or davinci code I'm listening to half the time???

Most of Hans Zimmers works sounds very similar. Sometimes he even uses the same melodies in unrelated films (like in Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean). Hans Zimmer would be more of Thomas Newman's style. Newman sounded like he was using Zimmer as his template for Bond action music. Zimmer would probably come up with something even worse than Newman. We need someone who can write a more colourful score like Barry could and Arnold can. From Arnold's generation there are Alexandre Desplat and Michael Giacchino, both of whom would probably be too expensive for Bond. Desplat probably wouldn't even want to do it if he was asked. That leaves Arnold as the only choice for Bond.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Didn't giacchino do a mission impossible score? I think I have his version of that somewhere ajb007/confused
Newmans Sf score track when bond is holding on under the elevator is pure zimmerman sounds just like a batman cue.

It's one of the reasons I've never bought a full zimmerman soundtrack, I just pick the pieces I particularly like,  on shuffle they fit seamlessly,  the same with Sf and SP soundtracks.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Chriscoop wrote:

Didn't giacchino do a mission impossible score? I think I have his version of that somewhere ajb007/confused
Newmans Sf score track when bond is holding on under the elevator is pure zimmerman sounds just like a batman cue.

Yeah, Giacchino did the Mission: Impossible III score. I don't remember it too well, but I'll have a listen. I'm sure a Bond score from him would be similar, unless he goes for the 60s Barry sound he did for The Incredibles. He's one of the best film score composers alive today, and better than David Arnold (who is still fantastic), but as we know the Bond producers never aim for the top.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Indeed, I've always assumed Newman came with Mendes?
I have giacchinos mi 3 soundtrack, I've just looked,  he does the best mi theme version IMHO. I quite like some of Howard shores work, but I think he'd struggle with a bond theme, I'd be hearing middle earth cues I'm sure. Arnold is invested in bond, his recent live shows at the royal Albert Hall were fantastic and I loved his modern take on some classics on his shaken and stirred album. It has to be Arnold.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Matt S wrote:
Barbel wrote:
Matt S wrote:

They got rid of Barry because he demanded too much money.

Not entirely, although certainly money was involved.

Wasn't he willing to do GoldenEye for £1,000,000, or something like that, and they wouldn't pay him?

They couldn't come to terms on a few points, including money as you say but also rights (record labels were involved) and writing the title song. This was actually for TND, since he was ill during GE.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Chriscoop wrote:

Indeed, I've always assumed Newman came with Mendes?

Yes, that's right.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Barbel wrote:
Matt S wrote:
Barbel wrote:

Not entirely, although certainly money was involved.

Wasn't he willing to do GoldenEye for £1,000,000, or something like that, and they wouldn't pay him?

They couldn't come to terms on a few points, including money as you say but also rights (record labels were involved) and writing the title song.

A shame as Barry was/is the sound of Bond.

It was either that.....or the priesthood

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Matt S wrote:
Barbel wrote:
Matt S wrote:

They got rid of Barry because he demanded too much money.

Not entirely, although certainly money was involved.

Wasn't he willing to do GoldenEye for £1,000,000, or something like that, and they wouldn't pay him?

I'd read that John Barry was offered TOMORROW NEVER DIES. He was tempted to do it but pulled out when he learned he wasn't required to write a title song. Money may also have been an issue but I think it was the artistic element that was the deal-breaker. He'd previously said the whole score for a Bond film comes from the title song, to give the whole thing a unity. GOLDFINGER was the film he cited as a perfect example of this approach. It makes sense but the record company appeared to think differently on this occasion.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Yes, that's right enough. When Barry was obliged to skip LTK owing to his suffering a ruptured oesophagus, record company mergers and politics caused the title song and the score to be handled separately. This became accepted practice (as in GE), unfortunately, and Arnold had to compete to get his title songs used, a battle he lost (TND, QOS) as often as he won (TWINE, CR).

(You might be amused by the second last entry in post 1 of http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/45888/ima … ne-calls/)

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

Barbel wrote:

Yes, that's right enough. When Barry was obliged to skip LTK owing to his suffering a ruptured oesophagus, record company mergers and politics caused the title song and the score to be handled separately. This became accepted practice (as in GE), unfortunately, and Arnold had to compete to get his title songs used, a battle he lost (TND, QOS) as often as he won (TWINE, CR).

(You might be amused by the second last entry in post 1 of http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/45888/ima … ne-calls/)

Splendid stuff! I must have missed that thread first time round.

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Re: My recipe for a Bond film renaissance

ajb007/biggrin