Designing 007

Having been breast fed on James Bond it was only natural that we should end up back at the Barbican Centre last Friday, ready to celebrate and squeal over ‘Fifty years of Bond Style’.

No doubt aimed completely at my market (the booking site that is), when purchasing our tickets online the night before, there was a ‘special’ on for those interested in a cut-price cocktail at the Martini Bar. If that doesn’t get you thinking about ‘quality’ I don’t know what will.  Ohh, I was so excited, I woke up every hour on the hour, fearing I’d miss my alarm.

So on to the show – first stop, first room – Goldfinger (1964). A huge array of grand stuff filled this exhibition space. You could gaze upon…here’s a teaser…

  • A Gold Record recording of Dame Shirley Bassey’s, title song hit
  • Scaramanga’s golden gun
  • Video footage of a clearly dazzled Roger Moore meeting Lady Diana
  • Dust jacket designs from 1957-1960

And further interesting titbits taken from this room:

Apparently, it took Mr Ian Fleming just eight weeks to produce a novel.  Additionally, they kindly listed several of the authors whom inspired him – including Patrick ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor;  Evelyn Waugh, Graham Green and Somerset Maugham.

Next stop, next room – Q Branch – can it get any better for my 12 year associate…

Teaser time:

  • See a model – good size for teddies and half a small baby – of the Lotus Esprit (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977) – remember that super cool, amphibious vehicle that drives firstly into the water, shoots down a helicopter, takes out a couple of underwater villain assistants and then casually drives up the sand, past a load of heavily bronzed, astonished European folk enjoying a day of leisure.
  • Lend your eyes to time spent viewing the Little Nellie Combat Storyboard (You Only Live Twice, 1967)
  • Take in ‘Rebreather’ (from Thunder Ball) which apparently permitted the user, 4 minutes of oxygen.
  • And I really loved this piece of information – apparently, ’the first digital watch ever seen’, appeared in Live and Let Die.

Another room.  And this is when I became a little more excited than excited, for it was CASINO.

Think fabulous, mirrored and filled to the brim with tailored tuxedos and figure enticing evening wear.

Now for the painful teasing part.

  • Plenty O’Toole’s (Diamonds are Forever)  – dress requires special mention – for not only its excellent breast presentation, though also for its ability to remain stylish without giving off ‘cheap’ signals.
  • Beautiful Vesper Lynd’s (Casino Royale) – I can only explain it as deep purple, stop what you are doing everyone and take a look at how simply stunning I am in this Robert Cavalli evening gown.
  • Major Anya Amasova ’s (The Spy Who Loved Me – think Triple X) – night blue silk jersey dress with Swarovski ‘elements’ adorning the neckline and straps. You know the outfit she heads into the desert in, exceptionally accessorised with clutch and gun, and cigarette stash that she removes from her thigh on the boat ride (back from the desert temple, where Jaws took both Bond and herself on) in a very clever attempt to get the microfilm plans and stop Bond from hitting on her.

Then behind a half wall – miniature space suits from Moonraker (1979).

Ahh and just when you thought you got your monies worth – it’s time for ‘Area 2’

Villains and Enigmas

Though note as you are crossing the hall from ‘Area 1’ to ‘Area 2’ – you receive bonus pleasure from seeing the real swimsuits that Halle Berry, Ursula Andress, Sean Connery and Daniel (ahhh) Craig ever so kindly positioned their bodies into.

Top treats from Area 2

  • Storyboard of the Cuban jungle sequence illustrating the evil deeds of Xenla Onatopp (Remember the very naughty, hot, baddy from Goldeneye). Slightly Manga in appearance, (the illustrations, not Ms Onatopp).
  • Not for the faint hearted – Elektra King’s Torture Chair.
  • Jinx Johnson’s (Halle Berry to you and I) leather cat suit ensemble
  • Octopussy character poster concept

Then onto Area 3 – downstairs in the Pit Theatre

The focus here is on sub-zero action.

Big Screens, Big Action and an abundance of depictions and storyboards illustrating the activity.

Ahhh….Ahhh…Ahhhh…and there’s, Elektra King’s ski suit, from the World is not Enough. A sensational burgundy and fur ensemble.

Note – this room is a lot smaller than the other exhibition spaces, though clearly delivers its business. For you are even furnished with a replica of the Ice Palace (Die Another Day), which is not too dissimilar to the Sydney Opera House, only a lot colder and translucent in construction.

I loved it. I really and honestly loved it.

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A mini recap

As indicated by my previous mini mention, I’ve been firmly embedded in a comprehensive work up to Submission Day.  Joyfully, this day has come and gone (yesterday) and I met it with a 79 page document, 480 hours in the making.

Now, I’m a little less shouty, though only minimally, and about to embark in the particularly fine pastime of reading and relishing novels.

Prior to that however, I’ll provide you with a tiny fill-in on some exciting pursuits I was able to squeeze in during the summer.

Friday, 6 July 2012 – Julius Caesar, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

Here goes at a punchy one liner…

‘Tough and incredibly satisfying’

Or maybe

‘Go see it…I think it’s heading to Aylesbury…’

No…not sufficiently catchy to snatch your attention.

Succinctly then, I hadn’t read or studied the text and wasn’t actually planning to attend until my husband piped up one morning, stating that he’d seen it advertised, it was playing and when were we going.  A little caught off guard, unprepared and placed in the position that I had to admit, I hadn’t ‘thought of it first’, I happily rushed off and secured some of the last seats, back row, so not ideal – though at least we managed to see it.

It was powerful. It was hard work (though good, thoroughly enjoyable, hard work). It was excellently directed.

Cassius and Brutus, you were terrifying.

Mark Antony, I want you on my debating team.

And Portia – you entrancing and intoxicating woman.

It’s not laugh out loud, so don’t expect to roll around clutching your tummy at this one.

However go… (just goggle it, I believe it’s currently at the Noel Coward Theatre, London)…Be astounded with just how incredibly talented these actors are; how cleverly the show has been pieced together and directed; how accomplished the musicians are; how effective the stage design is and how, when Shakespeare is produced by the RSC, even really difficult texts like this one, come alive and you come away knowing how lucky you were that you were in the audience.

I’ll fill you in further tomorrow, as the kitchen calls and Dr Who starts in 1 hour.