July 26, 2011
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
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
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
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
Tom & Jerry's The Mouse From H.U.N.G.E.R.
Amazon page here. Review at DVDtalk here.
July 19, 2011
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
July 17, 2011
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
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"
July 14, 2011
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:
• 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)
• 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
• 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
July 11, 2011
July 8, 2011
July 7, 2011
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
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.