Although Eon Productions is following tradition by keeping information close to the vest, several reliable sources indicate that the next James Bond film is back on track, with a planned release for the pivotal year of 2012, which marks the 50th anniversary of the movie series. Kate Winslet recently acknowledged that she is moving back to London so that Sam Mendes can be near their children while he directs the new 007 pic at Pinewood Studios. Longtime Bond composer David Arnold has also recently said that plans are moving forward. Sources say Daniel Craig will coordinate his seemingly endless film projects to accomodate the project. Bond producer Barbara Broccoli has been visiting actor Russell Beale at his London production of Death Trap. Beale is a favorite of Mendes and has indicated his enthusiasm for playing a Bond baddie. For more click here
We apologize for getting the word on this out too late to catch the premiere broadcast, but TCM is showing a new Clint Eastwood documentary about jazz great Dave Brubeck this month. Click here for story - and check TCM schedule for next screening.
Everyone remembers where they were on days of historic importance, especially if there is an element of tragedy involved. On December 8 1980, I was heading off to work and pulled my car over to buy a newspaper at a local shop. When I got back in, I turned on Howard Stern, who was then a star-on-the-rise on New York AM radio. Stern's off-the-wall humor was cutting edge at the time and his antics made my lousy morning commute tolerable. When I turned on the radio, Stern was in the middle of discussing John Lennon's murder. "This is crossing the line", I thought, feeling that Stern was making one of his usual sick jokes. I suddenly realized, however, that this was a rare occasion when the shock jock was playing it straight. The idea that someone might murder John Lennon was so mind-boggling that I couldn't think of anything else- in fact no one could. The term "loss of innocence" has been so overused that it long ago became a cornball phrase employed to describe every tragic event. However, with the death of Lennon it seemed approrpriate. Like just about everyone on the planet, my mind drifted back to all the wonderful moments in my life that his music seemed a part of: buying my first record as a kid (it was a 45 rpm of I Feel Fine by The Beatles), having my dad take me to see A Hard Day's Night at the Loews Theatre in Jersey City- and not being able to hear any dialoguge because of the girls screaming every time there was a close up of one of the Fab Four, and so many other great memories. Doubtless, so many people felt the same way, which is why tonight, fans from around the world will congregate at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park across from Lennon's home, the Dakota.
Making this anniversary of his death so poignant is the fact that Rolling Stone reporter Jonathan Cott, who conducted the last interview with Lennon just days before his murder, has unearthed the original interview tapes and they are being published this week. Only snippets of the interview were originally used because the issue it was supposed to run in was largely devoted to his life and legacy. Cott forgot he had possession of the original tapes until he came across them while cleaning out his closet. In one portion of the interview, Lennon eeriely says he'd be more interesting if he was dead, but being a icon who dies young was an idea that appalled him. For more click here
Cinema Retro's seventh year of publishing has officially started now that issue #19 is shipping to UK and European subscribers. Subscribers in North America and other parts of the world will get their issues shortly after the new year, once the issues arrive from England.
Thanks to everyone who has subscribed or renewed their subscriptions. If you have not done so, please do so today. Every issue is a limited edition collector's item, so don't delay and end up missing any issues of the new season.
Issue #19 is truly one of our best to date. Consider these highlights:
We celebrate the Blu-ray release of The Exorcist with Matthew R. Bradley and Gilbert Colon's in-depth interview with author William Peter Blatty, who discusses some fascinating aspects about the making of the classic movie. There's also an abundance of facts and rare photos including a cover photo that is bound to give you the creeps.
Todd Garbarini has an exclusive interview with the original cougar, Angie Dickinson, who discusses Roger Vadim's quirky sex comedy/murder mystery Pretty Maids All in a Row, with Rock Hudson as a horndog high school counselor- who might also be a serial killer.
Lee Pfeiffer celebrates the 45th anniversary of the film version of The Sound of Music by visiting the famed Von Trapp Lodge in Vermont, where he met with Johannes Von Trapp, son of Captain and Maria.
Steve Saragossi presents an in-depth look at the career of an under-rated leading man of 60s and 70s cinema: Rod Taylor.
In part two of Matthew Field's interview with Lewis Gilbert, the famed director looks back on his "personal" films including the classic Alfie.
Dave Worrall takes you behind the scenes at the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 auction in London
Tim Greaves examines the off-beat 60s sex comedy Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush
Phil Gavin looks back on the history of classic Hammer horror film posters.
John Surles recalls his meeting with actor/singer Jimmy Dean and his role as Willard Whyte in Diamonds Are Forever.
Famed character actor Shane Rimmer's new autobiography
S.O.S Film Industry - Gary McMahon culls comments from famed filmmakers who take issue with the direction of today's motion picture industry.
Adrian Smith covers Brian Clemens, director of many classic episodes of The Avengers, at his BFI tribute in London.
Matthew Field covers Sean Connery's appearance at the Edinburgh International Film Festival and gets to meet the Great Scot, who introduced a screening of The Man Who Would Be King.
More on the world of 007 in this Bond-heavy issue: Gareth Owen and Dave Worrall spend a day with director Guy Hamilton and accompany him to an outdoor London screening of Goldfinger.
Raymond Benson provides us with his choices of the ten best films of 1978.
Darren Allison covers the latest soundtracks on CD
Plus extensive DVD and film book reviews
TO SUBSCRIBE FOR SEASON #7 (ISSUES #19, 20 AND 21), CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION.
Director and actor
Lamont Johnson passed away in October at age 88. Every obituary I have read
leads with the sentence "Emmy- winning director..." and he did
do marvelous work on episodic TV (The Twilight Zone), "Movies of the Week" (That Certain Summer) and mini-series (Lincoln). On a personal level, I will always remember him as one the best, most underrated
directors of the 70s. One of his films- The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972) stars George Peppard -who has never been
better- as a ruthless government investigator in the first,
and, imho, best of the classic conspiracy thrillers
from the 70s (All The President'sMen, The Parallax View, Three Days of the Condor, Executive Action). Like much of Johnson's best
television work, complex political, moral and ethical issues are weaved into an
engrossing melodrama. Unlike the other fine films mentioned , there
is real pathos here. One cannot help but feel an emotional connection
to Michael Sarrazin and Christine Belford as they
struggle to make sense of their shattered lives. The final confrontation
between Sarrazin and Peppard in a deserted security complex is absolutely
mesmerizing, and will leave you breathless. The Groundstar
Conspiracy was not a box-office
hit, but it did receive considerable critical acclaim. When
it made its network television premiere,
TV Guide promoted it with a "Close-up" review -
an honor reserved only for the most prestigious motion pictures. A true
suspense classic, it deserves to be rediscovered by future generations of film
French poster for The McKenzie Break
Another 70s thriller worth seeking out is The McKenzie Break (1970) starring Brian Keith. Keith plays a
Irish/British officer tasked with preventing German soldiers from escaping an Allied POW camp in Scotland (!) This one of the most
intriguing WWII films ever made. A classic battle of wits combined with
exciting action, this dynamic film, like Groundstar, has an unforgettable climax.
For the Cinema Retro
family, the passing of Mr. Johnson is especially poignant. A fan of old
-time radio, I am a regular listener to Greg Bell's satellite radio program Radio Classics on Sirius/XM. One evening, whilst listening
to an episode of Tarzan, Mr. Bell
informed his audience that Tarzan was voiced by none other than Lamont
Johnson. Thrilled by this news, I proposed an article featuring
an interview with Mr. Johnson, to CR. editor-in-chief Lee Pfeiffer.
Lee was supportive of the idea and encouraged me to begin preparation.
I tried as hard as I could to reach Mr. Johnson over the summer but
to no avail. I will always regret the missed opportunity.
In the meantime, I recommend visiting the Archive of American Television web site where
you can access a lengthy interview conducted with Lamont Johnson about his
outstanding work in the medium.