Tuesday, 27 November 2012

From Russia With Love

For anyone not yet fifty – I doubt you can fully imagine the thrill of a new Bond movie. There are now fifty films in the franchise, the latest being Skyfall (in case you didn’t notice the hype) and I can imagine that the first films might seem like museum pieces to youngsters today. But when I was a teenager the films were quite simply thrilling! And so were the books. 

The first Bond film I saw was From Russia With Love. It was the second film made and it starred Sean Connery. The story centres on a plot by SMERSH the Soviet counter-intelligence agency, to assassinate Bond in such a way as to discredit both him and British Intelligence. As bait for the plot, the Russians use a beautiful cipher clerk and the Spektor, a Soviet decoding machine. Much of the action takes place in Istanbul and on the Orient Express.
The film was released in 1963 and I was fifteen. I saw it with my best friend and his girlfriend, and a girl who wanted to be my girlfriend. But, as I remember it, I wasn’t very keen. It had been snowing and it was cold. I remember wearing my new coat. And I remember the intoxicating smell of the cavernous, art deco Odeon cinema. The film was exciting, moody and, with its seduction scene, quite sexy to a fifteen year old. Innovative too – with its MI5 gadgets. It had all the ingredients for future Bond films.

I loved the books too. From Russia With Love is probably still my favourite. It was the fifth in the series, published in 1957. I can’t remember if it was the first I read – nor if I read it before I saw the film or after. I do remember reading (or re-reading) the whole series when I should have been studying for my exams. Ian Fleming was a very good writer, with pace and an eye for detail.  And modern thriller writers would do well to study his technique.

Writing this has made me hanker to read the book and see the film again. And of course the reason I wrote this piece is that I’ve just seen Skyfall, one of the best Bond films I think, with its nod to its past. You probably had to be over fifty if, when, at the end of the film as the familiar Bond theme music was finally used, you found yourself wiping away a small tear from the corner of your eye.

. . . aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Pampered Punctuations from Punctilious Popinjays

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"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
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George Orwell
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aNOtHEr qUOtE fRoM ThE mAGpIEs.




Saturday, 10 November 2012

It's Only A Word, Will!

Kyphotic.

Adj. 1. kyphotic - characteristic of or suffering from kyphosis, an abnormality of the vertebral column
unfit - not in good physical or mental condition; out of condition; "fat and very unfit"; "certified as unfit for army service"; "drunk and unfit for service"


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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Feast of Posters

 
 
A beautifully drawn picture from a poster of the last century. Created at a time when music hall artists were having a rough time of it. I like this period. I like the bawdy type hmour, the working class honesty of the shows but more than that the posters with which  they used to advertise all manner of things...
 
 
 
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aNOtHEr dIp INtO ThE mAGpIE mEMOrY pOOoL.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

jbkrost


It says this on jbkrost’s blog profile:

Gender
Male
Location
Introduction
I just stab at the canvas and click at the shutter... sometimes it works out
Interests
Favourite Films
Favourite Music
Favourite Books

I like the fact that for such an accomplished artist, if known only too few, could be so self-deprecating as to say “I just stab at the canvas and click at the shutter... sometimes it works out.” It does though. It works out incredibly well. Of course in the end it all comes down to taste. I man, after all, everything is a question of personal preference but I have to say that this man’s work is very much ‘up my street,’ my ‘cup of tea.’
He seems, oddly enough, to quite like his anonymity choosing to let his art speak for him rather than adopting a Daliesque type vaudeville. His paintings of stretched, ghost like. His figures remind me slightly of Edvard Munch’s work. Having said that I am sure neither artist would agree. There is pain here, discomfort but I am not sure why. Perhaps, like Francis Bacon, he is merely reflecting the world or humanity as he sees it.

I know this though. I like jbkrost’s (yes, all in lower case) work. I would certainly be proud to have it hang from my wall.

 



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aNOtHEr dOlLoP oF OiL oN lIfeS cAnvAs.