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007 completes 50 years of celluloid adventures

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Skyfall , 23rd Bond film, to premiere on October 23

Sean Connery during the making of Never Say Never Again in Nice, France, in 1982. —Photo: AFP
Sean Connery during the making of Never Say Never Again in Nice, France, in 1982. —Photo: AFP

James Bond fans on Friday celebrated 50 years of the suave British spy’s adventures on the silver screen with a day of 007-themed events around the globe.

Bond appeared in a film for the first time in the now classic Dr. No , released on October 5, 1962, introducing himself with the immortal line, ‘The name’s Bond... James Bond’.

The movie franchise has gone on to become one of the most successful in history, with the 22 Bond films taking in more than $5 billion dollars (€3.85 billion).

To mark ‘Global Bond Day’, British diva Adele released the theme song of Skyfall , the 23rd and newest Bond film, on her website, as anticipation built for its global premiere on October 23.

The rugged Daniel Craig is the latest of six actors to play Bond, but some things have stayed the same — his taste for fast cars, beautiful women, high-tech gadgets and vodka Martinis. A collection of cars from the films, including the iconic Aston Martins, were present at Pinewood Studios near London.

An auction of memorabilia at Christie’s in London was another highlight of the day before the action moved to the U.S.

In New York, the Museum of Modern Art unveiled an installation dedicated to the title sequence of 1964’s Goldfinger which, it said, “captures the sexual suggestiveness and wry humour of the James Bond myth.”

And in Los Angeles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — organisers of the Academy Awards — hosted an evening of “memorable title songs and indelible scores” from the past 22 James Bond films.

British session player Vic Flick, 75, who laid down the signature guitar riff for the James Bond theme song, is due to attend.

In Washington, the International Spy Museum is staging an interactive exhibition, Exquisitely Evil , which pays homage to Bond’s adversaries with more than 100 artefacts from the Bond movies, as well as “real stories from real spies,” recalling their own Bond-like moments in espionage.

London’s Barbican Centre has put on an exhibition showcasing the design and style of “the most influential and iconic movie brand”. It will move on to Toronto later this month.

Britain’s tourist agency has joined forces with Bond for the first time, launching a campaign in 21 countries based around the slogan, “Bond is GREAT Britain.”

A new feature documentary “Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007” will also be unveiled, focusing on producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, and 007 author Ian Fleming, the three men most responsible for building the brand.

The release of Skyfall culminates a busy year for 007, who provided one of the highlights of the 2012 London Games by “parachuting” into the stadium with Queen Elizabeth II, in a well-received spoof film.

Few would have believed that Bond would become a global institution when Dr. No , an adaptation of Fleming’s 1958 novel, was released.

Critical reaction to the first film was mixed, with Time magazine calling Sean Connery’s Bond — still many fans’ favourite — “a great big hairy marshmallow”.

Meanwhile, Adele’s new song was revealed, as a soaring orchestral number that seemed a return to classic Bond themes in the mould of Shirley Bassey’s songs of the past. Initial reaction to the orchestral epic was good, with listeners on YouTube comparing it favourably to Bassey’s renditions of Goldfinger and Diamonds are Forever . – AFP

  • In Los Angeles, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted an evening of “memorable title songs”

  • The movie franchise is one of the most successful in history, with the 22 Bond films taking in more than $5 billion dollars

  • The Hindu presents the all-new Young World

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