Saturday, November 18, 2006

Camera Obscura - Faulkner's Vampire; Bond's Revival

A full length screenplay by William Faulkner was discovered a few years ago which is his only unproduced and still complete screenplay. And it's a vampire movie.

Lee Caplin found the script some years back, and is now pitching the project around Hollywood. The original was set in an unnamed Eastern Europe location, but the idea now is to set it in the Deep South. More details can be found at this link.

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This weekend also brings the return on the creation of writer Ian Fleming, a somewhat violent and eccentric spy named James Bond. The actor in the lead is Daniel Craig - a fine choice given his acting chops in movies like the Tarantino-like crime thriller "Layer Cake." And the story this time is based -- make that loosely based -- on the novel "Casino Royale."

Observers have cheered the movie for closely following Fleming's story ... but there are some significant alterations which make me irritable. The novel - and Bond's assignment - are quite specific. He is sent to challenge another spy/terrorist who goes by the name Le Chiffre in Monte Carlo at the baccarat table. Yet the movie changes the game to a high stakes Texas Hold-Em game.

Sorry, but Bond playing Texas Hold-Em is like Bond chugging a bottle of wine while eating a double bacon cheeseburger. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Fleming's books are tight and compact thrillers, barely 200 pages each. Bond is brutal, yes, and something of a loose cannon. And there has only been one occurrence by my reckoning of the movies following the books closely and that's the first film, "Dr. No."

Don't get me wrong - I like the Bond films, with the exceptions of those with Roger Moore who is more Austin Powers than James Bond. And one I like very much is "You Only Live Twice" yet ever since that film, producers have crafted a series of wildly improbable stunts and goofy gadgets and clever title songs. Fleming's stories for the most part were abandoned.

I plan to see this new Bond within the next few days, but smart money says the most faithful presentation of Fleming's work can be found in "Dr. No."

A side note: the trippy weird version of "Casino Royale" from the 1960s is entertaining as a time capsule only, but a bitter rivalry between actors takes place between Peter Sellers (as Bond) and Orson Welles (as Le Chiffre). The refused to be on set together and each shot their "confrontation" separately and film editors had to do the rest.

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Every movie trailer you can think of for upcoming films is here. Be prepared to spend quite a bit of time saying things like "oooh!! this looks great" and "awww, yer kidding me!"

3 comments:

Cathy said...

That is an AWESOME site! I know what I'll spend several hours watching once the children are asleep tonight

zombie said...

Bond rocks. The only one I didn't care for was" Living Daylights".Books are good. The site is fantastic!

newscoma said...

I'm all about the Faulkner vampire movie.
I also am wanting to go to Horrorfest and see The Hamiltons and The Gravedancers, dammit.
Have I ever told you I love Camera Obscura?
Okay, I do.