"The James Bond Archives" is a must-read for fans of the Bond film franchise. This latest edition, edited by Paul Duncan and published by Taschen, is updated and expanded to include new material from the latest film "Spectre".
The book, which contains over 600 pages, does into great detail about each and every bond film to date. In the introduction, it is stated that the editor was given access to more than 100 filing cabinets of production documentation and over one million photos in his effort to compile this book. There have been 24 films over a span of 50+ years, and there is so much information about the films, the stars, and the productions that will be of interest to fans.
The text reads sort of like a journal. The author provides relevant information about each movie in chronological order - this ranges from the earliest notions of the film; to principal photography; to editing and the finishing touches; and of course concluding with the film's release. Also included is dialogue from key creatives on the film - in most cases the director, the producers, as well as members of the cast and crew.
For example, the newest chapter for "Spectre" begins with information about a rights dispute regarding the name SPECTRE and the character Blofeld, before moving on to the the complexities of the production. Main commentary is intercut with pieces from director Sam Mendes, co-star Dave Bautista, and production designer Dennis Gassner, among others.
All of this is enhanced with something like 1,000 images. This includes title designs, photos from on-set/location, concept art, etc. The behind-the-scenes pictures are the most interesting because it gives you a peek behind the curtain of what it's like to make a Bond film. Recently it has become more popular for filmmakers and studios to let fans in on their process, but that wasn't always the case - which makes the photos and information included on some of the earlier films such as "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger" all the more valuable.
Some of the information will be of particular interest to filmmakers (or those interested in the process), because every production has it's ups and downs - and to the author's credit the book doesn't shy away from the many problems encountered. But the book also celebrates that which makes a Bond film unique - the cars, the guns, the girls, the stunts, etc. It's really a fascinating look inside the making of James Bond both old and new; and it is fun to see how the movies and the character change over the decades.
A quality franchise like Bond deserves a great book like this one, and I'm happy to own it.
*Thanks to Taschen for providing me a review copy of the book.
Book is available now on Amazon.
*Republished from partner site MovieArtBook.com
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