::Literate Blather::
Sunday, April 22, 2007
5 Questions About: 007

(DaRK PaRTY wishes we were a spy for the British Secret Service. That’s why we devour Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels and have seen every James Bond film – most of them several times. We were so impressed with the latest entry in the series – “Casino Royale” – that we decided it was time to learn more about 007.

So we sought out David Black – who was more difficult to track down that Mr. Bond himself. David is the chairman of the James Bond International Fan Club. Black was born in Scotland in 1968, but lives mostly in York. In 1995, he got bitten by the Bond bug when collecting movie posters from the James Bond films. In 2000, while search for posters, he stumbled upon the fan club, which was in a financial nosedive. After a few meetings, he ended up taking over the club. He is often feature on various radio and TV broadcasts talking about James Bond.)

DaRK PaRTY: Why do you think James Bond is so popular around the world?

David: The Bond films are the most successful and longest running film franchise ever to reach the silver screen. The producers, Eon Productions, must be doing something right!

I think the combination of style and action – attractive men and women, exotic locations, desirable cars, boats, helicopters etc all create a fantasy lifestyle that secretly most of us would like to live. As has been said before – the men want to be Bond and the women want to sleep with Bond.

DP: How did you first get introduced to James Bond and what was the main attraction?

David: Every year at Christmas we were treated to a film at school. The first one I saw was “Live and Let Die” (1973) – it was on the big screen and it had me hooked. The combination of action / adventure, the fight between the suave James Bond and the frightening villains (Tee Hee with his metal hook hand and Baron Samedi charming his snakes in his voodoo rituals) was amazing. The stunts were breathtaking – especially as I was only 10 years old - a double decker bus getting chopped in half under a low bridge – Bond running across the backs of snapping alligators…

As I saw more of the films, the cars and gadgets used in 007’s adventures kept me coming back for more.

Give us a summary of the James Bond International Fan Club -- what does it do? How many members to you have, etc?

David: The James Bond International Fan Club was founded in 1979 and has around 4,000 members at present. We have members from all over the world, particularly the UK, Europe, US, Japan and Australia. We produce the magazine “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” on a quarterly basis with interviews and insights into behind the scenes events from the Bond films.

The club has had conventions in the past at Pinewood Studios and in London – hopefully we will be running more events as membership numbers increase.

In your opinion how does the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, rank among the other actors who have portrayed 007?

David: Many people were skeptical when Daniel was picked as the 6th James Bond. Following the release of “Casino Royale” (2006), I think Daniel has proved a real success – I personally put him right up with Sean Connery as one of the best Bonds of all.

Timothy Dalton was also great – they are all good interpretations of Ian Fleming's literary Bond.

DP: What are your three favorite James Bond films and why?

David: My favorites are “From Russia With Love” (1963), “Goldfinger” (1964) and now “Casino Royale.”
I love the style of the films – action and adventure combined with a good, well thought out story line. Not too many gadgets in any of these but plenty of high-speed action.

I must just add that I love all the Bond films – they all have good points – I can happily sit and watch the Roger Moore films or the Timothy Dalton editions. Hopefully there will be many more still to be produced.

DaRK PaRTY's The Best and Worst of James Bond Films

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