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Thread: James Bond - Skyfall - News, reviews, photos, trailers & much more

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    will watch the movie then will tell my verdict

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    intersting... must show to hubby
    Live amongst people in such a manner that if you die they weep over you and if you are alive they crave for your company.

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    Thanks for the replies, more updates on the way

    Quote Originally Posted by miskuzee View Post
    will watch the movie then will tell my verdict
    Quote Originally Posted by sens View Post
    intersting... must show to hubby

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    Skyfall premiere: caption competition
    Help us lip-read this arch exchange between Daniel Craig and the Prince of Wales at last night's debut screening



    No, Mr Bond, I expect you to … the Skyfall premiere.

    Last night's Skyfall premiere threw up a host of great photos. Pick of the bunch, however, was this, featuring an exchange between Daniel Craig's 007 and the Prince of Wales. Also present: Camilla Parker Bowles, Judi Dench, Sean Connery and Bond villain Javier Bardem. Use your intelligence to help us decipher the secret message.

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    The Skyfall's the limit on James Bond marketing
    From Heineken to the Olympics, the producers of the 23rd Bond movie have exploited every possible brand connection



    Isn't that a Tom Ford suit and an Aston Martin, Mr Bond? … no opportunity lost in Skyfall.

    When Skyfall, the 23rd entry in the James Bond series, finally hits UK screens on Friday, the British public will be divided into two factions: those planning to see it, and those assuming it had been out months ago. Even by the unsubtle standards of studio tentpoles, the marketing push for Skyfall has been a long-haul assault, stretching far beyond the standard (if especially ubiquitous) bus-side billboards, and trailers that have been on rotation since the spring.


    Though not a man averse to material pleasures, Bond himself might balk at the amount of promotional tie-ins being attached to his name this time around. The new film raises the bar for onscreen product placement, from 007's Tom Ford-tailored suits to Q's Sony Vaio hardware, as well as offscreen alliances ranging from Coke Zero to perfume retailers. (Yes, if you've always wanted to smell like Bond – presumably not after an intense chase sequence – the option is yours.) His new tipple of choice, Heineken, has proved an ongoing sticking point with fans, particularly after a big-budget ad that actually roped Daniel Craig into the action.

    However, with the Dutch beer having stumped up over £28m for the privilege of seeing Bond sip from a green bottle in an early scene – coolly covering almost a third of the film's estimated £93.7m ($150m) production budget in the process – the producers are willing to endure that indignity. Craig himself has been a diplomatic spokesman on the issue, acknowledging that their reliance on brand associations is "unfortunate," before countering: "This movie costs a lot of money to make [and] nearly as much again to promote, so we go where we can."

    That quote is about as close as we're going to get to learning the film's actual marketing budget, given Sony Pictures International's customary reluctance to divulge such details. It would be a grey area in any case, since it's more difficult than usual to tell where this film's marketing begins and ends – particularly in this year of the Bond films' golden anniversary, when any number of external forces are collaborating to sanctify the franchise as a great British institution. 007 practically received a knighthood in his amiably goofy skit with the Queen in July's Olympic opening ceremony – a stunt that may not have had Skyfall's enigmatic name anywhere on it, but pointedly raised awareness of the agent's return to a global audience of a billion.

    Indeed, while few of Bond's brands of choice – the venerable Aston Martin notwithstanding – are British, much of the marketing has worked towards underlining his UK heritage. Most prominent in this regard is a joint campaign with VisitBritain, which will be using the film to hawk British tourism to international audiences through viral and print advertising, as well as its first ever cinema ad, all united under the slogan "Bond is Great … Britain."

    That's hardly an incidental affiliation for a film that, unusually for latter-day 007 entries, was largely shot on home soil in the wake of budget cuts at MGM, which filed for bankruptcy in 2010: climactic scenes may take place in London and the Highlands, but keen-eyed Londoners will also notice the capital doubling for Shanghai elsewhere. It may not look it, but the high-gloss, name-heavy Skyfall came in significantly cheaper than 2008's £125m Quantum of Solace.

    The budget may be lower this time around, but the stakes are arguably higher. With a UK gross of almost £51m and a global total of around £369m, Quantum of Solace fell short of the numbers attained by the series' first Craig-led outing, Casino Royale, in 2006. It was far from a flop, but it disappointingly failed to build on its predecessor's gutsy brand reinvention – except, that is, in China, where it significantly outpaced the previous film. Industry journalist Ian Sandwell, who recently studied the film's release strategy for trade magazine Screen International, describes the film's Shanghai-set sequences as the film's "ace in the pack": given the vast Chinese market's sympathy toward blockbusters with local involvement, the decision to locate a major stretch of Skyfall's action there is no accident.

    With Skyfall looking to right the ship and exceed Casino Royale's global gross, the marketing materials haven't taken many chances, with posters chiefly highlighting the 007 brand and not bothering to name its starrier-than-usual cast or its unusually A-list director Sam Mendes, the first Oscar-winner to helm a Bond film. Sandwell believes this focus on fundamentals is the right approach: "This could be a reaction to the perception of the Craig era to date, where perhaps the grittiness might have attracted the Bourne fans, yet alienated the Bond diehards. Skyfall's marketing has primarily been aimed at reassuring the traditional audience that they haven't been forgotten."

    So far, Skyfall is tracking well enough to suggest that the approach has paid off, buoyed by one factor the marketing men couldn't control: the overwhelmingly positive reviews that greeted its first screening nearly two weeks ago, which had some excitable journalists even predicting Oscar glory. The Guardian's box office expert, Charles Gant, tweeted a prediction that the film will top Casino Royale to become the highest-grossing Bond film at the UK box office. That appears to be the expectation in the US too: the number-crunchers at BoxOffice.com are forecasting a Stateside gross of $216m. As it turns out, the lyrics of Adele's theme song (another marketing coup, as the series' first chart hit in years) aren't strictly accurate: the film's standing tall, all right, but the sky isn't falling.


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    Skyfall: From American Beauty to English hero – How Sam Mendes came home to James Bond
    After a five-film 'apprenticeship' in America, the English director's first British movie is the 007 picture Skyfall. Here, stars including Daniel Craig and Naomie Harris reveal exclusively what it is like working with him



    Judi Dench and Sam Mendes (right) on the set of Skyfall.
    Sam Mendes has proper English credentials. He grew up amid the spires and meadows of Oxford, where cricket was his passion. Taking a first in English at Cambridge, he then spent time in the provincial city of Chichester, learning how to handle the theatrical types who strut across British stages.


    Yet Mendes, who has been hailed since American Beauty in 1999 as a leading Hollywood film-maker, has taken a long time to come home. Now after five films, each fairly hardboiled takes on life across the Atlantic, he is trumpeting his return to British cinema by directing the latest instalment in the most quintessentially English franchise of them all: James Bond.

    It is a twist that amuses his star and friend, Daniel Craig, who had a hand in making it happen. "Sam had this stratospheric start to his career and made these great films, but he had never made a movie at home," he told the Observer this weekend. "And he is such a cinephile, so it is extraordinary that the first British film he has made is James Bond, which is about as British as it can be."

    Craig was looking for someone to help him steer his third portrayal of the most famous spy in the world. "I met Sam at a party and I had had a few drinks. I told him what I wanted to do in the next film, to get back to the humour and the lightness and the sophistication, because I wanted to sound him out for the job."

    Mendes has also joked about his lengthy "apprenticeship" in the United States, before he was ready for Bond. After his Academy Award for directing American Beauty at the age of 34 came his gangster tale, Road to Perdition, then the war story Jarhead and the sterile suburbia of Revolutionary Road, before his smart-talking travelogue, Away We Go. Mendes's choice of a Bond movie seemed strange after these intelligent tales but, as a succession of critics line up to give Skyfall a glowing five stars, it appears to have paid off.

    "We knew we had it, to be honest. Sam and I could tell as we were making it," said Craig. "Of course, it comes from the writing on the page in the script too, and from never, ever forgetting it is a Bond film. Sam hasn't directed Ibsen here, after all, although he could do that very well too."

    The world will make its judgment when the film is released on Friday, although Craig confirms Mendes has still been editing footage over the last fortnight. It is a visually arresting and unexpectedly emotional spectacle, but audiences will also see a sly paean to the craft of acting.

    "Sam comes from a theatre background, so I knew he would speak the language of actors," said Naomie Harris, the British actress who plays the MI6 field agent Eve.

    "I knew he would know how to direct us. It is surprising how many film directors don't know how to do that."

    Harris, 36, believes Mendes's intense focus on the dynamic of relationships binds all his film work together. "He sees that if you get that right, then everything else follows. Even in Bond, you can get lost in all the action without that. All the people around Bond have to be as credible as possible, then the chemistry makes it more exciting."

    After the Chichester Festival Theatre, Mendes directed Dame Judi Dench in The Cherry Orchard in the West End when he was only 24, then went on to run the Donmar Warehouse. Dench now plays a central role in Skyfall, in her seventh outing as "M". She carries the weight of the story – and its message, too.

    "There is a lot of subtext in this film, not just the mother theme, which is fairly obvious," says Craig, "but the idea of coming home too, and of dealing with your past; coming home to this dark place. It's a story with many levels, but it is quite a deliberately simple, strong plot. We did a lot of work on that. Sam wanted it to be clear."

    Watching one of the film's previews last week was another Dame for whom the story is particularly pertinent: Stella Rimington, the first woman to lead MI5 and at least half the inspiration for Dench's character. "It made me rather sad actually," she said of the film. "I kept hoping it wasn't going to end like that."

    Star acting turns come from Javier Bardem and the 76-year-old Albert Finney. According to Craig, the cast came to Mendes because of his reputation. "Sam is so bloody-minded about getting what he wants, and he understands how to get it. On the set of Road to Perdition I remember him coming up to Paul Newman and just saying quietly 'Do it better,' into his ear. Newman just shrugged and said 'OK'."

    Jude Law shares Craig's memories from Road to Perdition: "It was a very smooth operation, but the script allowed for quite a bit of interpretation and Sam relished letting my imagination go. I visited the Donmar under Sam regularly and his diversity of style was inspiring. Somehow everything he touched became relevant."

    Harris was slightly unnerved by Mendes's willingness to use her ideas. "He is a total collaborator. I just wish I had thought of a few more ideas to offer. My mother is a scriptwriter, so I am always very respectful of the script. But you were free to experiment," she said.

    Craig said he was allowed to improvise a bit with some funny lines, but that Mendes was careful to rein him in when he overstepped the mark. "We didn't want it to be disrespectful to Bond. We were clear about that."

    Harris, who has appeared in the Pirates of the Caribbean films and starred on television in the BBC drama Small Island, was picked out by Mendes when he saw her perform at London's National Theatre in Danny Boyle's acclaimed Frankenstein. "He called Danny and asked him what I was like to work with," she said this weekend.

    "I did three auditions and they told me there was a good chance I would get it. He told me that they wanted a modern Bond girl, someone who could go toe-to-toe with Bond."

    She describes Mendes's work on set as "detailed and specific". "He is good at sussing you out as a person and he uses that. It sounds a bit manipulative, but it isn't. It is just a skill."

    His confident manner, which Mendes has described as a product of "the Oxbridge machine", was comforting. "He must have been nervous, but all you saw was a smile. I have not seen the film yet, so I don't know what he has done tonally, but he was clearly having a ball. One day I asked him whether he was always this happy. He said, yes, and it was because he is a Bond fan."

    Back in 2002, when the film director went into collaboration with Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks, Mendes said he would be going back to his roots in Britain "soon". In fact, it took a decade, one failed marriage to Kate Winslet and the sort of populist project that no one would have predicted to lure him home.

    In the runup to the Skyfall premiere, Mendes, who is now in a relationship with Sir Peter Hall's daughter Rebecca, has talked enthusiastically of the challenge of making "a big, glamorous escapist movie that still deals with the world we are living in".

    Mendes's Bond film aims high, expressing a faltering but beguiling British patriotism. And he has even hinted that he might make another Bond film, since Craig is due to play the part at least twice more.

    For now, the director must prepare his first West End musical since a revival of Company at the Donmar in 1995. It is a fresh version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, opening in the summer, made with the blessing of Roald Dahl's estate and with Douglas Hodge in the role of Willy Wonka.

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    Judi Dench: 'I never want to stop working'
    With her seventh Bond film about to hit the big screen, Judi Dench shows no sign, even at 77, of curbing her enormous drive. She talks about painting landscapes, playing M and why she hates to be alone on stage



    Judi Dench.
    At one point sitting opposite Dame Judi Dench over a pot of tea at a hotel in Covent Garden, I find myself asking her if she has that recurrent dream, the one in which you are on a stage and the curtain is about to go up but can't remember any of your lines or the part you are supposed to play. It seems, as I'm saying it, a bit ridiculous to ask that question of Dench, who not long ago was by a margin voted "the greatest actor of all time" in an exhaustive poll of the readers of The Stage magazine. She is a woman who has hardly put a foot wrong, or missed a beat, since she first performed for an audience 60 years ago. I'd imagine any deep-seated anxiety about being caught out melted away long since. But no, she admits, suddenly slightly grim-faced, that she has the dream all the time. "I'm standing there, all dressed up, and whispering: 'What do I say now?'" she says. "It's awful, really, but it's the big fear. The one that never goes away."

    Is this anxiety true? I guess so. Though talking to Dench you do have the occasional nagging reminder of what she is so profoundly good at having you forget: that if she puts her mind to it, she can probably make you believe in anything. In the previous few days I have watched her and re-watched her as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth I, as Iris Murdoch losing her mind, as J Edgar Hoover's mother, as a widow discovering India in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and have been immediately in thrall each time. Now here she is, oddly, in front of me, profoundly familiar, conspiratorial, engaged, gossipy, a good listener, seamlessly inhabiting the role of eager interviewee even at the age of 77, and delivering polished versions of stories that she has honed for just such an audience. The one about how her mother and father came to see her in Romeo and Juliet early in her career, and her dad was so engrossed in her performance that at the line "Where are my mother and father?" he responded: "Here we are, darling, in row H." The ones about being giggly and starstruck on Oscar night.

    Two years ago Dench published a memoir, dictated to a ghost writer, And Furthermore. It's a breezy, curious book, which treats her life as a never-ending series of wonderful adventures on the stage and in front of the camera. Parents and siblings, her late husband Michael Williams and her daughter Finty get supporting roles from time to time, but anything in the way of revelatory emotion or psychological insight is saved for Cleopatra or Mother Courage. In the past six decades Dench has only twice had any time off from working: when she gave birth to Finty, and when she was nursing her husband, who died of cancer in 2001. She talks about her thespian fears of not being in work, but she has never experienced that state. She likes to recall how Trevor Nunn was a bit sniffy when she mentioned she had been asked to do the sitcom with her husband that became A Fine Romance. Her response was something of a statement of intent: "I think it is our business to do as many things as we can…"

    I'm struck, talking to her, that when you ask her about her life, she thinks first of her work. What have been the best of times, I wonder. She immediately thinks of "going to the Vic and all those plays. Stratford days on bikes. Then theatre in Oxford and Nottingham and being in West Africa with the company…"

    We are here on the occasion of another of those ongoing adventures: Dench's seventh outing in a Bond movie as M, in Skyfall, a film of which I have been allowed to see three explosive and chaotic minutes. In those minutes she appears to announce the death of 007, an obit that quickly seems greatly exaggerated. There have been rumours that this will be Dench's last outing as M, that in the film she identifies her successor, a shady Ralph Fiennes, before saying a brutal goodbye to Her Majesty's Secret Service. She's too practised a Bond girl to give any of this away before the closely guarded opening night, though.

    The role has become a nice punctuation mark in her life in recent years, she suggests, and of course "great fun". Playing with gadgets as M in her first film she recalled how she became "completely drunk with power, because I can't mend anything, or even put the ironing board up properly". She still likes the fact that she gets to be imperiously bossy in it, though is quick to also say that: "I would hate people to think bossy is all I can do." She gets on well with Daniel Craig, but not well enough for him to let her in on the secret of his Olympic parachute jump with the Queen. She's been thrilled this time around to be directed again by Sam Mendes, whom she first worked with on The Cherry Orchard 20 years ago. "You feel great when there is someone you trust there on the bridge, a firm hand."

    Dench talks about M with the kind of self-deprecating matter-of-factness with which she discusses all her roles. It's good for her because, she says, unlike Craig, on whose shoulders the whole thing rests, she gets to take it lightly, be a bit irresponsible. It's not her most onerous assignment, even in terms of travel: "This time I got to Pinewood. And I got to Glencoe, which was very beautiful. And I got to Aldershot, which was slightly less so," she says. The character has developed "necessarily, just by the fact I have got older, and she has to work even harder to prove she is up to it..."

    Bond was important for Dench in one way, in that it has given her an international audience. Before 1995's GoldenEye she was little known in America. She still gets asked sometimes: "Apart from M, have you done anything else?" and no doubt demurs from mentioning the record seven Olivier awards and indelible roles that included her Juliet for Franco Zeffirelli in 1960; the first London Sally Bowles in Cabaret in 1968; Lady Macbeth in Trevor Nunn's landmark 1976 production; Cleopatra opposite Anthony Hopkins in 1987 and on and on.

    One of the more curious aspects of Dench's career is how long it took filmmakers to realise what she might be capable of in front of the camera. At the first screen test she went to, while she was starring at the Old Vic, a man looked at her for a long time and said: "Well, Miss Dench, I have to tell you: you have every single thing wrong with your face." When she walked out, she vowed never to try it again. She didn't properly for a long time.

    She still feels like a beginner on screen, she suggests, typically separating her own efforts from those of "really good film actors, proper ones, who will always look at a take after it is done". She can't do that. "I find it too hard to cope with that idea that you can't change it. I love the way in the theatre that you can change it every night."

    She tries to avoid seeing herself on screen at all, she says. I mention J. Edgar, in which, directed by Clint Eastwood, she plays Leonardo DiCaprio's domineering mother to scene-stealing effect, and she says brightly: "What's it like? I suppose I should see it."

    Has anything she has done on screen pleasantly surprised her, I wonder.

    "Never," she says. "I think it is always appalling to see yourself on film. I think John Gielgud used to say that he would love to have had a performance of a play he had been in to put on his mantelpiece so he could live with it and see exactly the ways he could have done it better. Because there are always ways. In the theatre you can change things ever so slightly; it's an organic thing. Whereas in film you only have that chance on the day, and you have no control over it at all."

    When I mention J. Edgar she mentions, too, being "completely daunted" by Clint Eastwood. "He rang me up, and I thought at first it was a friend sending me up. So I didn't take it seriously to start with. And then I realised it was really him and that was a tricky conversation. I hadn't met him by the time I got on set, really. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder and there was this immensely tall man standing there, a bit terrifying, but brilliant…"

    She still likes to think of herself a bit as an interloper in that world; it makes it easier. Who else has she been overawed by, I ask.

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    "Oh, lots of them. George Clooney – I was bit in awe there. And my daughter was mad about Antonio Banderas, and we were at a party and he came over and asked for a light. I thought she was going to faint. We love going to awards for that reason, to see these huge larger-than-life figures…"

    It's quite endearing, this insistent modesty – but it's also, you guess, a way of taking pressure off herself for anything other than acting itself. She has developed other strategies for this. Infamously she has a habit of turning up for a new part without having once read the script. She has always liked to have things read to her rather than reading them herself, and now she has the "perfect excuse" of an eye condition, macular degeneration, inherited from her mother, which makes a lot of reading impossible (though the disease will not, as some reports have had it, lead to loss of vision). "Even before that, though," Dench says, "I have always had a director tell me the story. I want them to put it into words for me. And I am interested in what they choose to put in and leave out. That, after all, is what you are going to do for the audience. I like to have it presented to my mind's eye."

    She adopts this approach even when choosing parts. Her husband Michael would read scripts for her and give her a line or two and she would immediately have a sense of whether she wanted to do it. Finty, also an actor, does it for her now. "I have always said that phrase: 'What larks, Pip,'" Dench recalls, "and when Finty saw that line in the script of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, she told me I just had to do it. I was having doubts about going to India and so on, but she was right." In all of this she seems to want to hand over responsibility, to restrict her choices to her acting.

    In her spare time on set, she often paints landscapes – "So much better than taking photographs, because it really makes you look and remember," she says. I ask her if the process of constructing a character is similar.

    "No, a painting is your decision when it comes to it, whereas if you are playing a character it is also everybody else's decision, really, what it should be."

    Does she ever paint her characters from her mind's eye, as Antony Sher, for example, always does?

    "I don't, although when I am with a script or in rehearsal I might doodle a character's face or something. I nearly always do that. But what I do is listen to what everybody says about you and try to assimilate that."

    She is careful about what information she takes on board. Her next role is in a film directed by Stephen Frears, Philomena, the true story of an Irish woman who searched for 50 years for the son, born illegitimately, taken from her by nuns and "sold" to a wealthy American family. Steve Coogan will play the journalist Martin Sixsmith, who helped the woman in her quest, and wrote the original story. "I can go and meet Philomena Lee," Dench says, "though I am not yet sure that I will. I remember playing On Giant's Shoulders about that lovely thalidomide boy Terry Wiles. The first day of filming we were up near Sandy on the A1, and I came face to face with his mother and she just burst into tears and went to pieces. I was shaken by that, and ever since I have been wary of meeting the people whose lives I have been playing. But I think I will meet Philomena Lee. I think it would be good for me to meet her and get the tone of her."

    Does she always start with an inkling of tone?

    "In some ways," she says. "But anything can be useful. I wanted to be a set designer when I was young. And I still think I am as interested in a set and the costumes as anything else. I remember I was in Stratford once and only doing one play, so in my afternoons I went off and learned how to knot a wig as they would have done back then. That gave me a wonderful insight…"

    Her daughter has said she knows her mother inside out, except for one thing. She has no idea what motivates her to work, the continuing compulsive drive. Does she have any idea herself?

    "I just feel I have to keep doing it," Dench says. "I never want to stop. I need to learn every day. I don't question the curiosity. It's like I love quizzes and things. Did you know what Nostradamus's first name was? Michel! It's not likely, is it?"

    I wonder how often she feels she comes up against the edge of what she is capable of.

    "That's always what you hope," she says. "I long to be asked to do, you know, the Afghan woman who learns the tightrope late in life. I remember reading the novel Notes on a Scandal and thinking: I would love to play that woman, to try to find a humanity in that dreadful person. I was thrilled to be asked to do that."

    One role that Dench did shy away from playing was that of a widow after she became one herself. She allowed herself to be cast in that role by John Madden for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, however. What made her change her mind?

    "Well, to begin with, I didn't want people to make that connection, in a way. And what I found hardest about the Marigold Hotel was that I looked so much like myself. I kept asking John if I could dye my hair or something. I wanted it one step removed. I think a lot of actors are very shy people, and you can only properly express yourself if you are endeavouring to be another person. It is like those moulds for gingerbread men, I sometimes think. You have to inhabit another body in a way, make yourself another shape."

    She and Williams were famously devoted; he bought her a red rose each Friday of their married life. Did acting become even more crucial to her after he died?

    "Yes, it came to my rescue, really," she says. "I went out to Nova Scotia almost immediately after Michael's funeral and made The Shipping News with Kevin Spacey for four weeks. And then I came back and the day after started Iris and did all of that. And then I immediately went back to Canada to finish The Shipping News. And then I was into Pride & Prejudice. People, friends, kept saying: 'You are not facing up to it; you need to face up to it,' and maybe they were right, but I felt I was – in the acting. Grief supplies you with an enormous amount of energy. I needed to use that up."

    Dench by all accounts is the consummate team player, and she seems to have something of a dread of being alone. Her daughter and grandson, now 15, live with her part of the time at her house in Surrey, and on her five acres she also has the company of "a dog, four cats, two guinea pigs, a lot of ducks and a lot of coots and 10 water voles, and a huge goldfish that has died twice and I blew into its mouth twice and revived it. Lazarus." She grew up in a noisy household in York with drama-loving parents, her father a doctor, and two older brothers, and 17 cats ("During the war," she says, "nobody had enough food for animals so we took them in.") Part of her impulse to work has always seemed to recreate that, to be a spirited part of something bigger than herself. Before she goes on stage she always has the audience hubbub piped into her dressing room – "I need that sense of life," she says. Her worst fear is "a one-woman show". One gap in her compendious CV I note is any Beckett.

    "I was asked to do that play Happy Days once," she says. "But she is on her own on stage with a thing in her left hand and one in her right. I thought: I can't do that. So yes – I was beaten there. I don't want to do anything on my own, not at all. I like that thing of actors coming together and doing that thing that evening for that particular audience. Not any audience, but this one in front of you."

    There must have been times, I say, when she hasn't got on with her fellow players in a long theatre run…

    She thinks for a moment. "No, I've never been in anything when I have wished it would be over, or when it hasn't come together," she says.

    I was, I say, marvelling at her Wikipedia page earlier. Does she ever allow herself the satisfaction of feeling like she has done enough?

    She looks a bit shocked, takes a sip of tea. "I hope not," she says with a smile. "It might well feel like enough for someone else. But it always feels like nowhere near enough for me…"

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    Will Skyfall really see the end of Judi Dench's reign as M?
    Rumour has it that Bond's boss is going to die in the latest movie and be replaced by Ralph Fiennes. Will you miss Dench's take on the character?


    Cruel to be kind... Judi Dench as M in Quantum of Solace
    Skyfall, the 23rd "official" film about the world's most famous suave secret agent, has been subject to more than its fair share of speculation, even for a Bond movie. There are those who still seem convinced that Naomie Harris is playing a version of Moneypenny in Sam Mendes's film, despite the actor's fervent protests to the contrary, and there have even been suggestions that 007 is about to swap his beloved Martini, shaken not stirred, for a pint of Heineken.

    The latest rumour to hit the tabloid carousel originates from the previously little-known Brit website Best For Film, and has been swiftly picked up by gossip-hungry red-tops.

    It suggests that Judi Dench's M, head of MI6, and 007's tough yet occasionally tender boss, has scolded 007 for the final time. "We've just filmed M's death scene. Judi Dench is leaving the franchise," a member of the Skyfall production crew reportedly told the site.

    When my colleague Henry Barnes got in touch with studio Sony this morning, he was batted off with a polite but firm: "No comment." We do know (because it's in the official synopsis) that Skyfall sees Bond struggling to deal with revelations about M's past, and involves some form of attack on MI6. We also know (because he said so himself) that Ralph Fiennes is playing a government agent, which has already led to speculation that the Oscar-nominated British actor might be stepping in as the new M. Has somebody somewhere joined all the Skyfall dots to create a salacious "Judi Dench is quitting Bond" story? Or does Best For Film have the inside line on the biggest 007 scoop in years?

    M's death would certainly be a suitably explosive way for Dench to go out. Her stature as a national treasure and impressive seven-film, 17-year tenure demands a fitting endgame, and now might be the right time to leave on a high. Where both the stern and sturdy Bernard Lee and the more avuncular Robert Brown often found their parts underwritten and left rather on the sidelines while Bond jetted off on his globetrotting adventures, the 77-year-old actor has generally presented a more-rounded, less cartoony take on the character.

    Dench was allowed to show vulnerability in an extensive appearance in The World Is Not Enough without ever suggesting to the audience that she had lost her status as a shrewd and dispassionate operator. We saw her at home on more than one occasion, unusually for a character who seemed to be tied to the office in previous iterations. She may not be the only M to maintain something of a love/hate relationship with Bond, but neither of her predecessors had quite the same intuition when it came to really understanding their man.

    When Dench first took the role in 1995 for Pierce Brosnan's debut in the role, GoldenEye, her appointment was inspired by the rise to prominence of real-life MI5 boss Stella Rimington, who had recently become the organisation's first female director general. Rimington retired in 1996, aged 61, after just four years in the top job, so Dench's M has really had a pretty impressive run. That's not to suggest that she is too old for the role: her rendering of the character has been such that Eon Productions would probably keep her on well into her ninth decade given the opportunity. She was, after all, retained for Casino Royale despite the incongruity of being joined by a new Bond in her fifth turn in the role.

    If Fiennes really is being drafted into the role, he will be the youngest M (at 49) since Edward Fox in 1983's non-canonical Never Say Never Again. That in itself would create a different dynamic, since the new chief would be of the same generation (as well as once again the same gender) as his top agent.

    But somehow it almost seems a little too soon for Bond's boss to take her leave, although at least she looks likely to go out with a bang. Are you willing to accept that this might be Dench's last roll of the dice as M? Or are you betting all your casino chips that she'll be back in the 24th James Bond adventure?

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    James Bond can thank Bangalore for 'Skyfall'


    BANGALORE: Daniel Craig's latest Bond flick has critics in raptures. Many have called it the best Bond movie ever. Bangalore can take some credit for this. A 250-strong Bangalore team played a big role in creating the jaw-dropping special effects of 'Skyfall', set to release on November 2.


    The Sam Mendes-directed 'Skyfall' is heavy on CGI (computer-generated imagery). A major chunk of the special effects and graphics for the movie was done by two studios of The Moving Picture Company (MPC) in Bangalore and London. The Technicolor-owned MPC is a London-based post-production outfit that creates high-end visual effects, computer animation and integrated digital content for Hollywood.




    A team of 250 graphic artists, special-effects experts, animators, and other professionals at MPC Bangalore worked in tandem with their 600 counterparts at MPC London. Over eight months, they created thousands of frames and graphic insertions to create footage for 'Skyfall'.


    Biren Ghose, country head for Technicolor India, told STOI: "India has emerged as an important destination for quality animation. It's a tribute to the artists and technicians at MPC Bangalore. They could work shoulder to shoulder with their global counterparts in London to bring out world-standards graphics and special effects in remarkably short time.''


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    ‘Skyfall’ to release as ‘Lokam Chuttina Veerudu’ on Nov1




    ‘Skyfall’, which arrives 50 years after the first Bond film, got its world premiere in London on Tuesday, with Prince Charles on hand to give it a royal seal of approval. The movie will be releasing in Telugu as ‘Lokam Chuttina Veerudu’ on November 1. B Subramanyam is presenting the film in Telugu under Lakshmi Ganapathy films banner.


    Daniel Craig was the first of the film's stars to arrive at the screening at the Royal Albert Hall in central London, where he was joined by co-stars Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, and Naomie Harris.
    ‘Skyfall’ is the 23rd official Bond film, and Craig's third outing as the suave superspy. Harris is Bond girl Eve, a field agent racked by self-doubt, Dench plays spy chief M, battling a crisis with roots in her past, and Bardem plays Raoul Silva, a Bond villain bent on revenge.


    Director Sam Mendes has got the franchise back on track with ‘Skyfall’ after ‘Quantum of Solace’, which did not fare very well.
    The latest film has a top villain, one of the great Bond baddies, in Javier Bardem with mean and tough 007 agent played by Daniel Craig. Bardem said he was drawn to the role of Bond bad guy after seeing Jaws, the steel-toothed henchman in 1979's Moonraker.


    With some critics hailing the Sam Mendes-directed ‘Skyfall’ as one of the best Bond films of the half-a-century-old franchise, Bardem said the series' appeal showed that "they have been doing something really right, starting with the actors who have played Bond. They have all brought their own flavor to it." Craig, dressed in a black Tom Ford suit, appeared to share a laugh with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla ahead of the premiere.


    Also on hand were Ben Whishaw, who plays Q, and Berenice Marlohe, who plays Bond girl Severine, as well as Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton and model Kelly Brook. ‘Skyfall’ opens in Britain on Friday and in the U.S. on November 9. Proceeds from Tuesday's royal gala are going to charities that help members of Britain's intelligence services.


    Craig was shy doing intimate scenes, says Marloh
    New Bond girl, actress Bernice Marloh says her co-star Daniel Craig was very shy during a lovemaking scene in the latest spy movie "Skyfall" and she promised to make him comfortable. Craig, 44, was hesitant in taking off his boxers during the scene.


    "He was very shy and when he saw me entering the shower, he was like, 'Oh my god'. He tried to keep his underpants on for the shower scenes but I said, 'No, come on, don't be shy. I will do anything to make you feel comfortable'," thesun.co.uk quoted Marloh as saying.


    Bardem shocked to be part of Bond film
    Actor Javier Bardem says he grew up dreaming of the possibility to star in a James Bond film and is surprised that he has finally got a part in it. The Spanish actor portrays the role of Raoul Silva in the latest instalment of the superspy film ‘Skyfall’.


    "I'm a huge fan of the James Bond saga, so I was always very open to the idea. When I was little I watched Mr Connery doing James Bond with my father. Who in the world would think I'd be in one of those movies?" thesun.co.uk quoted Bardem as saying.


    "The script was everything you could expect in James Bond films, and in addition it was a powerful and complex story," he added.

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    Skyfall: Javier Bardem is one of the best Bond villains ever


    London: Javier Bardem is being hailed by the British media for his performance in 'Skyfall', the latest installment in the James Bond series, with critics saying the character played by the Spanish actor may be one of the best villains to ever take on 007.
    Bardem plays Raoul Silva, a dandyish cyber terrorist, in the film directed by Sam Mendes, taking on Daniel Craig's Bond.
    The 23rd installment in the 007 series has won over critics, with many calling the film the best in the long-running franchise, thanks to the Spanish actor's performance.






    "The moments that elevate Skyfall from the efficient to the inspired can be attributed to one man: Javier Bardem, the hulking, 43-year-old Spanish actor whose delicious performance as Raoul Silva, sniggering cyber-terrorist, makes him a convincing contender for best Bond villain of all time," Ryan Gilbey wrote Sunday in "The Observer".
    "Bardem is brilliant as the kind of insane old-school Bond villain we haven't seen for a while," Alex Zane wrote in his review of 'Skyfall' in The Sun.
    "Channelling all different flavours of crazy, and Christopher Walken's hair from 'A View To A Kill', he is a superb adversary for 007," Zane said of the film, which hit theaters in Britain last Friday.
    "Silva is almost as inscrutable as The Dark Knight's Joker himself: Bardem's lip-lickingly camp turn makes him the oddest Bond villain since the Roger Moore era, and his nicotine hair flops queasily over his forehead in a way that calls to mind Julian Assange," Robbie Collin wrote in his review of the film in The Daily Telegraph.
    "Mendes has gone back to basics: chases, stunts, fights. At the same time, he has subtly re-invented the franchise, throwing in far greater depth of characterization than we're accustomed to in a series of films that are often proudly superficial," Geoffrey McNab wrote in The Independent.



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    Skyfall: James Bond Has Reclaimed His Identity



    James Bond had an identity crisis. After Pierce Brosnan reassured the world 007 was still pertinent following the collapse of the Berlin Wall with Goldeneye his next three outings veered into Roger Moore territory. Daniel Craig then displayed in the brilliant Casino Royale Bond was a comforting presence in the post-9/11 era, only Quantum of Solace undid all that good work with a rushed-straight-to-video mess. Royale took leaves out of Jason Bourne's book, Quantum took chapters.

    Skyfall takes its own leaves too, but from Ian Fleming's source material of MI6's most famous agent. And the 23rd James Bond film is a wonderful homage to the unrivalled Sean Connery era that nevertheless still emerges as a splendid contemporary film.

    It is also a personal addition to the franchise in the vein of On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Royale. Director Sam Mendes, rarely accustomed at handling action sequences in his five commentaries on different facets of American life, implements his own understanding of character development and relationships. Judi Dench's M is the main Bond girl (or as her late husband Michael Williams remarked, 'Bond woman') to spar with Craig, a wonderful foil as Bond's background is explored in greater depth than ever before on screen.

    This fresh approach is married with numerous hallmarks which amplify the Bondian nature of Skyfall. As adrenaline-fuelled as the opening sequence in Istanbul is, the arrival of Adele's vocals and Daniel Kleinman's visionary titles are just two outstanding assets which emphasise the return of Bondian grandeur. Skyfall is the best theme song since Carly Simon's beautiful Nobody Does It Better in The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977.

    Seeing the return of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 (avec number plate BMT 216A) and Ben Whishaw's fresh take on Q are other heartening 'classic Bond' gems, but Skyfall boasts something even the Connery era didn't in the guise of its villain.

    Javier Bardem's Raoul Silva is destined to be remembered as the best Bond nemesis. His memorable entrance, in which he gives a speech about the survival of rats on an island filmed in one take, is camp, funny and disturbing. Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy had a big influence on Royale and its fingerprints are evident on Skyfall, with Silva Bond's Joker. Bardem is a sardonic yet chilling antagonist who revels in the psychological trauma Silva has experienced, with a hidden deformity to boot. He has the gall in threatening to steal your sympathy but gives such a splendidly villainous performance it remains impossible to root for him.

    Perhaps a repeat viewing will clarify his credentials, but it is not so ridiculous to suggest Bardem as a contender come awards season. One man who should be in the reckoning is Roger Deakins, who produces the most beautiful Bond film to date. Shanghai dazzles, London glows and Scotland lurks like a ghost of 007's past. Bond does Shakespeare in act three.



    Humour was a notable absence from the joyless Quantum but it too makes a triumphant return in Skyfall. There are nods and winks to past Bonds and Mendes capitalises on Craig's underrated comic talent. He made a Catherine Tate sketch funny five years ago and amused in a promo for his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, but has rarely had the chance to air his dry quips as Bond. His interaction with Dench and newcomer Whishaw are droll highlights, while some witty verbal jousting is enjoyed with Naomie Harris' Eve.

    Despite the throwback theme, it is predictable fare. Complaining about the plot of a Bond film seems foolhardy, and fortunately this one makes it irrelevant due to the exceptional filmmaking on display in every scene. However the film's trailer, as suspected, does bafflingly include the death of a character, bringing the issue of over-publicising films with too much pre-release footage to the forefront. The Fleming factor also compromises the scale of the film's money moments but purists will gladly overlook that.

    But Skyfall is a reminder why Bond endures throughout the decades. Britain has enjoyed diversions in 2012 courtesy of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, the Olympics, and 007, celebrating his cinematic jubilee, delivers his another source of escapism with his own inimitable identity. The Bond identity.
    Last edited by Gudu Gudu Returns; 29-10-2012 at 03:38 PM.

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