7 items from 2010
Is there another writer with a claim to the title “greatest living spy novelist” besides John le Carré? Though not every book the man has written is incredible, he’s responsible for several of the genre’s strongest examples, and his The Spy Who Came In From The Cold isn’t just the best spy novel ever written, but one of the best novels of the 20th century, period. His blend of espionage, action, and consideration of the moral and political dilemmas inherent in spycraft has been winning him readers and plaudits since the 1960s, and though his work has »
I actually found it difficult to come up with a review of Salt, because there’s just not much there to sink one’s teeth into. I thought about dissecting it, but realized the likely futility in doing so. It’s such an easy target for mockery, but I’m not sure how entirely useful that would be here.
It must be quite a challenge to make a truly original spy thriller these days; the genre appears to have been milked dry (or at least, there doesn’t seem to be much interest in taking risks with novel ideas), as recently released movies under that umbrella seem unable to escape one another. They just blend together, and ultimately, save for a few, most are forgettable. The one thing that separates Salt from many of its predecessors is that our lead protagonist, and resident ass-kicker, is female.
The days of the »
By SAÏDEH Pakravan - July 23, 2010
Christian Carion’s espionage thriller takes place at the height of the Cold War. Loosely based on actual facts, it tells the story of Kgb colonel Grigoriev (Emir Kusturica) who for mostly idealistic reasons uses a French businessman (a sober performance by Guillaume Canet; he previously appeared in Carion's 2005 "Joyeux Noël" ) to tell Western intelligence agencies about Soviet spying on military installations and structure in their countries.
In 1965, with the first film based on a John Le Carré novel, “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold,” --a somber, stark B&W film with Richard Burton in the lead role--the world discovered that spying was not all about smooth, urbane, tuxedo-wearing James Bond casually dropping fortunes at casinos on the French Riviera, jumping from the bed of one sexy broad to the next, and, time permitting, getting rid of the bad guys. Rather, Burton’s crumpled, »
- Screen Comment
Ralph Fiennes has signed on, while the previously linked Colin Firth and Michael Fassbender have both been confirmed to have joined the cast of a new adaptation of espionage-themed literary classic "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" for Working Title says Variety.
Set in the mid-70's during the height of the Cold War. Gary Oldman will play George Smiley, a judicious, reserved, middle-aged intelligence expert who is recalled out of forced retirement. His task? To hunt down a Soviet mole in the "Circus", the highest echelons of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
Considered one of author John le Carre's best works alongside "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" and "The Constant Gardener", 'Tinker' scored acclaim for its more realistic portrayal of the spy world and has only been adapted once before as a 1979 limited TV series starring Sir Alec Guinness.
- Garth Franklin
Ian Fleming had James Bond, Robert Ludlum had Jason Bourne, and now John le Carre's George Smiley is about to have a go at cinematic success with a rather stellar sounding cast joining the new film adaptation of the famous literary character's first outing in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" for Working Title reports The Daily Mail.
The book, and it's looking likely the film as well, will be set in the mid-70's during the height of the Cold War. Gary Oldman will play Smiley, a judicious, reserved, middle-aged intelligence expert who is recalled out of forced retirement. His task? To hunt down a Soviet mole in the "Circus", the highest echelons of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).
Smiley himself is a skilled spymaster with impressive perceptive skills, prodigious memory and is a master of bureaucratic maneuvering and manipulation. On the other hand he's also very plain looking, quiet, not »
- Garth Franklin
Trevor Hogg profiles the internationally renowned filmmaker Akira Kurosawa in the second of a four part feature... read part one.
“After the Pacific War, a great deal of noise began to be made about freedom of speech, and almost immediately abuses and loss of self-control ensued,” recollected acclaimed filmmaker Akira Kurosawa of life in Post-wwii Japan. “A certain kind of magazine took up flattering readers’ curiosity, provoking scandals with shamelessly vulgar articles.” The prevailing sensationalist mentality had to be addressed. “I felt that this new tendency had to be stamped out before it could spread,” remarked the director. “This was the impetus for Skyandaru (Scandal, 1950).”
A tabloid newspaper falsely reports that artist Ichiro Aoye (Toshiro Mifune) is having a love affair with a famous singer, Miyako Saijo (Yoshiko Yamaguchi); he sues the publication only to be betrayed by his lawyer Hiruta (Takashi Shimura). “While I was writing the script an »
One of television's best annual traditions, Turner Classic Movies "31 Days of Oscar" (now showing!) sponsored a fine contest for us. I was able to choose 5 DVDs to give away to one lucky reader. I chose five films that Oscar sorta loved (multiple nominations) but couldn't settle down with (major losses) and I asked all contestants to write a note about the Oscarless situation that bugs them most. The winner and runners up were drawn randomly.
Sam in Texas. Even if I hadn't drawn randomly, I would have had Sam's back on his favorite "snub" choice. Here's what he has to say... My great Oscar snub is also my favorite actress: Kathleen Turner. Only one nomination? Really? Hilary Swank has two Oscars and Kathleen Turner only has one nomination? »
- NATHANIEL R
7 items from 2010
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