April 24, 2015

DEADLIER THAN THE MALE BLU

New release: The 1967 classic, Deadlier Than the Male, will be released on Blu-ray next week. Loosely based on the Bulldog Drummond series, the movie starred Elke Sommer, Sylvie Koscina, and Richard Johnson. Promotional materials traditionally featured images from the film's unforgettable sequence with girl assassins in bikinis with spearguns (see Japanese poster below). Network's Blu-ray maintains the original 1.66:1 widescreen print and includes standard-def extras like on-set featurettes, theatrical trailer, interviews, image galleries and promo materials. No word yet if Network will follow up with the sequel, Some Girls Do. Spy Vibers outside of the UK will require a multi-region player to play this Region B disc. Material produced for the PAL system sometimes experiences a 4% speed-up (as I experiences on the PAL-to-NTSC converted Blu-ray of The Avengers Season 5 set), so hopefully there will be no issues with this release. I look forward to checking this out! Street date is April 27th. AmazonUK page here. You can find the 2003 standard NTSC DVD edition on Amazon here. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Golden Margaret NolanMan From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 21, 2015

GOLDEN MARGARET NOLAN

Goldfinger was a perfect cocktail of girls, guns, and gadgets, establishing the winning formula that launched a spy craze around the world. Some of the most indelible memories from Goldfinger come from the film's title sequence and promotional imagery (posters, LPs, etc), which featured actress Margaret Nolan in gold body paint. She also appeared as Dink in the opening Miami sequence. Nolan has a website that features signed photos and really cool photomontage pieces inspired by her career. Her style of collaging is beautifully rooted in a 1960s aesthetic you would find in work by other artists from the era. She prefaces her work with an excellent quote by John Berger (Ways of Seeing), which I've included here. Below: Nolan with Robert Brownjohn, Goldfinger promotional image. Story continues.



Margaret Nolan shares the distinction with actress Shirley Eaton as an iconic Bond girl, remembered for posing partially nude and covered in gold paint- the twisted method of murder by Bond villain Goldfinger. The image is stunning (and stirring), but also speaks to the complex nature of female roles in society. It seems odd that we should love this image of woman-as-statue, a kind of kinky cybernaut, frozen forever in the state of distant allure. Nolan's own artwork reflects this dichotomy of beauty and self-appraisal. She quotes John Berger (Ways of Seeing/1972) in the introduction to her gallery page: "To be born a woman has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men… this has been at the cost of a woman's self being split into two… she must continuously watch herself… and so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. Men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at… her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another… thus she turns herself into an object- and most particularly an object of vision; a 'sight'." Margaret's method of cutting reminds me slightly of self-image drawings I've seen made by women in therapy, which often depict two selves: the sparkly partner ready to please and the private inner-self watching from within. Her titles reveal the conflict: "My Divided Self", "Fallen Dreams", "Abyss", "Silent Night". Other pieces echo the pulse of Swinging London: "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah", "Avenger", "Blonde On Blonde", "My MGB". Below: "My Divided Self" by Margaret Nolan. Signed prints and photos are available on her website  


When I corresponded with Margaret Nolan about featuring her work on Spy Vibe, she kindly noted, "Thank you so much. It's one of the best, if not the best, review I've come across. I like the way you connected my photomontages to the titles. You Got it! -Maggie." She's considered putting together a calendar with her artwork, so I'll keep readers up to date with any new developments. Nolan's acting career spans 50 years, with appearances in Spy Vibe classics like The Saint, Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Persuaders, A Hard Days Night ("I bet you're an excellent swimmer."), and Ferry Cross the Mersey. Related links: Interview at sister site Illustrated 007, Spy Vibe Trina Robbins Interview, John Berger at The Guardian, Shirley Eaton, Margaret Nolan, Spy Vibe's Erno Goldfinger, Spy Vibe's The Goldfinger VariationsBelow: "Stars in Her Eyes" by Margaret Nolan. Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Man From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 17, 2015

U.N.C.L.E. ROCKSTEADY

We've been having a dance party here at the Spy Vibe lair for a couple of weeks. I just keep discovering fun ska, rocksteady, and calypso tunes that either hail from the Cold War or pay tribute to popular secret agents. We have two peculiar tracks today that name-checked The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. Ike Bennet and the Crystalites released "Illya Kuryakin" in 1968 on Crystal Records as well as on Chris Blackwell's Island Records (WI-3134). The tune was produced by Derrick Harrlott. If Spy Vibers recognize the chorus it's because it's actually a lift from Percy Faith's famous "A Summer Place". Lynn Taitt and the Jets put out their U.N.C.L.E. track "Napoleon Solo" backed with "Pressure and Slide" during the same year (Island #WI-3139). Apparently it was common to put out tunes that, at least in name, made reference to hot properties. I'll share more Bond tunes from the islands soon. Strange but fascinating artifacts from the later Spy Boom. Label images and videos below. Enjoy!




Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 14, 2015

007 GILBERT TOYS

I must admit this Sears advertisement from 1965 still excites the little kid in me. Gilbert's James Bond and the World of 007 was a "complete set packed with action and intrigue" and featured ten major figures (Bond in dinner suit, Dr. No, Oddjob, Goldfinger, Domino, Bond in scuba suit, Bond with rifle, Largo, M, and Miss Moneypenny), Goldfinger's laser table and revolving pool table, Dr. No's dragon-tank, M's bulletproof desk, Largo's yacht, and Bond's Aston Martin. The car is now quite rare, as is the original four-scene stage (Thunderball, Dr. No's lab, M's office, and Goldfinger's lodge). I love how the illustrations suggest a close appearance to the actors. The actual figures were super cool, but not so detailed. Do Spy Vibers remember looking at Sears toy catalogs when you were growing up? According to this ad, the set included "everything to recreate Bond's most thrilling adventures" -all for only $9.99! I had most of the set (mint on card) in college, but sold them off to help finance my first trip to Japan. I'm working on a new secret project and may have to re-collect some of these to photograph. My birthday is coming up by the way... Enjoy!


Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

April 12, 2015

TRANSISTOR RADIOS

Warehouse find: Made in Japan: Transistor Radios of the 1950s and 1960s. It's fascinating to see how design often reflects a time period or trends in popular culture. That was the premise of this cool coffee table book published by Chronicle back in 1993. Transistor radios were not only cutting-edge gadgetry for young moderns, their aesthetics, like table-top radios in the 1930s and 1940s, were modeled to appeal to kids during the atomic, jet, and space ages. The book was designed by award-winning firm Erbe Design and has been long out-of-print and collectible. Bud's Art Books just found thirteen original copies in their warehouse and they can be picked up for only $11.95 each (copies may have slight damage to corners and covers). From their site: "Before the boom-box, the Walkman, or the compact disc player, there was the transistor radio. For many in the fifties and sixties, the transistor radio was an indispensable part of daily life--for catching a ball game, grooving to Top-40 tunes, or listening to late night radio under the covers after "lights-out." In order to attract the American consumer, Japanese designers borrowed motifs from automobiles, coffee shops, graphics, fine art, and other elements of American culture. Here is that story, plus a wonderful illustrated look at all the coolest designs. Here they trace m the history of the transistor radio from its American invention to its Japanese mass production and its subsequent stylistic developments. Made in Japan celebrates the pocket-sized radio as a popular cultural icon and as an art form in its own right; the "hipster" radio, for example mimicked the fashion style of the day, while radios with names like the Comet, Satellite, Skymaster, and Mercury reflected the burgeoning American obsession with space travel." 108 pages. Images below from Erbe Design. Enjoy! Don't miss Spy Vibe's recent post: Pussy Galore Calypso





Selected Spy Vibe posts: Pussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.
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