|JAMES BONDSAM MENDES1917|
Actress Honor Blackman has passed away. She was 94 years old. Blackman is arguably best-known for portraying Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, along with the judo chopping Cathy Gale on TV's The Avengers. She passed away peacefully on April 5th at her home in Lewes, Sussex, of natural causes, according to her family. Blackman's family released a statement, which you can read below.'She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive, and Toby. As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother. Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent. With an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavors she contributed to some of the great films and theater productions of our times.'
Honor Blackman's acting career spans six decades after starting off in the late 1940s. Her early movie roles included Diamond City and Come Die My Love, while early television shows include Probation Officer, The Vise, and Danger Man. However, it wasn't until she portrayed Elizabeth Taylor's friend in MGM's Conspirator that she started to get some real recognition. From there, her big break came in 1962 when she joined the cast of the British TV series The Avengers as Cathy Gale. This is not to be confused with the Marvel Comics characters. It's here where she learned judo and helped to bring women's self-defense to the entertainment industry.
Honor Blackman's martial arts proficiency was evident from the start, though she says she regretted doing some of her own stunts later in life due to some back issues. After two seasons on The Avengers TV series, Blackman made the controversial decision to leave and become a Bond Girl in Goldfinger. 'Everybody was quite startled when I decided to leave, especially since the program was about to go onto film and into color,' she reflected later. The actress portrayed the iconic villainous femme fatale Pussy Galore in the third Bond installment, which went on to become a global hit. It's during this time that she also scored a hit pop single titled 'Kinky Boots,' inspired by the knee-high boots she wore at the time.
Honor Blackman received acting lessons for her 15th birthday. Later that year, she began her training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Following graduation, she was an understudy in the West End play The Guinea Pig and In 1947 she appeared in the Patrick Hastings play The Blind Goddess at the Apollo Theatre. When her career finally took off, Blackman was considered to be a real-life goddess by fans.
More recently, Honor Blackman appeared in Bridget Jones's Diary, Color Me Kubrick, I, Anna, By Any Means, and You, Me, and Them. Blackman starred as...
Sam Mendes directed what many James Bond fans would call one of the best 007 movies ever made with the Oscar-winning “Skyfall,” but don’t expect the “American Beauty” and “1917” filmmaker to return to the spy franchise in the future. Mendes calls the Bond production machine “unhealthy” in a new GQ profile on 007 leading man Daniel Craig. Mendes went through a tumultuous production on “Skyfall” follow-up movie “Spectre,” which continued to have various script changes through the film shoot. That’s nothing compared to Craig’s “Quantum of Solace,” which started filming without a completed screenplay. Mendes says, “There has always been an element that Bond has been on the wing and a prayer. It is not a particularly healthy way to work.”
Bond’s on-the-fly production machine left Mendes and Craig emotionally and physically exhausted, so much so in the latter’s case that Craig infamously joked he’d rather “slit his wrists” than make another Bond movie. Craig was being hyperbolic, but he was serious about wanting to walk away. As the actor told GQ, “I was never going to do one again. I was like, 'Is this work really genuinely worth this, to go through this, this whole thing?' And I didn't feel...I felt physically really low. So the prospect of doing another movie was just like, it was off the cards. And that's why it has been five years.”
Mendes made headlines last December for being critical of getting involved with the Bond franchise. “When I think of them my stomach churns,” Mendes told The Sunday Times of his Bond movies. “It's just so hard. You feel like the England football manager. You think, if I win, I'll survive. If I lose, I'll be pilloried. There is no victory. Just survival.” The director added there are simply too many fans across the world to please when it comes to the James Bond films, saying, “Everyone has their own version of it in their head.
Craig’s next Bond outing, “No Time to Die,” will be his final time playing 007. The Cary Fukunaga-directed tentpole recently pushed back its release from April to the Thanksgiving holiday in November because of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak.
The “hidden man” is how editor Lee Smith sees himself in 1917. Not for a second did Smith want audiences paying attention to his cuts or tricks, but to instead immerse themselves in director Sam Mendes‘ World War I story, which is constructed to take place in one seemingly unbroken take. Despite the obvious technical wizardry and razzle-dazzle, they pulled it off. Audiences were caught up in the feeling and exhilaration of 1917, not the craft of 1917.
The war pic isn’t the first time Smith and Mendes collaborated. The two worked together on Spectre, which involved a long take that gave the editor and filmmaker some ideas of how to accomplish 1917. Outside of Smith’s collaborations with Mendes, he’s edited several Christopher Nolan films, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and an underrated gem from the early 2000s, Buffalo Soldiers.
Recently, Smith spoke to us about his intense work on 1917, a few of the movie’s standout sequences, and doing what hasn’t been done before.
Congratulations on the movie. I think it’s an incredible accomplishment.
Thank you. I was definitely the hidden man on that one if I did my job correctly.
That’s what you always want anyway, right?
It’s impressive how you can admire the craft while watching it, but not in a way that makes the movie feel artificial.
That was the thing we always spoke about. The film itself had to be front and center. We never really wanted anyone thinking about how it was made while watching it because our leading thought was just making a great story with great performances. That’s what we were aiming for. As we started to test screen the movie, we realized we achieved that. A lot of people around us were talking about the technique before we started screening, so I’d go, “We gotta stop banging on about technique and make sure the movie works.” As soon as we started screening it, we realized everything is working and all the audience can do is talk about the film. That’s exactly what we wanted to do.
You were editing as they were filming and on the set often. Usually, you have so much time to decide on a take, so how intense was moving at that speed?
Yeah, you could say you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Every day I would watch the shoot the day before the shoot, which could run for two hours worth of material and 39 takes for big sequences. I’d have to talk to Sam in the morning. He’d tell me what he likes, I’d tell him what I like, and we’d ask each other why we liked certain takes. It was a fun conversation, but we had to make up our minds because they were setting up for the next shot.
Generally speaking, you want the shot you’re...