Monday, January 31, 2011

Premios SAG del Cine 2011, LA

Natalie Portman lució su embarazo con un vestido blanco, de Azzaro, con detalles de lentejuelas plateadas en el pecho. Llevó clutch de Roger Vivier.

Mila Kunis llevó un vestido precioso, en tonos rojizos, de Alexander McQueen Resort 2011.

Eva Longoria llevó un vestido gris, de Georges Hobeika Couture Primavera 2011. Llevó clutch rígido de Salvatore Ferragamo.

Rosario Dawson llevó un vestido largo, en color amarillo de J. Mendel. Los zapatos y el clutch son de Salvatore Ferragamo.

Lea Michele llevó un vestido plateado de Oscar de la Renta Primavera 2011.

Nicole Kidman llevó un vestido negro con encaje de Nina Ricci Pre Fall 2011.

Dianna Agron optó por un vestido vintage, de Chanel, con pedrería y lentejuelas en color azul marino.

Kim Kardashian llevó un vestido morado, con decoraciones de pedrería, de Marchesa Resort 2011.

Amy Adams llevó un vestido blanco de Hervé L. Leroux.

January Jones llevó un vestido con puntilla dorada de Carolina Herrera Pre Fall 2011.

Hilary Swank llevó un vestido color nude de Versace, con escote asimétrico.

Claire Danes llevó un vestido muy bonito, con estampado floral en colores verdes, de Louis Vuitton.
R.I.P. John Barry

There are certain obituaries that I've dreaded having to write ever since starting this blog, and making the decision to pay tribute to fallen heroes of screen spydom.  This is one of them.  Five time Academy Award-winning composer John Barry, the man who almost single-handedly defined the sound of the whole genre this blog is devoted to, has died of a heart attack at the age of 77, reports Reuters.  Current James Bond composer and Barry acolyte David Arnold revealed the sad news in a somber post on his Twitter feed this morning. He later told BBC Radio, "I think James Bond would have been far less cool without John Barry holding his hand," and he's absolutely right.

Although he didn't begin scoring the Bond films until the second one, From Russia With Love, Barry was certainly involved with Dr. No, adding so much to Monty Norman's James Bond Theme in his arrangement that it's been suggested he deserved a writing credit.* But even if you put the famous theme aside, it's Barry who shaped the soundscape associated with 007, and with the spy genre at large.  His role in creating the screen version of James Bond simply cannot be overstated.  I'd rate John Barry an equal collaborator with Terrence Young, Cubby Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, Ken Adam and Sean Connery in defining 007 for cinema audiences. For me, the music in those Sixties Bond films played as large a role in making me a life-long fan as the cars, the gadgets and the girls.  Apologies and credit where it's due to Miles Davis, but Barry's music was the Sound of Cool. 

It's impossible for me to even imagine 007's greatest cinematic moments without John Barry's distinctive score music accompanying them. The ski chase in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (featuring my favorite Barry Bond theme) comes instantly to mind, but the same can be said of the climactic underwater battle in Thunderball, Goldfinger's dawn raid on Fort Knox, SPECTRE's capsule-swallowing spaceship and Moonraker's thrilling river chase (a terrific setpiece too often overlooked because it comes in a less than terrific movie), not to mention countless iconic Maurice Binder title sequences unspooling to Barry's many equally iconic theme songs. Simply put, the Bond of the movies would be nothing without his soundtrack.

The other day, BBC America was playing Thunderball and I'd hit upon it while channel surfing, which of course meant I stayed on it, despite having the film in commercial-free versions on Blu-ray and who knows how many different DVD releases in my apartment. That's just the way it is. If you're reading this blog, then you know! Anyway, I was in the kitchen, making dinner, and couldn't see the screen. But I could hear the music, and I knew exactly what was happening in that big underwater battle. I smiled to myself as the movie played out in my mind, conjured by nothing more than John Barry's thrilling, distinctive chords.  Even if that music had never been attached to any film print, it would have told a story as exciting as anything that ever sprang from the mind of Ian Fleming. Barry's music works beautifully in the movie, in conjunction with Young's direction and Ted Moore's cinematography and John Stears' amazing visual effects, but it also works just as brilliantly on its own. To me, that is the mark of a master film composer. (Indeed, one of my favorite Barry records is a non-film album, The Beyondness of Things,** which tells a million stories all its own.)

John Barry's spy career, of course, went well beyond Bond--and his career at large went well beyond spies. As I recently noted while discussing John Powell's music for Fair Game, Barry defined the sound of spying at both ends of the spectrum in the Sixties: the action and adventure of 007, and the moody, introspective jazz of The IPCRESS File, "the thinking man's Goldfinger." Harry Palmer's theme, "A Man Alone," screams SPY just as loudly as the blaring trumpets of "Goldfinger," but in such a different way. As Barry explored new territory within the Bond series (such as perfecting lounge-core in Diamonds Are Forever or introducing electronica into spy music in The Living Daylights a full decade before it became de rigeur), he continued pushing the envelope of the more serious side of the genre in scores like The Quiller Memorandum or one of his final film scores, Enigma. These scores were as identifiably individual from each other as "007" is from "The Persuaders!" (another favorite Barry spy theme of mine; oh how I love it!), but they're all very clearly spy.  Honestly, I can't think of another composer who so single-handedly shaped an entire genre.  (Sure, John Williams re-wrote the book on adventure in the late Seventies, but he was building on a rich musical history that John Barry didn't have to rely on in the espionage genre. Sixties spy movies were an entirely different breed from those that had come before them, and so was their music.) 

And of course Barry's career wasn't limited to spy themes.  I honestly can't decide what I'll put on for my drive in to work tomorrow morning to commemorate the great man's passing.  It could just as easily be "John Dunbar's Theme" from Dances With Wolves or the sweeping love theme from Out of Africa or the discordantly contemplative jazz of Richard Lester's Swinging London romp The Knack and How to Get It. Or even Starcrash, which I just rewatched last weekend. I've had Barry's theme stuck in my head ever since, a theme so majestic that it elevates every campy, low-budget special effect  in the movie to the level the director clearly saw in his own head.  John Barry dabbled in every genre there is, and in doing so created at least a few masterpieces in every one of those genres.  He was a titan, as attested to by his five Oscars.

This being a spy blog, however, I have to come back to that genre that Barry affected more than any other.  He really did create the sound of spy music.  In fact, I can't think of any other single person who made quite so large a mark across the entire genre.  Sure, Ian Fleming and John Le Carre both defined their respective niches, and their influence is undeniable.  But they never ventured out of their clearly marked corners of the genre.  Barry, on the other hand, straddled the entire genre.  Without John Barry, the spy genre as we know it would not exist.  I'm incredibly saddened by his death, and by the fact that I can no longer hold out that hope I always clung to that the great man would one day return for one last Bond score.  (I love David Arnold's work, but I'd bet anything he, too, secretly pined for one last Barry score!)  But while that will never happen, never has a legacy been more assured.  Barry, in fact, enjoyed the rare opportunity to witness his legacy in his own lifetime.  When someone wanted a quick musical shorthand for "spy," they always went for Barry-esque horns.  Whether it was spoofs, like the Austin Powers movies, or loving homages, like Michael Giacchino's fantastically Barryesque Incredibles score, or even mainstream pop music (I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that the entire late Nineties musical genre known as trip-hop was inspired by Barry!), Barry's influence was in plain sight.  And it always will be, for as long as the genre lives on.

Rest in peace, John Barry. All spy fans and all music fans owe you a tremendous debt of gratitude.

*I think it's clear listening to earlier pieces by both composers that the theme as we know it is the result of a perfect collaboration, even if the two didn't work together directly and the authorship has been the source of debate too bitter to go into in a memorial post.

**Yes, I'm aware much of this music began its life as a rejected score, but it took on a whole new life of its own as a standalone work.
Tradecraft: Producers Offer Major Bond 23 Role to Javier Bardem

Deadline reports that Oscar-winner Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men) has been offered a part in the next James Bond movie. There are no details on the part, but the logical assumption would be that it's the villain.  And that, frankly, would be awesome.  Bardem would not only make a wonderful Bond villain, but a worthy antagonist for Daniel Craig in terms of both screen presence and physical stature.  I think Mathieu Amalric is a fantastic actor, but the finale of Quantum of Solace, in which he is supposed to make a credible opponant for Craig beggars belief. Since the producers have seemed intent for the last few decades on having Bond villains be physical matches for 007, Bardem makes a much better choice than the convincingly creepy but undeniably slight Amalric. 

The trade blog also indulges in some industry gossip, revealing that MGM's new custodians, Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, are milking the Bond license for all it's worth, trying to entice potential  distributors (remember, Bond 23 is still seeking a distribution partner) to put up cash for multiple MGM projects if they want any part of 007. Apparently some studio honchos are getting fed up with those tactics, but I have no doubt that a deal will be reached soon.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Elige a la Mejor Vestida de la Semana 4 del 2011

Aquí está la sección semanal con las elegidas a mejor vestida de la semana 4 del 2011. Espero que os guste, y que votéis por vuestra favorita.¡Gracias por Votar!

Leighton Meester es la Mejor Vestida de la Semana

Leighton es la reina esta semana con un vestido de Burberry Porsum en la ceremonia de los Globos de Oro. ¡Gracias a todos por votar!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eventos de la Semana

Gala de la Mode Sidaction 2011, Paris

Diane Kruger llevó un vestido recién salido de la pasarela, de Chanel Couture Primavera 2011.

Premios NTA 2011, Londres

Cheryl Cole llevó un vestido negro, con aberturas en la espalda, de Versace Primavera 2011.

Presentación de "No Strings Attached", NY

Demi Moore llevó un vestido en negro y azul, semitransparente, de Christian Dior Primavera 2011.

Olivia Palermo llegó con un vestido de cuero negro, un chaleco de pelo de Tory Burch, y botines de Diane Von Furstenberg.

Fiesta de Fox tras los Globos de Oro 2011, LA

Natalie Portman posó con su premio, con un vestido color gris, de seda, de Azzaro Primavera 2011.

Jennifer López no me gustó nada, parecía que se había disfrazado de avestruz con este vestido rosa palo de Marchesa.

Fiesta del Té de los BAFTA en LA

Jessica Lowndes llevó un vestido color crema, con sandalias de print de leopardo de Jimmy Choo.

Jennifer Love Hewitt llevó un vestido estampad, que le quedaba estupendo.

Kim Kardashian en el Show de David Letterman

Kim Kardashian llevó un vestido impresionante, en color negro, de Marc Bouwer Primavera 2010.

Gala Baume & Mercier, Suiza

Gwyneth Paltrow llevó uno de los vestido más conocidos de Azzedine Alaia, en color rosa claro.

Presentación de Haute Muse Magazine en Qatar

Olivia Palermo estaba increíble con este vestido tridimensional, de Alexander McQueen en color blanco. Los botines de ante marrón son de Elizabeth and James.
BBC America Website Offers Bond Trivia, Games and More 

BBC America is just wrapping up a month-long James Bond marathon called "007 '11," and to promote it they set up a dedicated mini-site devoted to 007. It's actually a pretty good site! It's got some fun, silly stuff like a "What's my Bond name?" quiz and some surprisingly challenging trivia. You can play separate trivia challenges for the first four Connery movies, and while I was fully expecting to breeze through them, I must sheepishly admit that I got some wrong.  There are some tougher questions than I was expecting from this sort of thing!  Give it a try.  I might be too late to promote the marathon (although if you're reading this site I suspect you already own all these movies anyway), but I imagine the site won't go anywhere. BBC America shows Bond movies all the time.
Thanks to Josh for calling my attention to this!

Desfilde de Chanel Couture Primavera 2011

¡Ya están aquí las colecciones de Alta Costura!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tradecraft: ABC Greenlights Female Take On Taken

Deadline reports that ABC has picked up a summer drama series about a badass former CIA agent who jets off to Europe to seek their missing teenage offspring.  Lest you think that sounds like the plot of Taken, this is a badass female former CIA agent who goes off to Italy (not France) after her lost teenage son (not daughter)... and the son isn't taken; he's Missing. And that's the title. (Though it's also been known throughout its development as Safe and Hall of Mirrors.) This is the series from The Gates producers Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo that we first heard about last October when it was described as "Taken meets The Bourne Identity."  Here's the official logline as things stand now, as per the trade blog: "[Missing] centers on a worried mom who, after her son disappears in Italy while overseas for a summer internship, takes it upon herself to travel to Europe and track him down. It soon becomes clear that this isn’t any ordinary woman, but a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive." So will she vow to tear down the Leaning Tower of Pisa if she has to? That seems like it would be easier than tearing down the Eiffel Tower. Maybe the Coliseum?

Of course, as much as I might joke, I'll be thrilled to tune in this summer to a weekly female version of Taken! Emmy-winning Dexter director Steve Shill is attached to direct multiple epidodes, including the pilot.
Archer Returns Tonight!

My favorite new spy show of last year returns for a second season on FX tonight, January 27 at 10PM. I saw the season premiere when it screened at Comic-Con last summer, and it was great.  In fact, it might be the best episode yet, and it was an ideal jumping-on point if you've never seen any of Season 1.  (Not that the half-hour animated comedy is really serial or anything.)  My favorite part of Archer is its awesome visual style, which draws from the best design elements of the James Bond series throughout the years.  As with last season, there's some very cool (and very Bondian) promotional artwork associated with the new one, though I can't find a high-res version of the whole poster, just details from it.  (You can, however, download a very large version from the official Archer website, a PDF big enough to print out and make your own wall poster!) Please bear in mind, though, if you're tuning in expecting a reverent spy parody, that Archer is in no way reverent and that (as I've said many times) the humor goes well beyond sending up the spy genre and is very, very crude.  Personally, I love it, but it's admittedly not for all tastes. The DVD of Season One is out now, and you can also catch up by watching entire episodes online on FX's website.
Dench Returns as M

The whole web is alight with news originating at that Dame Judi Dench has confirmed that she will return as M in Bond 23.  She revealed the news at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. Nothing is a given in this movie after such a long delay, but now speculation about the 76-year-old actress being replaced as the head of MI6 can end for the time being. 

Gala Art Of Elysium 2010 "Heaven", LA

Leighton Meester llegó impresionante con este vestido de flecos, estilo cabaret, de Louis Vuitton Primavera 2011. Llevó clutch de la misma colección, y sandalias de Roger Vivier.

Rachel Bilson llevó un vestido largo en color coral de Zac Posen

Camilla Belle llevó un vestido de Alberta Ferreti: Pitti Immagine Uomo 79. Llevó zapatos de Brian Atwood.

Eva Mendes no me gustó mucho con este vestido de Valentino.

Nicole Richie llevó un vestido a base de flecos, en color negro, de Emilio Pucci.

Milla Jovovich llevó un vestido corto, de encaje en color negro.

Kirsten Dunst llevó un vestido en verde claro y azul estampado, de Rodarte Primavera 2011.

Jennifer Love Hewitt es la que más me ha impresionado con este vestido de Paule Ka.