14 Apr 2017

Bond as gondolier - Venice


In Moonraker Bond is breaking into Drax's secret laboratory in Venice. Bond, disguised as a gondolier arrives in his gondola on the Grand Canal. Bond appears to enter a small door which probably is located on the facade of Casa de Uscoli, right next to Palazzetto Pisani. This location is fairly accurate since the following scenes with Bond breaking in and sneaking across the courtyard was filmed on the courtyard of Palazzetto Pisani.


The palazzo where Bond parks his gondola is located in the San Marco district. Seen in the background is the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute in the most southern Dorsoduro district.



The interior of Drax's laboratory was filmed at Ca' Rezzonico. The same part of the Grand Canal, filmed from the other side right by the basilica, was also seen in one of the last scenes in From Russia With Love

8 Apr 2017

Bond looking for a party

In The Living Daylights, Bond fakes an assassination of the Soviet general Pushkin during a trade conference in Tangier and escapes over the rooftops. Bond is offered a lift with two girls in the Medina, asking him if he is looking for a party. In order to escape the Moroccan security guards Bond jumps in, not knowing that they actually are CIA agents who are sent out to bring him in for a meeting with Felix Leiter.



On their way to Leiter, they drive down a wide street in Tangier. This is the large Avenue Mohamed VI which runs alongside the beach in central Tangier. The building that makes this location possible to identify is Hotel Rif, which is seen on the right side of the avenue as Bond and the CIA agents drive past.




The hotel with its rounded corner is located on number 152 Avenue Mohamed VI.



The entrance to Hotel Rif is seen through the wind screen
The two CIA agents Ava and Liz, who allegedly are sent out to help Bond escape or just bring him to Leiter, pick up Bond in their Chevrolet Impala in the Medina, which actually is located quite far from the location for the trade conference. The location where they pick up Bond will be covered later.

- Hey, are you looking for a party?


29 Mar 2017

Bond references in Spectre - part three

In Spectre, almost all the previous Bond films are referenced in more or less conspicuous ways. The references to the first sixteen films have been covered in two previous posts, here and here, and below I list the references to the last seven films in the series, GoldenEye trough Skyfall.

GoldenEye


Pevsner Commerzbank, GmbH
In Spectre, Q is staying at a hotel called 'The Pevsner' in the Austrian alps. Bond and Dr Swan are meeting Q in room 12. The reference to Pevsner was previously made in GoldenEye when a bank called Pevsner Commerzbank was seen on one of Alec Trevelyan's computers. Pevsner is a name that is well connected to the Bond series. Tom Pevsner worked as an associate and then executive producer on every James Bond film from For Your Eyes Only to GoldenEye. He died in 2014.

Q is staying at The Pevsner, room 12

Further, in GoldenEye, Bond changes the timer from six minutes to three during the pre-title sequence when 006 is captured by the Russians. As a favor later in the film, Alec gives Bond three minutes to escape from the missile train before it explodes.



Just as in GoldenEye, Blofeld gives Bond three minutes in Spectre to find Dr Swan and escape from Mi6 before it explodes.


Tomorrow Never Dies 

I have not yet found any obvious references to Tomorrow in Spectre, other than the fact that Monica Belluci originally was considered for the role of Paris Carver, but was turned down by the producers, called "those fools", by Brosnan.


The World is Not Enough 

The Worlds is Not Enough is referenced on at least two different occasions in Spectre. 

When Bond is trying to kill Renard he is protected by bullet proof glass in the elevator in The World is Not Enough.  



In the same way, Bond is trying to shoot Blofeld but the bullet is stopped as Blofeld is hiding behind bullet proof glass.



A boat chase on the Thames, past the Houses of Parliament, is not something new to the Bond series either. Already in 1999, in The World is Not Enough, we saw Bond riding down the Thames in Q's boat similar to the scene in Spectre


Bond chasing the 'Cigar girl' in The World is Not Enough

Die Another Day

There are no obvious references to Die Another Day in Spectre other than the fact that Die Another Day, as the 40th anniversary film, also referenced the previous Bond films. 

Casino Royale 

Obviously, all the Craig Bond films are more or less referenced as Spectre shows that Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall are threaded more closely together than suspected. Images of familiar faces like Vepser Lynd, Silva and Le Chiffre pop up at Mi6. However, a few conspicuous references can also be spotted. 

In the pre-title sequence of Casino Royale Bond is waiting for the section chief in Prague, Dryden, to assassinate him as part of becoming a 00 agent. When Dryden tries to shoot Bond first, Bond has removed the clip from the gun. 



The bullet-removal bluff is repeated in Spectre when M is facing C. 



Another reference is the smart blood injected by Q in Bond's arm. This scene in Spectre is practically identical to the scene in Casino Royale where M has a microchip implanted in Bond's arm.



Quantum of Solace


Just as in Quantum of Solace, we find Bond in yet another boat chase in Spectre, this time also involving the leading lady who also is given the wheel. 


Skyfall




M's death in Skyfall is referenced in Spectre with her making a cameo from the grave, in a prerecorded message to Bond, giving him one final assignment - to kill Sciarra. Jack the bulldog, M's desk ornament which ultimately is left to Bond in M's will, also make a reappearance in Spectre when it is seen in Bond's living room on the table. This reference was known already before the release of the film as the first teaser picture released by the filmmakers was a picture of Jack and a movie clapper stating the shooting of the very first take in the film.




25 Mar 2017

Bond's hotel in Venice - St Mark's Square


In Casino Royale, Bond and Vesper are staying in a suite at a hotel by the famous Piazza San Marco, known as St Mark's square, in Venice. As Vesper is leaving for her secret meeting with Gettler, pretending she's just going to the bank. Bond walks her down to the lobby where Vesper kisses Bond goodbye for the last time, knowing that she will not see him again.

The view from Bond's hotel suite in the film

Bond is waiting for Vesper to come back and is looking out on the St Mark's square from the suite balcony. The famous Saint Mark's Basilica (Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco) the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice is seen at the far end of the square, next to the bell tower, known as St Mark's Campanile.



When Bond understands that he has been betrayed he runs down through the hotel lobby, scenes actually filmed at the Prague National Museum covered earlier. When Bond runs across the square on his way to the Venice branch of the Basel Bank, the basilica and the bell tower are briefly seen in the background.


The west facade of the Basilica di San Marco 


The square is enclosed with arcades on three sides with the two longest arcades along the north and south side of the Piazza. It is in one of these arcades that Bond finds the entrance to the Venice branch of Basel Bank.


Needless to say, St Marc's square is one of the most famous places in Venice and packed with tourists during the day. It is on this square that Sir Roger drives his hovercraft gondola (known as the Bondola) in Moonraker. This scene will be covered later.


 
The history of the Piazza San Marco is too long to even try to summarise, but the only pre-renaissance building still standing on the square is the Doge's Palace. The buildings surrounding the square on three sides date back to the 16th century.