The Sky is falling!

The Sky is falling!

It’s finally here. After months of anticipation, James Bond’s 23rd adventure Skyfall comes to UAE screens this weekend. We bring you the inside goss from the London premiere and everything you need to become a double-o agent

Live and let Dubai

IT’S EXACTLY 50 years since Sean Connery sat at Le Cercle’s premier baccarat table, slipped a cigarette from its silver case and uttered the words that would go down in filmmaking folklore: “Bond. James Bond.”

The introductory sequence from 1962’s Dr No saw ‘Britain’s Greatest Weapon’ introduce himself to Silvia Trench as he produced a winning hand to take the house and pique the young woman’s interest. The effortless charm and elegance of the piece instantly created a formula that has become a necessary element of each of the 21 subsequent films in the series and will no doubt be a feature of the 23rd, Skyfall, opening across the UAE tomorrow.

For half a century Bond’s escapades have delighted moviegoers by opening a window to a fantasy beyond most people’s comprehension. The action and exotic locations have continuously enhanced the cinematic landscape, but it is the lifestyle that has left many (let’s face it, mostly men) both shaken and stirred. The finest suits, automobiles, watches, restaurants and gadgets Bond has at his disposal have had more than a few trawling the web for potential vacancies as freelance spies.

Yet, is it necessary to put your life on the line for Queen and country in order to enjoy these benefits? Residing in a location that would do a Bond plot proud – and has in the case of the latest book Carte Blanche – Dubai can offer up every dinner jacket, five-star eatery and European sports car you’ll ever need to emulate the man himself.

So, pay attention budding 007s as we serve up how to live JB style on your very doorstep to whet your appetite for tomorrow’s release.

THE LIVING NIGHTLIFE – Where to be seen

“There are some things that just aren’t done, such as sipping bubbly above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.” – James Bond, Goldfinger (1964)

Skyview Bar- Burj Al Arab

A gleaming futuristic structure set on its own island; guards standing at the end of the private bridge, the Burj Al Arab may actually be better suited to one of Bond’s arch nemeses. However, take the lift to the Skyview Bar on the upper floor and you’ll instantly see it’s a haunt for the good guys. Panoramic views, a quirky décor and lavish cocktails make this a good point for a Roger Moore-type 007 to kick off the evening.

The C Club – Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

Like a set straight out of From Russia With Love, a young Sean Connery-esque Bond would soak up the atmosphere of the wood-panelled cigar lounge and perhaps engage in a clandestine chat whilst enjoying a slow-burning Cuban. Asking the valet to bring round the Aston and powering back across the Palm to get to the next location would certainly make a great end to the pre-credits sequence.

David Light

Sky’s the limit

SPANISH ACTOR AND Bond villain Javier Bardem lavishes praise on Oscar-winning British director Sam Mendes, saying he turned the new 007 movie Skyfall into a “creative laboratory” for the cast.

In an interview, Bardem praised Mendes for encouraging actors to improvise, an ‘astonishing” freedom given the enormous scale of the 007 franchise.

Daniel Craig plays James Bond for the third time in the movie with even more attention than usual focused on the project in the 50th anniversary of the first Bond film.

“The first time I saw a James Bond movie, I was 12 years old and it was Moonraker,” Bardem said. “Since then I have seen them all,” said the actor, who plays cyber-terrorist Raoul Silva.

“My generation and lots of others grew up with James Bond, and it was a luxury and an honour to be invited to be in the film celebrating its 50th anniversary,” added the Oscar-winning actor.

The movie, released on Friday in most of Europe and on November 9 in North America, is a first Bond movie for Mendes, who won an Oscar for 1999’s American Beauty, and is also known for Revolutionary Road in 2008.

“What he’s done is to add a classic touch from the biggest James Bond films, while bringing more complexity to the characters, their relationships and the dialogue,” said Bardem.

“That combination makes the movie work on all levels,” he added.

He continued, of Mendes: “He is someone who works very hard, who loves to get involved, to try different things, to improvise. On set there was an atmosphere like a creative laboratory, we tried all sorts of things.

“For a film on the scale of Skyfall, that was absolutely astonishing.”

The creative freedom also applies to Bardem’s role as Silva, whose first scene in the movie is a striking long-shot in which he walks from the distance straight up to the camera.

“Sam and I suggested several ideas, and worked on how to handle the same scene with different tones and different nuances,” said Bardem. “That produced something, and Sam used that to develop the scene as it appears in the film.”

The same goes for what his character looks like, including the blond hair and strangely child-like psychopathic smile, said Bardem, who is married to Spanish actress Penelope Cruz.

“The physical appearance of a character must always, absolutely always, be justified dramatically. You can’t do anything gratuitously, otherwise it just becomes a display of an actor’s vanity,” he said.

“With Silva, we wanted to create situations which were uncomfortable for the characters around him. And this difficulty had to be shown in the physical sense, very explicitly,” he added.

“That’s how we came up with the idea of an appearance which is uncomfortable to watch,” which makes the filmgoer wonder “What’s happening with this guy,” added Bardem.

Bond star Craig, Barden’s nemesis in the latest film, has admitted to having “stalked” the Spaniard to appear in Skyfall.

“I’m one of Javier’s biggest fans,” said the Briton. “I’m a bit of a stalker in fact, because I actually did stalk him to get him for this part — I went to a party he was at so I could ask him to do it, and he said ‘Yes’.” AFP

More news from City Times