Horror Trailer: Carrie (by Kimberly Peirce)

We finally have the first trailer in the upcoming horror remake Carrie starring Chloe Grace Moretz and directed by Boys Don’t Cry filmmaker Kimberly Peirce.

When news came out that the classic Brian De Palma film adaptation of the Stephen King novel was being remade there wasn’t much of a positive reaction to the news. The usual grumbling about another horror remake being put into production and how Hollywood was running out of ideas was heard throughout the blog land. Then more details surface of who would play the title role which was made famous in the original film by Sissy Spacek. When it was announced that Chlie Grace Moretz would take on the Carrie role then grumbling subsided somewhat.

While there will always be detractors of the film even while it’s still in production the word coming out that the film will not be a straight out remake of the film but more of a faithful adaptation of the novel has made me cautiously optimistic. The fact that the last horror remake Moretz was involved in turned out quite well (Let Me In) is another reason to hope. Plus, Peirce as the director should help put the focus of the film’s narrative on where King originally intended it to be and that’s the social divide between the popular kids in the dangerous world of high school who end up bullying the weaker outcasts.

The teaser trailer gives a hint at how the film looks to follow the novel more than the De Palma film by showing the town in flames and not just the school. Carrie is set for a March 15, 2013 release date.

October Music Series: Стары Ольса – Дрыгула

Time has been getting the better of me so far this month, and I haven’t really been able to structure these posts in the order I’d initially intended. But while the songs I had in mind that require a bit more research go on hold, I offer you another taste of Belarusian folk/early music masterminds Stary Olsa.

I came across Дрыгула (Drygula) while I was posting up Dances, when I discovered that a number of their more recent songs were available for free download on their official website. Drygula is the title track to their 2009 release. To quote their website:

“This CD presents dance music from the late Middle Ages to early baroque, written in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (Polacak Adversaria) and Western European countries. During these works’ performance, the instruments which correspond to their times are used.”

So according to the band, what you’re hearing here is uncompromised, authentic music of the Middle Ages. That is… pretty hard for me to believe, but who knows? Maybe 16th century Lithuania really was this awesome.

The Name’s Bond, Jimmy Bond: Casino Royale (1954)

Hi there!  On November 9th (which just happens to be my birthday, by the way), the latest James Bond film will opening here in the States.  The early reviews of Skyfall have been nothing sort of amazing, with several critics declaring it to be the best Bond film ever.  Well, time will tell.  The fact of the matter is that many of those same critics said the exact same thing about Quantum of Solace before it was actually released.

That said, the James Bond franchise seems to be one of the few things that everyone on this planet has in common.  It seems that everyone has seen (and loved) at least one Bond film.  There’s a reason why Skyfall is going to be the number one film in the world despite having a totally generic title.  For over 50 years, people have loved Bond.

Here at the Shattered Lens, we’re observing the 50th anniversary of the James Bond franchise by reviewing every single James Bond film that’s ever been made.  In the days leading up to the American release of Skyfall, we’ll be taking a look at every single adventure that the cinematic James Bond has had.  Everything from the good to the bad to the ugly.

Everyone knows that Sean Connery made his debut of James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No but what they may not know is that Sean Connery was not the first actor to play James Bond.  James Bond made his first appearance 8 years earlier when an American television show called Climax! presented a 48-minute adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale.

In this version of Climax!, James Bond was known as Jimmy Bond and he was about as American as you can get.  (Felix Leiter, meanwhile, was now English and named Clarence Leiter).  Jimmy Bond was played by Barry Nelson, an actor who is probably best known for playing the blandly friendly hotel manager in Stanley Kubrick’s The ShiningCasino Royale’s villain, Le Chiffre, was played by none other than Peter Lorre.

This version of Casino Royale was initially meant to serve as a pilot for a weekly television series but, perhaps fortunately, the Climax version of Casino Royale didn’t get much attention when it was originally aired.  According to Sinclair McKay’s authoritative Bond book, The Man With The Golden Touch, this version of Casino Royale was forgotten about until a copy of it was discovered in the 1980s.  By that time, of course, everyone knew that James Bond was English and that Felix Leiter was American.

Thanks to YouTube, I’ve seen the Climax! Casino Royale and it’s a curiosity.  If Dr. No hadn’t launched the James Bond film franchise, there would be little reason to watch this version of Casino Royale.  It moves a bit slowly, is way too stagey, and it reveals that, contrary to what we’ve all heard, live television was not always the greatest thing on the planet.  Not surprisingly, this adaptation contains none of the brutality or the moral ambiguity that makes Fleming’s novel such a fun read.  American television audiences would not see Jimmy Bond strapped naked to a chair and an American television show would never end with the hero saying, “The bitch is dead.”  The best you can say about this version of Casino Royale is that Peter Lorre makes for a good villain (in fact, of the three versions of Casino Royale, the television version is the only one to feature an effective Le Chiffre) and Barry Nelson would have made a good Felix Leiter.

That said, I still find the television version of Casino Royale to be fascinating from a historical point of view.  This is the type of show that you watch for curiosity value.  This is the type of show that you watch so that you can think about how different things could have been.

So, presented for your viewing pleasure, here’s the original version of Casino Royale:

Coming tomorrow: The James Bond film franchise gets off to its proper start with … Dr. No!