Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Raymond Hawkey obituaries

Two obituaries for the late Raymond Hawkey - whose death was covered last week on this blog and referenced elsewhere across the blogosphere - have appeared in today's papers, in both The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. Both obituaries use the same photograph - reproduced here - of Hawkey in what I guess is the late sixties or early seventies, sitting aside some modernist designer furniture and demonstrating his impeccable dress sense which is remarked upon in both obituaries.

Both obituaries are well written and respectful portraits of a contemporary and lifelong pal of Len Deighton who in his own way made as much an impact on the 'sixties through his pioneering design work in publishing - particularly through The Ipcress File cover and later on the Pan Bond editions - and in newspapers and magazines, shaking up the media establishment with his introduction of photo realism and a new graphical approach to typography and illustration. His influence is still seen in the papers we read every day.

Len Deighton himself penned his own tribute in Sunday's Observer newspaper to a man who had been his friend since the fifties. "It was a great privilege to be Ray's friend", he writes. As there is no url link currently available on The Observer website, a copy of said article is reproduced below as an image.

(c) Guardian Media Group

A touching, personal note on an enduring friendship.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

More twists than a bag of pretzels - Jeremy Duns' Free Country

Part two of the Paul Dark trilogy
Paul Dark - double agent and cold-hearted killer - is most definitely back. Jeremy Duns' sixties spy, fresh from dealing with the terrifying and life-threatening demands of satisfying two Cold War masters on two continents, reappears in Free Country (Simon and Schuster, £19.99 hb). And this time, the web of intrigue, deception and downright plot complexity is double what it was in the first of the trilogy, Free Agent.

This first book established the central conceit - Dark is an MI:6 officer who was recruited by the NKVD just after the war but, in 1969, is on the verge of being outed as a 'double'. He had managed to save himself from being uncovered, but only after some high-energy derring do in Nigeria and facing almost certain death from a deadly jungle virus and a battle with Soviet agent with a tale to tell.

In this second book, the awkwardness of his situation becomes apparent and exposure seems imminent. We find our hero operating in London and Rome. (Question - can the reader emphasise with a "hero" character who kills his own boss? Of course ... who hasn't thought about murdering their boss during a particularly dull team meeting! More seriously, he has enough redeeming character traits and his unique situation creates an element of sympathy for someone who seems permanently trapped and on the run).

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Kiss me, then Kill me! New exhibition on the art of Cold War espionage fiction

Poster for the new exhibition

A new exhibition is opening in Hertfordshire this week looking at the aesthetics of design in the Cold War era, celebrating the the unique graphic art and forgotten spy films of Cold War Europe.

Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill opens at the University of Hertfordshire Art and Design Gallery, Hatfield. The University is jointly curating the exhibition with the Hertfordshire Film Consortium.

Centred on the kitsch designs produced across Europe during the Cold War, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill is the first exhibition of a collection of newly restored posters from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, the U.S.S.R, East and West Germany and the UK. The different graphic styles in the East and West provide an expansive portrait of European taste, national identity and politics of the period, with the brash super kitsch of Italian cinema posters juxtaposed compellingly with the lo-tech golden age of non commercial Czech film poster design.

Oh! What a Lovely Start to a Film

Raymond Hawkey designed the opening titles to the 1969 Bryan Duffy and Richard Attenborough produced film (Deighton took his name off the production credits) of the stage play Oh! What a Lovely War. A great opening sequence with the Hawkey touch, some of the images suggest an antecedence from the approach taken on the The Ipcress File cover.

Raymond Hawkey - a personal note from Edward Milward-Oliver

Following yesterday's announcement of the death of Raymond Hawkey, Deighton's biographer Edward Milward-Oliver - also a friend of Hawkey - offered to share some reflections on the noted designer’s legacy. I'm happy to print them below:

Ray Hawkey - a reflection by Edward Milward-Oliver
"Shit. No day that starts with me finding out that Raymond Hawkey died has half a chance of turning out well. RIP"
 – A posting on Twitter 

Raymond Hawkey's graphic design work across newspapers, magazines and publishing, had a significant influence on the visual culture of Britain in the second half of the Twentieth Century. His early interest in American graphics while a student at the Royal College of Art subsequently helped change the look of British newspapers and magazines. He was Design Director at the Daily Express in its heyday from the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, where he introduced illustrated graphic panels into the news pages (a concept quickly adopted by other newspapers), and then served as Presentation Director of the Observer and Observer Magazine for eleven years until 1975. He advised The Independent and IPC Magazines through the following decade, while establishing himself as a best-selling author.

Hawkey is more widely known for his 30-year association with Len Deighton, and his black and white photographic jacket for The Ipcress File, published in 1962, had a major influence on the evolution of British book jacket design.

He produced only one drawing, which Deighton approved immediately. Robin Denniston, Deighton's editor at Hodder & Stoughton, was equally taken with the concept but had to overcome the fierce opposition of the sales force who felt it was too unorthodox. After the publisher declined to pay more than its usual 15 guinea design fee, Deighton topped it up to £50, which Hawkey split with Daily Express news photographer Ken Denyer.

What Hawkey did was to apply magazine and advertising techniques to the execution of what would later be recognised as a groundbreaking design. The jacket was shot on a half-plate camera in the Daily Express photographic studio using high-key lighting, which at the time was very much in vogue for taking upmarket fashion photographs. Although the content of the photograph was both menacing (the Smith & Wesson revolver and bullets) and dirty (the chipped cup of cold tea and the stubbed out cigarette), Hawkey thought it important that the overall look should be cool and sophisticated. In order to achieve this, Hawkey and Ken Denyer built a tent of white tissue over the set, through which it was lit, with a hole for the camera lens. The result was what Mike Dempsey, a former President of DAD, has described as ‘one of the key moments in design history’ when considered within the context of the period.

In addition to working with Len Deighton, Raymond Hawkey designed jackets and promotional material for many authors including Kingsley Amis, Frederick Forsyth, John Grisham, Ruth Rendell and Ian Fleming. His cover for the 1963 Pan paperback edition of Thunderball is possibly the most important jacket in the whole of the Ian Fleming/James Bond publishing history. His prescient design signalled that a new cinematic phenomenon had been born. Hawkey proposed that for the first time ‘James Bond’ should be elevated above the title – where it remained for nearly four decades. Not only that, he decided ‘James Bond’ should be twice the size of the title and author’s name, thus anticipating that the films would become the critical element in the marketing and success of the books.
His cover design was then replicated on Pan’s other Fleming paperback titles. The inspired choice of Hawkey was that of Bond co-producer Harry Saltzman, who convinced the chairman of Pan Books that the paperback editions – with their passé narrative illustrations - should be redesigned. And with the Pan Thunderball cover Hawkey also broke new ground in having bullet holes die-cut into the Brian Duffy photograph of the girl's back. He repeated the effect with the keyhole cut-out cover revealing Twiggy for the Penguin edition of Len Deighton's London Dossier in 1967.

A modest, generous man, always immaculately dressed, Raymond Hawkey was once talent-spotted by MI6 . . . but that story is for another day.
Edward Milward-Oliver is currently writing a biography of Len Deighton. For anyone interested in Hawkey's career, he offers a number of suggested sources of further reading:
  • Raymond Hawkey. ‘Advertising: no skeleton in anybody’s cupboard’ in ARK, The Journal of the Royal College of Art. Issue 5. RCA, 1952. 
  • Raymond Hawkey. The Penrose Annual: Graphic Arts International. Volume 66. Lund Humphries, 1973. 
  • Alex Seago. Burning the Box of Beautiful Things. Oxford University Press, 1995. 
  • Stephen Kent. ‘James Bond Gets a Facelift’ in One-off: A Collection of Essays by Postgraduate Students on the Victoria & Albert Museum/Royal College of Art Course in the History of Design. V&A/RCA, 1997. 
  • Alan Powers. Front Cover: Great Book Jackets and Cover Design. Mitchell Beazley, 2001. 
  • Rick Poynor (Editor). Independent British Graphic Design since the Sixties. Laurence King Publishing, 2004.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Raymond Hawkey - designer of iconic Ipcress File front cover - passes away

I've been advised by Deighton's biographer and friend Edward Milward-Oliver of the sad passing of graphic artist and author Raymond Hawkey. A friend and fellow art school graduate of Len Deighton, Hawkey was one of the pioneers of graphic illustration in the UK in the sixties - particularly in book cover design - and will be best remembered for his iconic front covers for Deighton's first four novels - The Ipcress File, Horse Under Water, Funeral in Berlin and Billion-Dollar Brain. All four of these were landmarks in the development of dust cover design, particularly because of Hawkey's use of large amounts of white space and black and white photography at a time when book covers were still largely in colour and illustrated. Hawkey had a long working relationship with Deighton and provided the covers and associated marketing material for many other of his works.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

From the BBC archives - Deighton and Bragg

Thanks to eagle-eyed blog reader Nick Elliott I've come across a little gem hidden away in the dark recesses of the BBC's website, in the 'archive' section.

It's an episode of The Lively Arts from BBC 1, broadcast on 18 December 1977 and is one of the very few lengthy to-camera interviews Deighton has given in his life, the other being the The Truth about Len Deighton documentary from BBC4 in 2006. As such, it's an insight into the author's life and work at a time when he was pre-eminent among fiction authors in the UK, following the success of Bomber, and he was becoming equally well-known as a historian with the publication of Fighter: the true story of the Battle of Britain.

The programme is filmed partly in London and party on the Algarve coast in Portugal, where Deighton lived for much of the year (partly for tax purposes in the 'seventies, no doubt). It starts off in biographical mode, referring to Deighton's early 'Dickensian' life from the workhouse to the kitchen to the designer's desk. The first interesting  anecdote concerns the genesis of his first book, The Ipcress File. Deighton emphasises that he came to writing completely ignorant of the process and the expectations associated with being a writer. He wasn't, he says, intimidated by the knowledge of how much work was associated with: "you just sat down and started writing a book and by the weekend it would be finished." He wrote it for amusement and put it aside for a year, finishing the rest of it on his next holiday in France. At the time, he says, he didn't have a strong ambition to be a writer. The nature of the book is, he says, "the most self indulgent book ever written"; it was not written with a view to getting published ... but it subsequently sold over 2 million copies. Deighton seems genuinely surprised in the interview about its success.

What comes across in the discussions is Deighton's unique approach to bringing research to his novels and drawing on the fascinating people he had already met during his life. For example, he talks of the many people he'd met at the time who "had experience of spying" or who covered espionage in the media, and from them he got some fascinating stories. People offered up to him freely with increasing regularity after the publication of his first book. "I attract people who like to talk", he says.

A fascinating interview which has some new insights I've not heard or read in previous media interviews.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Them communists was quite handy with the ball, you know.

Dukla Prague away-kit
Interesting little snippet  from this weekend's Observer newspaper, reviewing a new biography of former Spurs manager Bill Nicholson, who took the club to the league and cup double in 1960/61 and then to the semi-finals of the European Cup. Back in the day .... when it was a proper cup ... played by the proper champions of each league.

Rob Bagchi writes how the author of the biography Brian Scovell paints a vivid picture of European football behind the iron curtain:
"the tales of trips behind the Iron Curtain to play Poland's Gornik Zabrze and Czechoslovakia's Dukla Prague have a distinctly Len Deighton-ish air with their misty train platforms, journalists taken into custody and bug-ridden beds"
'Len Deighton-ish'. Pretty self-explanatory adjective, which fits nicely into the lexicon of 20th century shared cultural references. Demonstrates the extent to which Funeral in Berlin and The Ipcress File have become literary and historic short-hand for conjuring up popular images of the Cold War.

The book sounds very interesting. Back in the sixties and seventies Eastern Europe was another world for most people. The footballers, like the Eastern bloc military and spy networks, were regarded as ruthlessly efficient, lacking in art but dedicated to the inevitable (!) victory of international socialism on the playing field as well as the battle field. 

As anyone who's read the book Behind the Iron Curtain by Jonathan Wilson will know, the links between the Communist parties and the secret police in most Eastern European countries were frequent, pernicious and sometimes pretty transparent, as was the case with Dynamo Berlin, which was the Stasi's pet club. 

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Another list ....

Sometimes, if you're an editor stuck for content, there's nothing easier than slipping in a 'top twenty', a 'best of'. The Observer Food Monthly magazine has put a panel of its best cookery and food experts on the case to find the 50 best cookbooks ever published.

Len Deighton's Action Cook Book makes it into the top 50 at 44, sandwiched in between The Art of Mexican Cooking and Indian Vegetable Cookery. There's a culinary joke in there somewhere ... can't think for the life of me what it is!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Notching up the thrill rating

More good new from Mike Ripley, author and contributor of the 'Shot in the Dark' section of the excellent online Shots Magazine, who is also now running Ostara Publishing’s Top Notch Thrillers imprint. This aims to revive Great British thrillers ‘which do not deserve to be forgotten'. Mike's got a knack for picking out long-forgotten titles, giving them a spit and a polish and putting them back on display for a reading public who otherwise would be none the wiser.

The new titles coming include: a 50th anniversary reissue of a classic manhunt, the story of a World War II conspiracy from one of the biggest selling authors of the 1970s, an award-winning against-the-clock thriller and a Gothic chiller from an author described as the literary link between Dennis Wheatley and James Herbert.

Watcher in the Shadows by Geoffrey Household is the tense, spare story of a manhunt across England’s green and pleasant countryside in 1955 which has been described by one critic “As if Gunfight at the OK Corral had been transposed to St Mary Mead.”

Geoffrey Household, the writer widely considered to be the natural successor to John Buchan, had an unrivalled feel for the English countryside and the primitive bond between hunter and prey. First published fifty years ago in 1960, Watcher in the Shadows is a masterly description of a deadly game of cat-and-mouse which ranks comfortably alongside Household’s legendary Rogue Male.

Black Camelot, first published in 1978, combines a superbly researched wartime conspiracy plot with blistering action and rightly led to the author, Duncan Kyle, being favourably compared to Alistair Maclean and Desmond Bagley.

Under his real name, John Broxholme was a distinguished journalist and Chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association, but it was as Duncan Kyle that he achieved international fame from the moment his first thriller, A Cage of Ice, became an instant bestseller on publication in 1970.

Francis Clifford was one of Britain’s most respected thriller writers from his first well-crafted mysteries in the late 1950s to his untimely death in 1975. His 1974 novel The Grosvenor Square Goodbye was a sensation on publication, won the Crime Writers’ Silver Dagger and was serialised in national newspapers.

The action of the book takes place in less than 24 hours and begins with a crazed lone gunman bringing the West End of London – and the American Embassy – to a violent halt. But nothing, absolutely nothing, in this ingenious ticking-clock thriller can be taken for granted.

The Young Man From Lima, first published in 1968, shows all the trademark touches which made author John Blackburn “today’s master of horror” (Times Literary Supplement).

Blackburn held a unique place among British thriller writers of the 1960s, adding his own taste for the Gothic and the macabre to the conventions of the thriller, the spy story and the detective novel, and always at a ferocious pace. As a writer he is seen as the literary link between the work of Dennis Wheatley and James Herbert and many of his plots were based on scientific or medical phenomenon presaging the work of writers such as Michael Crichton.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Defector by Daniel Silva - review

The good folks of Penguin recently sent me the two latest books from US author Daniel Silva telling the story of Gabriel Allon: Israeli secret service agent, professional  assassin, art restorer.

The Defector - published in 2009 and now out in paperback - is the ninth in the Gabriel Allon series and has recently been followed by the US No. 1 bestseller The Rembrandt Affair. I hadn't read any of Silva's works before so I wasn't sure if, coming into this series of novels without having read the others, I might miss something in the development of the main character, Gabriel Allon. It wasn't a problem: Silva provides enough frequent references to Silva's past to allow a reader to gain satisfaction from the story without having read the other novels.

Who is Gabriel Allon? He's a former assassin for the Israeli secret service, responsible for killing six of the 12 members of Black September in Munich in '72. kidnapping and killing the Israeli athletes. Allon is the bright star of the Israeli secret service, an assassin of impeccable skills who operates under deep cover as an art restorer trained under Umberto Conti in Venice. His first wife is maimed by terrorists, who took his son's life. With such a back story, Allon is a character driven by revenge on his - and his country's enemies - but righteous revenge. As a main character an assassin isn't the obvious choice for a believable lead character with which one might emphathise or will to succeed. He kills for a living. Period.

And believe me, there's an awful lot of killing in this book. It's generally handled with taste and sensitivity but - given the main character's job - is also unavoidable and a steady body count is wracked up chapter-by-chapter and sometimes you feel it's all too easy. Allon sometimes is shown to question his job and these killings, but at no point is the idea of state-sponsored assassination questioned; it is just accepted that that is what Israel does. Silva writes well in the sections where Allon is wracked with guilt - an assassin with a conscience - and needs the constant support of the ageing boss of the agency to remember the moral code by which the Israeli secret service operates: the maxim from Exodus - "an eye for an eye". But sometimes the dialogue between the main characters was a little by-numbers and lacked panache and wit. Yet it flows along well and while the dialogue may not grab you, the pace of the story telling takes you by the scruff of the neck and delivers a good pace. Silva's very efficient at spinning the yarn, adding in twists and taking the reader on a believable story arc that has a gruesome but not altogether predictable ending.

The plot to The Defector isn't hugely original - it's a classic Bourne-style global chase after a cunning and ruthless enemy, in this case billionaire oligarch Ivan Kharkov who, in the traditions of such thrillers, is a thoroughly nasty piece of work whose networks of businesses, associates and criminal connections stretches across the globe, right up into the Kremlin. That said, it works pretty well. The technical aspects of modern espionage are given a good airing but don't at any point become overly technical in a way that may interrupt the story telling.

Kharkov is close the Kremlin, and that gives him leeway. A ruthless crime boss who trusts no one and who seemingly lacks any moral compass, he is out for revenge against Russians like Grigori Bulganov - the defector of the title - whom he believes betrayed him. Allon was involved in Bulganov's defection and the subsequent separation of Kharkov from his wife Elena and their children, who now live in the US under CIA protection. Understandably perhaps, Kharkov wants revenge on them both and uses a classic bait and switch to kidnap Bulganov and - subsequently - Allon's partner Chiara. So, we're then faced with a classic kidnap plot and raise against time to free the captives from a certain death and bring down the criminal overlord operating with Kremlin connivance. So far, so Bourne, perhaps?

Tbe plot lacks a little originality and the characterisation was at points a little too cardboard cut-out for me; representatives of the US and UK secret services drop into the action at required points, but they add little and serve merely as plot devices it felt to me; one is not given the time to understand for example more of the relationship between the US, UK and Israelis. Plus, it is reasonably difficult to sympathise and empathise with an assassin as lead character.

But, that said, it's an easy read and Silva's interesting take on the classic spy story trope - by seeing the moral centre of the story through Israeli eyes - gives it a contemporary feel in light of all that has gone on - and continues to happen - in the only real democracy in the Middle East which constantly fights for its survival in a game with few rules and plenty of moral ambiguities. The art restoring cover story is a nice touch which gives the author a USP for the character and a plot framework, but it doesn't I feel explain much about the character - Allon could easily be an assassin under cover as a plumber or tax accountant, it is his day job which shapes the story and provides the colour.

The mise en scene is primarily Russia and the capital of the diaspora, London. As a former CNN journalist, Silva is in his depiction of modern Russia drawing a vivid picture that many international watchers will recognise: capitalism gone awry, widespread corruption, the Kremlin's enemies scattered across the globe and the SRV, the Russian secret service, still running plays from the KGB's playbook. He does present well the ruthlessness that haunts modern Russia and the inextricable ties between Putin's Russian and Stalin's Soviet Union (the denouement of the story plays out in a dacha linked to the purges of the late 'thirties). So, the settings and the descriptions of Russia work well for me.

An assassin with a conscience - it works well enough and there's plenty here in this novel to inspire and engage the fan of modern spy fiction who's looking for a different take on the modern spy thriller. I got enough reading pleasure from this book to make me look forward to The Rembrandt Affair. It's out now in Penguin books priced £7.99.

But next on my reading list - the second Paul Dark story, Jeremy Duns' Free Country, which will be reviewed here.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Party time, 'sixties-style

Good Housekeeping, June 1963
Good Housekeeping isn't the natural home of the novelist. But when you're Len Deighton, and it's the 'sixties, and you're as known as much for being a cookery writer, artist/illustrator and all-round bon viveur and party host as you are for being the hottest new spy fiction writer on the scene, it makes sense.

I've just obtained a copy of said magazine from June 1963 (cover price 2s 6d) which contains a 22-page "Hostess Guide". There are some great tips for the modern party-giver which haven't survived to the present day - judging by any of the parties I've been to in the last decade - and some great food tips on offer: jellied veal and ham anyone?

On page 77 we find an article 'My Kind of Party' by Len Deighton (which includes a vignette of one of his own illustrations).

I've reproduced the text below. It's a fascinating social history of middle-class London life and a time when Deighton, as a literary new-kid-on-the-block after the publication of The Ipcress File, was hosting dinner parties with Rolling Stones, film stars, politicians and the top journalists and writers of the day:
Too much over-rich food, booze, politics, religion and sex - that's my kind of party. Sitting between other men's wives, judging the claret with pompous inexpertise and reluctantly having "just one more helping" of the duckling while arguing about free love, free church and free trade - can you think of anything better?
 At the parties I enjoy most there are one or two people that I know and like, half-a-dozen that I have never seen before and at least one that someone there loathes. The plates must be hot and the tablecloth pretty, but not so pretty that wine spilt on it is a major catastrophe. There should be an open fire on any but the hottest nights because it is something to hurl empty cigarette packets into and for someone to say there is nothing like.
Aperitifs should be limited or guests making their choice will impair the service. Tio Pepe, gin and dry vermouth are enough (although there are people who like whisky or beer, I am told). The bottles should be near the guests and there must by plenty of ice. I don't mean eight Oxo-sized cubes that come out of the freezing tray. I mean plenty. Enough to crunch bottles into or drop tumblers in mad abandon.
Host and hostess should be in the kitchen: no one wants them fussing around about ash on the sofa covers. Dinner should always be a little late because this has everyone hungry and in the right mood to appreciate the cooking. Let's start with lots of small dishes, however simple: avocado, shrimps served plain, roll-mops, anchovy or just hard-boiled egg served with home-made mayonnaise.
Somewhere about here there should be a soup that has earned its name: tomato soup made from tomato, or chicken soup made from chicken. As for a jellied consommé based on a good beef stock - the cook will still be wallowing in the compliments when all else is forgot.
A fish course? It makes a meal into a banquet. Steam some fillets or poach something really big and set light to it on a bed of fennel twigs. Make a salmon mousse or avoid any work at all by serving with thin brown bread-and-butter.
If there are lots of guests, I prefer not to wait while the host carves a bit joint; by the time he has been to get the Elastoplast it is cold. After the meat course the simplest of salads must appear before the ladies whip out their fags. Shredded white cabbage with yoghurt as dressing is simple. Serve it on dinner plates; it will save the washing up. 
Ah, the cheese. For me some Bresse Bleu and a piece of Capricet des Dieux. O.K., then perhaps just a sliver of Wensleydale. A different sort of bread would be good with the cheese. How about a really dark one?
Why are the host and hostess sitting there eating cheese? They should be in the kitchen warming the Chinese ginger sauce for the home-made ice-cream or standing by the soufflé with a stop watch. Don't be too long with the coffee. What about a continental roast for a change? With the dessert? Yes, as soon as it's ready, thank you.
What was that awful man saying about ... well, since it's Remy Martin and since I'm not driving. The women all look much prettier now - it must be the time of day or the thin gauze of tobacco smoke behind which they are sitting. I'm glad someone is taking that terrible man down a peg. You made them yourself? Oh I do - Petits Fours and a fresh peach - dare I take one of each? Well, I'm fourteen stone now. Oh, I'm sure I do, but I'll have another, anyway.
No, I've got a brandy, thank you. To compare? What a splendid idea. And a cigar? Well since it's such a pleasant evening. The pretty girl on my left just adores the aroma.
Mints, a nice touch. If there is some more, just black for me - no sugar. I'm on a diet.
Thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it; too bad you two were in the kitchen all the time. You must visit us some time. Of course it won't be like this - we serve the simplest food possible: we like to spend as much time as possible with our guests.
Charming little piece. Ah, the sixties sound good, don't they? There's something to be said for a little bit of political incorrectness from time-to-time!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Hundred Dollar Brain ... or maybe less?

Clicking through YouTube recently I did a search under "Len Deighton" to see what might come up ... and there was plenty there. One item I found was this: a well-crafted little homage to Billion Dollar Brain by Peter Glynn.

It's good fun, shot on the cheap, but pretty faithful to the original and the stirring theme tune makes you realise what a good opening to a film the original had. I'll continue to post up here some highlights from YouTube which I think might interest readers.