It's a Bond, James Bond, weekend in Los Angeles.
With Ian Fleming's dashing, debonair and sexy British spy marking 50 years on the silver screen, the American Cinematheque and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art are celebrating the longevity of the film franchise, which has endured five decades, 22 films (the 23rd, "Skyfall," with Daniel Craig, is due this fall) and almost as many leading-man incarnations as Dr. Who.
The celebration begins with the American Cinematheque's "007 at 50: The Complete James Bond Retrospective." The fun starts Friday at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with the very first Bond film, "Dr. No," starring Sean Connery as 007, and 1963's "From Russia With Love." The retrospective moves Saturday to the Aero in Santa Monica with a double bill of 1964's "Goldfinger" and 1965's "Thunderball." The series continues at both theaters through June 24. http://www.americancinematheque.com
The exhibition "... Is James Bond," presented by LACMA and co-organized with Loyola Marymount University's School of Film and Television, opens Saturday and continues through Sept. 9 at LACMA's Art of the Americas Building. The presentation will feature all 22 unique, boldly graphic and often erotic film title sequences thematically grouped and displayed on a series of 40-inch monitors.
Fourteen of those title sequences were designed by the late Maurice Binder, who was succeeded by Daniel Kleinman for 1995's "GoldenEye."
Film Independent at LACMA will screen a Bond double bill every Thursday evening in July and September. http://www.lacma.org
-- Susan King
Photo: Sean Connery in "From Russia With Love." Credit: MGM Home Entertainment