A New Classic

Super Punch had a post highlighting movie posters.  The poster for OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies caught my eye.  It looks like an old James Bond Movie that I’d never seen before.  So I started to watch the trailer for the movie and I was thrilled!  I want to share some of my impression before I post the video.  It opens with the title card saying, “Le Caire 1955”, cool, it’s in French and it’s 1955 a great time for spy movies.  This suave suit walks down the stairs.  The color is saturated and I’m thinking, “How did I miss this old movie?”.  THEN, some title graphics come onto the screen that say, “Conflict is Mounting”.  Ok, the way the graphics were animated onto the screen was new, very fresh.  The split second of footage showing the the guy in the old suit with the saturated color didn’t quite fit with this title sequence.  I was confused.  Is it an old movie or a new one?  The mysterious music in building.  We see skeletons underwater, and a creepy guy standing infront of a Nazi Flag and then the title animates on the screen saying, “A countries reputation is a stake”, “Only one man can handle it all”.  THEN it shows the film’s star wearing a Fez and a pencil moustache, holding a mandolin looking very much like Peter Sellers from the Pink Panther movies.  The action starts and it’s great!

The film is billed as a French version of Get Smart, but I feel that it is much more than that.  From what I’ve seen the lead is dashing and has style and it really feels Classic.  The movie was made in 2006 but was intentionally shot to look like the early Bond series right down to the cinematography, art direction and costumes. One interesting thing that they did to give it a classic feel was to have all of the driving scenes filmed with rear projection.  Those older movies have a certain sense of wonderment because you knew that they didn’t have the same access to special effects that we do now.  The stunts seemed to be a bit clumsier and as a result they feel more believable.  The little sound effects added to the punches and the screams.  The swing jazz soundtrack.  This one is going on my Christmas list.  😀

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