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New Cinema Wallpaper of the Day
Monday, June 8, 2009
Three years before Ian Fleming started writing the first James Bond novel, Jean Bruce was hard at work creating fictional secret agent OSS 117 aka Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath in the first of 91 novels. OSS 117 also made it to the big screen first in 1956 with OSS 117 Is Not Dead directed by Jean Sacha. However where the Bond series went on to make countless big screen splashes, OSS 117 only made 7 more trips to the big screen (including the latest installment Lost in Rio) with OSS 117 – Panic in Bangkok (1964), OSS 117 – Mission for a Killer (1965), OSS 117 – Terror in Tokyo (1966), OSS 117 – Double Agent (1968) and OSS 117 – Takes a Vacation (1970), OSS 117 – Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006).
Although you can see the influence of James Bond in Lost in Rio, to me it seems much more reverential and involved with 60’s Eurospy cinema than anything else. Although this subgenre to date really hasn’t been widely seen and explored by the average consumer let alone die hard cinephiles. The book “Eurospy Guide” from Matt Blake and David Deal is a great introduction into Eurospy cinema for those new or more somewhat familiar. Those more familiar with it are going to fine a lot more to be fond of and laugh at, especially in a nostalgic sense. Those less familiar will no doubt be making endless Bond comparisons which work in some instances but not for every single aspect of it. If anything OSS 117 – Lost in Rio is a 60’s Eurospy film set in contemporary times of political correctness told in a manic, schmoozing and completely non-politically correct satire style. The only downside of the film is that it feels too breezy in its pace at times as it clearly feels almost too comfortable at just telling a story and in no hurry to rush to the next plot point. For fans of Eurospy like me this is a highly enjoyable Eurospy geek out that I can’t wait to see again and wish its second half had just a bit more tighter editing.
For those wanting to check this out it will be screened as the closing night gala film at this years Seattle International Film Festival (details).
Note that the previous OSS 117 entry from Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin, OSS 117 – Cairo, Nest of Spies, is currently available on US DVD with English subtitles (a soundtrack is also out and available on cd). A follow up to Lost in Rio is currently in production by them as well for a 2010 release. The original film series from the 50’s and 60’s for the most part seems to be out on French DVD however sans English subtitles.
Official stills that were used in the original international release of the film.
::: IMDb Profile