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Bond in Motion - London Film Museum 2014 007 MAGAZINE Editor Graham Rye at Bond in Motion - London Film Museum 2014
Bond in Motion - London Film Museum 2014 Bond in Motion - London Film Museum 2014
Bond in Motion - London Film Museum 2014

Through a gunbarrel darkly!

GRAHAM RYE reports on the BOND IN MOTION exhibition at The London Film Museum in Covent Garden, and discovers that 007’s dark materials are a little too dark to entirely please his discerning eye!

After the larger sprawling and rather randomly scattered layout of the BOND IN MOTION exhibition at the Heritage Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the scaled-down version now on display in London is a far more immersive experience, and all the better for it, but, and it’s a big BUT – the lighting in their basement display area has more the feel of a dungeon than Q’s workshop – it took my eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the low light levels. When I asked one of the LFM’s security stewards why the lighting design was so dim, he explained it was in order the audio visual screens, showing looped scenes from the Bond films, could be easily viewed. However, when I first walked directly from the sunny street into the brightly lit white-painted entrance area of the museum and approached the ticket desk, there on my left was a video wall containing 12 separate screens clearly showing looped scenes from the Bond films. Go figure! Many of the vehicles on display there need to be seen for exactly what they are – large ‘shiny beasts’!

Goldfinger's 1937 Phantom III Rolls-Royce
Mercury Cougar XR7 from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)  

Unfortunately the lighting lets this nicely mounted exhibition down rather badly. Other niggles include no photograph of Sean Connery sitting astride the dune bike to illustrate its use in Diamonds Are Forever; the red Mustang Mach 1 from the same film really needs a new paint job before it’s displayed anywhere and so it resembles its actual look in the film; displaying the Aston Martin from 1995’s GoldenEye (BMT 214A) with accompanying audio visual from Goldfinger was also a bit of a cheat, and I know also a bit of let down for some was that the actual 1964 gadget car was not included in this exhibition; and a few blank spots that could and should have been covered by at least a ‘BOND IN MOTION’ logo panel. On a more positive note, thankfully Auric Goldfinger’s truly magnificent Rolls Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville is positioned to its best advantage; opposite the Goldfinger RR is Cubby Broccoli’s Rolls Royce CUB 1 – used in 1985’s A View To A Kill and also seen in 1965’s Thunderball; underwater equipment used in several of the Bond films is displayed in a nicely atmospheric area, and reminded me that one of them was offered for sale to me many years ago under rather amusing circumstances; other pluses are an interesting display of original production art and storyboards on the mezzanine floor; while back downstairs are personalised hand props used by the various James Bond actors and Bond Girls, and a number of model vehicles. But for me the most poignant item on show was ‘Little Nellie’, and a tinge of sadness ran through me as I looked at what was now truly a museum piece and remembered that her ‘father’, the wonderful Ken Wallis (who we lost on September 1st 2013 aged 97), would no longer be accompanying her on her travels.

Aston Martin DB5/Images from the BOND IN MOTION exhibition

Start Again

With the opportunity to have yourself photographed posing in a tuxedo in the now iconic James Bond gunbarrel logo (I resisted the temptation!), and leave the exhibition via a Bond memorabilia shop – designed to ensure Dads can’t escape without purchasing (run-of-the-mill) 007 merchandise, and some better BOND IN MOTION customised items for their kids, but more likely for themselves – this rounds off an entertaining 50 minutes immersed in the vehicular world of James Bond 007. Their shop’s two bestselling products by the way: Sean Connery/James Bond photo enlargements and the Corgi Aston Martin DB5 – no surprises there!

Bond in Motion merchandise

Please note: the vehicle photographs accompanying this report are in no way representative of the exhibition lighting as seen by the human eye. As no flash photography is allowed in the exhibition we would suggest you take an unobtrusive lightweight tripod (or at the very least a monopod) on which to securely mount your SLR digital camera, which would also benefit from the use of a polarizing filter over the lens to degrade the many spotlight reflections in the Perspex display cases.


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