A few days ago, I went on a wild goose chase around London. I tried to go back to the BFI Institute, but learned the hard lesson of checking the website for times. They are closed on Mondays. So, I asked the ticket master if there was any movie that was playing. Of course not. Even though there was a film festival going on, nothing was going to play for another three hours. I asked the gentleman if there was anything to do around the area since I was already around Southbank.
He said there was the London Museum of Film just two left turns away. Excellent! What better way to make up for not studying in the BFI library than to go see a museum about film! I started to walk in the direction he pointed me–passed the large London Eye and continued toward the London Aquarium. I was just about to give up the ghost when I saw some banners for the film museum. Voila!
I walked in and it looked like the building was in demolition stage, but there was a security guard in station. I asked her where the film museum was. She politely said it was upstairs, but it no longer open to the public. I hung my head and was rather disappointed I came up empty. After a little Google searching, I found the new London Film Museum in Covent Garden. Off I went across the river to find this museum that happened to be showcasing the Bond movie cars! How perfect!
I must have walked around in literal circles trying to find this place thanks to a faulty GPS. But I saw the 007 logo with Bond in Motion written on big signs outside the door. Can’t get more obvious than that–you just need the right side street.
I walked in and after giving my best smile to the guy behind the counter for the student discount, I was then told it was cash only. With no ATM in sight, I submitted to the universe and decided to try again another day.
I finally got the cash in hand and was itching to get back to Covent Garden. I knew exactly where I was going and made a bee line to the museum. I walked in and didn’t have the same luck I had before. Even though I am enrolled at the Met Film School…a film school, mind you, it doesn’t count for a student discount. I tried to make my case saying that a film student, if any student, should get a discount to the Bond gallery. Realizing it was not worth the conflict of bringing the manager forward just to get the same answer, I handed over all my cash and walked in.
It was one of the most extraordinary displays I have ever seen for film memorabilia. It only covered a floor and a half, which begs the question if it was worth the £14.50 I paid. The top floor had storyboards from Skyfall and Goldeneye along with the clapboards. But the glory was on the basement level. The gallery was all for Bond in Motion–the vehicles from the Bond films. And the first one that greeted me at the base of the staircase was the gold Roles Royce from Goldfinger.
In front of me was the Silver Cloud from A View to a Kill. By each car there was a clip from the movie with the vehicle in action. I love any excuse to get my interest in Sean Connery up again as I’m sitting here writing this blog while watching Goldfinger.
I’m going to just post all of my pictures from the gallery here and let your eyes feast on the candy before you. But I will take a moment to write about the gorgeous 1964 Aston Martin featured in Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Casino Royale, and most recently Skyfall. I’m sure it was in a few others, but the gorgeousness of the silver car has clouded my memory.
One thing I did notice from the gallery was the lack of anything relating to the Timothy Dalton films. Most of the cars were actually from the Pierce Brosnan era which made me think they didn’t do a lot of saving of vehicles until then. There were several from the Roger Moore time and the two absolutely destroyed cars from both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. (Do you remember Quantum of Solace? Neither do I.)
All in all, I stand behind not thinking the gathering was worth what I paid, but then again, I probably would have paid double to see any sort of display regarding James Bond.