spy who came in from the cold


The unsolved murder of the “Isdal Woman” has haunted Norway for almost 50 years. The story began on the brisk afternoon of the 29th of November, 1970. A man and his two young daughters were hiking along Isdalen Valley in Bergen, Norway. As they climbed across the rocks and underbrush, they spotted the body of a woman lying on the rocks in a pugilistic attitude, meaning she had been set alight. The body was burnt all over the front, including her face and hair. However, she was not burnt on the back. Due to the fire damage, she was unrecognisable.

Several objects were found at the scene: jewellery, a watch, sleeping tablets, bottles that smelt like petrol, a silver spoon, and a broken umbrella. Bizarrely, the jewellery was not on her person but scattered around her body. “It looked like there had been some kind of ceremony,” said forensic investigator, Tormod Bones. An autopsy concluded that the woman died from Fenenal and carbon-monoxide poisoning; she had ingested over 50 pills. Due to the smoke particles in her lungs, she had been alive when she was burning. Adding to the mystery of her identification, all of the production labels had been cut off her clothes and filed off the objects. Furthermore, her face and neck showed signs of bruising and her fingerprints had been sanded away. Somebody certainly didn’t want her being identified.

She was described as being 5 feet 4.5 inches tall with long brownish-black hair and brown eyes. She was estimated to be between 25 and 40 years old. Police shortly discovered two suitcases belonging to the woman at a nearby railway station. Inside the suitcases they discovered money, clothing, rubber boots, several wigs, a comb and hairbrush, silver spoons, glasses and a prescription for eczema cream. If investigators thought this was going to be the smoking gun in identifying the “Isdal Woman” then they would be sorely disappointed. Once again, any identifying features were removed. It was noted that one item of clothing that was found, a dress, was particularly provocative and had an Italian style.

Several witnesses who claim to have met her came forward. They told how she wore wigs and could speak a plethora of different languages. She stayed in several hotels and used fake names. Even more bizarre, if she stayed in a hotel more than one night, she would always request to change room. It was assumed that she must have had numerous fake passports as they were needed to check in to the hotels. As this was during the Cold War, many people theorised that she was a spy. Investigators eventually concluded that she had committed suicide however many experts disagree. From the remote spot to where her body was found and the method of suicide, it seems quite unlikely. Her identity still remains unknown, as does the reason she was murdered or ended her life.


Smiley Returns!

John le Carré is bringing back his most enduring character, spymaster George Smiley. The hero of the “Karla Trilogy” will feature in his next novel, A Legacy of Spies, scheduled for release on September 5, 2017, from Viking Books.

According to Le Carré’s agent, Jonny Geller of Curtis Brown, the book was written in “a fever” over the past 12 months. Though Geller refused to reveal details of the plot, he said that it would “close George Smiley’s story”, which began in 1961 with Le Carré’s debut novel, Call for the Dead: “When I received the draft I had to keep starting it again and pinching myself that I was in the company of all these great characters from the Circus,” he said. “It really is going to be one of his finest, if not his finest, novel.”

In the meantime, now would be the perfect occasion to read or reacquaint yourself with le Carré’s classic novels featuring Smiley—

Early Smiley novels:

  • Call for the Dead (1961)
  • A Murder of Quality (1962)

The Karla Trilogy

  1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974)
  2. The Honourable Schoolboy (1977)
  3. Smiley’s People (1979)

Smiley appears as a supporting character:

  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963)
  • The Looking Glass War (1965)
  • The Secret Pilgrim (1990)

Image: Christina Ascani/NPR

For the first time in 25 years, John le Carré has written a new novel featuring the spy at the center of some his most popular books. The new release, A Legacy of Spies, is a kind of prequel to The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1963), the book that made le Carré famous and changed spy novels forever.

Former CIA operative (and now novelist) Valerie Plame says pop culture doesn’t usually get espionage right, but le Carré comes close.

In ‘A Legacy Of Spies,’ John Le Carré Goes Back Out In 'The Cold’


- Robert Hardy (1925 - 2017) -

One of my truly absolute favourite actors. 
Wonderful in everything he was in. All Creatures Great and Small, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and many, many appearances as Churchill.

Eccentric. Twinkling. Brilliant.

And fabulous handwriting too.

I shall miss him. 

Moon of Fire Part ii (Sastiel Sequel)

Thank you so much to everyone who showed their love for the first of part of Moon of Fire! Special mention to @thebookdiviner for her amazing, beautiful, gorgeous aesthetics edit for part i as well!

If you haven’t read A Court of Fire and Dreams:
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V.

Moon of Fire:
Part i, Part ii, Part iii, Part iv, Part v


“Bring her back,” Kastiel had shouted, clawing at the floorboards in the House of Mist. “Bring her back!”
“She’s gone, Kastiel,” Amren said, pulling him to his feet.
Kastiel shook his head. “How do you know? How do you know where she went, if she’s alright, if she’s made it? How do you know?”
Amren’s mouth was about to open, about to make a sound, before Kastiel was yanked from his dream.
He was sweaty, despite the open windows that let the cool breeze of the night in. He wished the dream hadn’t ended so abruptly, so he could hear Amren’s steady voice, explaining to him everything so vividly, so clearly, as if to say how could you ever doubt me, Kastiel?
Now, he lay awake in the bed he’d shared with Seraphine.
It was cold and empty—just as he was.
Though he couldn’t shake that feeling, that undeniable dread at the thought of Seraphine gone from him. Somewhere he couldn’t go.
I came alive when I met you she had said to him.
Yet she still left.
And he didn’t come with her.
The shadows rippled in the corner of his eye. Anyone who wouldn’t have known what to look for could have easily mistaken it for nothing. Though Kastiel knew better.
“Father asked you to spy on me again?” he said into the shadows.
“Not quite,” Azriel said, appearing at the foot of his bed. “I’m just here to check on you.”
Kastiel turned those words over and over in his head. He couldn’t understand what exactly he was feeling—couldn’t even put it into words. But he was certain on one thing—he shouldn’t have let Seraphine’s fingers slip from his hands. He shouldn’t have let her go through the portal alone, without him, without telling her how he felt. Letting Seraphine go was the biggest mistake of his life.
“I’m going to get her back. I’m going to tell her.”
He met his uncle’s eyes and shifted to the side of the bed to make room.
Azriel laid down next to him and together, they comforted each other in their silence.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Hi, I was curious if you had any book recommendations! I'm in a reading slump and your previous recs really helped me out, so I was wondering if you have more to share.

Yes! I have been reading A LOT recently because I… am unemployed… and I have nothing else to do.

I just read A Legacy of Spies, the new John le Carré book, for @overinvestedpodcast, and loooved it, though I would recommend reading/watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold first. I also recently read A Perfect Spy, le Carré’s best book, or so everybody says, and I believe them. It is SO GOOD. Also extremely long in a very satisfying way. You can really dig into it.

Conversations with Friends is the debut novel by an Irish wunderkind writer, Sally Rooney, who is YOUNGER THAN I AM, to my immense horror; I read it in a day. Really wonderful. On the totally opposite side of the spectrum, I just read Uprooted by Naomi Novik which I thought had some problems but found really really fun and which I inhaled. I hadn’t read anything like that in a long, long time and it really transported me back to my childhood. I ordered a few other fantasy books which I am looking forward to reading to ~rediscover my youth. (The best book of this type remains Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, though, 4 EVER & ALWAYS.)

I also finally read The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, which I had somehow never read before, and found it immensely flawed but also I literally read it in one day and it is almost 600 pages long. I COULD NOT put it down. There were a lot of American novels that came out in/around the 2000s that all had a similar sort of bouncy prose style that is a little bit reminiscent of the 19th century novel, and indeed the books themselves were very long and convoluted in a Dickensy way. And most of them were very flawed but YOU COULDN’T PUT THEM DOWN. I’m thinking of Kavalier and Clay, Middlesex, Freedom/The Corrections (straddling the aughts), On Beauty (Zadie Smith is obviously English but this is her most American book), and surely something else I’m forgetting… but anyway The Art of Fielding is so EXACTLY one of those books. Like half of it is a total disaster, and the other half is perfect. Also I love baseball so that was a big plus. But I don’t think you have to love baseball to enjoy the book.

If you DO love baseball then The Echoing Green: The Untold Story of Bobby Thomson, Ralph Branca and the Shot Heard Round the World, by Joshua Prager, is super fascinating and entertaining (even if he really needed a better copy editor…). Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston, by Howard Bryant, is also excellent and depressing and actually I think would be really interesting even if you don’t give two shits about baseball, particularly if you’re from Boston (as I am). The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service, by David Finkel, are great books about the military and PTSD, the latter especially. (I have been reading a lot of books about war and baseball and so they are basically… all by men… someday I will start reading books by women again… someday… specifically when Jennifer Egan’s new novel, Manhattan Beach, comes out. I CAN’T WAIT.)

Also I reread all of His Dark Materials and it was just as good as I had recalled. J’ADORE.

PS I have a bunch of messages that have accumulated over… months… from when I was locked out of my account, and someday I will reply to them. Somehow despite not having anything to do (except read) I seem to find myself perpetually occupied, and then the emails don’t get sent, and the messages remain in the inbox, and so on and so forth. But anyway: it will happen!

anonymous asked:

hello there, i adore your writing so much, especially how you make so many literary references! i find it so cool how you often say 'that reminds me of this specific quote from this specific book/piece of poetry. So i guess my q is did you study literature or anything at a high level or is it just a big interest (being knowledgeable about literature is always something that seems really cool imo). Do you have a list of classics/other literature you would rec/compile? thanks <3

Oh, holy shit, thank you so much???? Ngl, a lot of the references dropped in are pure self-indulgence of my part, heeeh.

I was actually on a Literature scholarship for boarding school, which kind of annoyed everyone when I ended up reading Law for undergrad, lol. But I had the best Literature and Classics tutor at school, and he made sure I had the broadest introduction to as many texts as he could. (Seriously, I owe so much to him.) And Philosophy (and Jurisprudence) was mandatory in uni, and it just….stuck, I guess?

Literature is an unfortunately broad label across myriad genres and periods, so I’m going to just…go for it, if that’s okay? :P

  1. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (a cliché, I know, but it’s an undeniable tour de force.)
  2. The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles (a gorgeous piece of work absolutely laden with symbolism, and the ending is a work of literary art that’s never left me.)
  3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (also a cliché, but I’m a romantic at heart, and this was one of the first ‘proper’ works of literature I read.)
  4. Much Ado About Nothing, William Shakespeare (BEATRICE AND BENEDICT, OTP FOREVER.)
  5. Love Poems, Carol Ann Duffy (it’s heart-breaking and breath-taking, and shows the gradual breakdown of a relationship, and it’s beauty on a whole other level.)
  6. The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, John LeCarré (moody, intense, and it’s practically film noir in book form.)
  7. The Pillow Book, Sei Shōnagon (did I mention I’m a massive history nerd and I love reading about court life and politics.)
  8. The City in Which I Love You, Li-Young Lee (absolutely breathtaking poetry - one of my favourite poems, This Hour and What is Dead, is found in this collection.)

I hope this even somewhat, umm, helpful? Interesting? Of use??? THANK YOU SO, SO MUCH!!

- Legacy of the Spy -

Novelist John le Carré alias David Cornwell.
As I get older, he becomes an increasingly steady figure of intelligence, reason and reassurance in this wild age.

He has become, in many ways, his most famous character.
George Smiley.

Sculpted in Super and Regular Sculpey

50 Yönetmenin Önerdiği En İyi Filmler Listesi

1. Stanley Kubrick

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1. I Vitelloni (1953) 2. Wild Strawberries (1957) 3. Citizen Kane (1941) 4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 5. City Lights (1931) 6. Henry V (1944) 7. La notte (1961) 8. The Bank Dick (1940) 9. Roxie Hart (1942) 10. Hell’s Angels (1930) ___

2. Danny Boyle

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1. Apocalypse Now (1979) 2. The Bicycle Thief (1948) 3. The Wrong Trousers (1993) 4. Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) 5. Eureka (1983) ____

3. Martin Scorsese

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1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 2. 8½ (1963) 3. Ashes and Diamonds (1958) 4. Citizen Kane (1941) 5. The Leopard (1963) 6. Paisan (1946) 7. The Red Shoes (1948) 8. The River (1951) 9. Salvatore Giuliano (1962) 10. The Searchers (1956) 11. Ugetsu Monogatari (1953) 12. Vertigo (1958) ____

4. J. J. Abrams

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1. Jaws (1975) 2. Philadelphia Story (1940) 3. Star Wars (1977) 4. Tootsie (1982) 5. Rear Window (1954) ___

5. Andrey Tarkovski

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1. Le Journal d’un curé de campagne (1951) 2. Winter Light (1962) 3. Nazarín (1959) 4. Wild Strawberries (1957) 5. City Lights (1931) 6. Ugetsu monogatari (1953) 7. Seven Samurai (1954) 8. Persona (1966) 9. Mouchette (1967) 10. Woman of the Dunes (1964) _____

6. John Carpenter

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1. Only Angels Have Wings (1939) 2. Rio Bravo (1959) 3. Citizen Kane (1941) 4. Vertigo (1958) 5. Blow-Up (1966) ____

7. Peter Jackson

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1. King Kong (1933) 2. Dawn of the Dead (1978) 3. The General (1927) 4. Goodfellas (1990) 5. Jaws (1975) ____

8. Michael Haneke

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10. L’eclisse (1962) 9. Germany, Year Zero (1948) 8. A Woman Under the Influence (1974) 7. Psycho (1960) 6. The Gold Rush (1925) 5. The Exterminating Angel (1962) 4. Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) 3. The Mirror (1975) 2. Lancelot of the Lake (1974) 1. Au hasard Balthazar (1966) ____

9. Woody Allen

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The 400 Blows (1959) 8½ (1963) Amarcord (1972) The Bicycle Thieves (1948) Citizen Kane (1941) The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Grand Illusion (1937) Paths of Glory (1957) Rashomon (1950) The Seventh Seal (1957) ____

10. Sofia Coppola

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1. Rumble Fish (1983) 2. Breathless (1960) 3. Sixteen Candles (1984) 4. Lolita (1962) 5. The Last Picture Show (1971) ___

11. Federico Fellini

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1. The Circus (1928) 2. Herhangi bir Marx Kardeşler veya Laurel ve Hardy 3. Stagecoach (1939) 4. Rashomon (1950) 5. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) 6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 7. Paisan (1946) 8. The Birds (1963) 9. Wild Strawberries (1957) 10. 8½ (1963) ____

12. Wes Anderson

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1. Madame de… (1953) 2. Au hasard Balthazar (1966) 3. Buta to gunkan (1961) 4. La prise de pouvoir par Louis XIV (1966) 5. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) 6. The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) 7. Classe tous risques (1960) 8. L’enfance nue (1968) 9. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) 10. El ángel exterminador (1962)___

13. James Cameron

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1. The Wizard of Oz (1939) 2. Dr. Strangelove (1964) 3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 4. The Godfather (1972) 5. Taxi Driver (1976) ___

14. Michael Mann

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1. Apocalypse Now (1979) 2. Battleship Potemkin (1925) 3. Citizen Kane (1941) 4. Avatar (2009) 5. Dr. Strangelove (1964) 6. Biutiful (2010) 7. My Darling Clementine (1946) 8. The Passion of Joan Of Arc (1928) 9. Raging Bull (1980) 10. The Wild Bunch (1969) ____

15. Francis Ford Coppola

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1. Ashes and Diamonds (1958) 2. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 3. I Vitelloni (1953) 4. The Bad Sleep Well (1960) 5. Yojimbo (1961) 6. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 7. The King of Comedy (1982) 8. Raging Bull (1980) 9. The Apartment (1960) 10. Sunrise (1927) ___

16. Guillermo Del Toro

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1. Frankenstein (1931) 2. Freaks (1932) 3. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) 4. Greed (1925) 5. Modern Times (1936) 6. La Belle et la Bête (1946) 7. Goodfellas (1990) 8. Los Olvidados (1950) 9. Nosferatu (1922) 10. 8½ (1963) ___

17. David O. Russell

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1. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 2. Chinatown (1974) 3. Goodfellas (1990) 4. Vertigo (1958) 5. Pulp Fiction (1994) 6. Raging Bull (1980) 7. Young Frankenstein (1974) 8. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) 9. The Godfather (1972) 10. Blue Velvet (1986) 11. Groundhog Day (1993) ____

18. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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1. Mirror (1975) 2. Andrei Rublev (1966) 3. Tokyo Story (1953) 4. Late Spring (1949) 5. A Man Escaped (1956) 6. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) 7. Shame (1968) 8. Scenes from a Marriage (1973) 9. L’avventura (1960) 10. L’eclisse (1962) ___

19. Quentin Tarantino

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1. Apocalypse Now (1979) 2. The Bad News Bears (1976) 3. Carrie (1976) 4. Dazed and Confused (1993) 5. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 6. The Great Escape (1963) 7. His Girl Friday (1939) 8. Jaws (1975) 9. Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971) 10. Rolling Thunder (1997) 11. Sorcerer (1977) 12. Taxi Driver (1976) ___

20. George Lucas

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1. Metropolis (1927) 2. Stagecoach (1939) 3. The Searchers (1956) 4. Rashômon (1950) 5. Ikiru (1952) 6. Seven Samurai (1954) 7. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) 8. The Hidden Fortress (1958) 9. The Blob (1958) 10. Yojimbo (1961) 11. Dr. Strangelove (1964) 12. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 13. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 14. Planet of the Apes (1968) 15. A Clockwork Orange (1971) ___

21. Tim Burton

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1. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) 2. The Wicker Man (1974) 3. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1973) 4. The War of the Gargantuas (1970) 5. The Omega Man (1971) ___

22. Christopher Nolan

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1. The Hit (1984) 2. 12 Angry Men (1957) 3. The Thin Red Line (1998) 4.  Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse (1933) 5. Bad Timing (1980) 6. Marry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) 7. For All Mankind (1989) 8.  Koyaanisqatsi (1983) 9. The Complete Mr. Arkadin (1955) 10. Greed (1924) ___

23. Ingmar Bergman

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1. The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjostrom, 1918) 2. The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjostrom, 1921) 3. Der Letzte Mann (F. W. Murnau, 1924) 4. The Saga Of Gosta Bergling (Mauritz Stiller, 1924) 5. Faust (F. W. Murnau, 1926) 6. Sunrise (F. W. Murnau, 1927) 7. The Possion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928) 8. The Circus (Charlie Chaplin, 1928) 9. Cezayir Batakhaneleri (Julien Duvivier, 1937) 10. Hotel Du Nord (Marcel Carne, 1938) 11. Port Of Shadows (Marcel Carne, 1938) 12. Le Jour Se Leve (Marcel Carne, 1939) 13. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950) 14. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950) 15. Diary of Country Priest (Robert Bresson, 1951) 16. M. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953) ___

24. Gaspar Noe

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1) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968; Stanley Kubrick) 2) Amour (2012; Michael Haneke) 3) Angst (1983; Gerald Kargl) 4) Un Chien Andalou (1928; Luis Buñuel) 5) Eraserhead (1976; David Lynch) 6) I Am Cuba (1964; Mikhail Kalatozov) 7) King Kong (1933; Merian C. Cooper/Ernest B. Schoedsack) 8) Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom (1975; Pier Paolo Pasolini) 9) Scorpio Rising (1964; Kenneth Anger) 10) Taxi Driver (1976; Martin Scorsese) ____

25. David Lynch

8½ (Federico Fellini, 1963) Mr. Hulot’s Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953) Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950) Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) It’s a Gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 1934) The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960) La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954) Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962) The Wizard Of Oz (victor Fleming, 1939) Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977) ___  

26. Akira Kurosawa

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1. Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (Griffith, 1919) USA 2. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari [The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari] (Wiene, 1920) Germany 3. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler – Ein Bild der Zeit [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler] (Lang, 1922) Germany 4. The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925) USA 5. La Chute de la Maison Usher [The Fall of the House of Usher] (Jean Epstein, 1928) France 6. Un Chien Andalou [An Andalusian Dog] (Bunuel, 1928) France 7. Morocco (von Sternberg, 1930) USA 8. Der Kongress Tanzt (Charell, 1931) Germany 9. Die 3groschenoper [The Threepenny Opera] (Pabst, 1931) Germany 10. Leise Flehen Meine Lieder [Lover Divine] (Forst, 1933) Austria/Germany ___

27. David Fincher

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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidChinatownDr. StrangeloveThe Godfather 2Taxi DriverBeing ThereAll That JazzAlienRear WindowZeligCabaretPaper MoonJawsLawrence of ArabiaAll the President’s Men8 ½Citizen KaneDays of HeavenAnimal HouseRoad Warrior (Mad Max 2) Year of Living DangerouslyAmerican GraffitiTerminatorMonty Python & The Holy GrailThe ExorcistThe Graduate

28. Miranda July

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Blind (1987, Frederick Wiseman) Smooth Talk (1985, Joyce Chopra) Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchcock) After Life (1998, Hirokazu Koreeda) Somewhere In Time (1980, Jeannot Szwarc) Cheese (2007, Mika Rottenberg) Punch Drunk Love (2002, Paul Thomas Anderson) The Red Balloon (1956, Albert Lamorisse) A Room With A View (1985, James Ivory) Fish Tank (2009, Andrea Arnold) ____

29. Michel Hazanavicius

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City Girl (1930, F.W. Murnau) City Lights (1931, Charlie Chaplin) To Be Or Not To Be (1942, Ernst Lubitsch) Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles) The Apartment (1960, Billy Wilder) The Shining (1980, Stanley Kubrick) North By Northwest (1959, Alfred Hitchcock) The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed) Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese) Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937, Walt Disney) ___

30. Steven Soderbergh

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“All the President’s Men” (Alan J. Pakula, 1976) “Annie Hall” (Woody Allen, 1977) “Citizen Kane” (Orson Welles, 1941) “The Conversation” (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T” (Roy Rowland, 1953) “The Godfather” (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) “The Godfather: Part II” (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) “Jaws” (Steven Spielberg, 1975) “The Last Picture Show” (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971) “Sunset Boulevard” (Billy Wilder, 1950) “The Third Man” (Carol Reed, 1949) ___

31. Spike Lee

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32. Edgar Wright

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2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968) An American Werewolf in London (Landis, 1981) Carrie (de Palma, 1976) Dames (Enright/Berkeley, 1934) Don’t Look Now (Roeg, 1973) Duck Soup (McCarey, 1933) Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960) Raising Arizona (Coen, 1987) Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976) The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah, 1969) __

33. Allison Anders

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A Woman is A Woman Charade 3 Women Carnival of Souls Young Mr. Lincoln My Man Godfrey Gimme Shelter Monterey Pop Dazed and Confused The Red Shoes (Sinefesto) ____

34. Robert Bresson

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The Gold Rush City Lights Potemkin Brief Encounter The Bicycle Thief Man of Aran Louisiana Story ____

35. Luis Buñuel

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Underworld (Sternberg) The Gold Rush (Chaplin) The Bicycle Thief (De Sica) Potemkin (Eisenstein) Portrait of Jennie (Dieterle) Cavalcade (Lloyd) White Shadows in the South Seas (Van Dyke) Dead of Night (Cavalcantin, etc.) L’Age d’Or (Buñuel) I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (Le Roy) ___

36. Alex Cox

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Citizen Kane (Welles) The Devils (K. Russell) The Exterminating Angel (Bu??) King Kong (Cooper, Schoedsack) The Mattei Affair (Rosi) O Lucky Man! (Anderson) 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick) Throne of Blood (Kurosawa) The Wages of Fear (Clouzot) The War Game (Watkins) Sinefesto ____

37. Vittorio De Sica

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Man of Aran (Flaherty) The Kid (Chaplin) La Chienne (Renoir) Le Million (Clair) L’Atalante (Vigo) Kameradschadt (Pabst) Storm Over Asia (Pudovkin) Potemkin (Eisenstein) Hallelujah! (Vidor) La Kermesse Heroique (Feyder) (sinefesto.com) ____

38. Carl Dreyer

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Birth of a Nation (Griffith) Arne’s Treasure (Stiller) Potemkin (Eisenstein) The Gold Rush (Chaplin) Sous les Toits de Paris (Clair) Quai des Brumes (Carne) Brief Encounter (Lean) Henry V (Olivier) The Petrified Forest (Mayo) Open City (Rossellini) ___

39. Terry Gilliam

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Citizen Kane Seven Samurai Seventh Seal 8 ½ 2001: A Space Odyssey Sherlock Jr Pinocchio Les Enfants du Paradis One-Eyed Jacks The Apartment Birth of a Nation The Exterminating Angel Lawrence of Arabia Napoleon – D: Gance ___ 40. Jim Jarmusch
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L’Atalante (Vigo) Tokyo Story (Ozu) They Live by Night (N. Ray) Bob le flambeur (Melville) Sunrise (Murnau) The Cameraman (Sedgwick) Mouchette (Bresson) Seven Samurai (Kurosawa) Broken Blossoms (Griffith) Rome, Open City (Rossellini) ___

41. Asif Kapadia

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Psycho (Hitchcock) Raging Bull (Scorsese) The Godfather and The Godfather Part II (Coppola) Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi) Do the Right Thing (Lee) Once upon a Time in the West (Leone) Don’t Look Now (Roeg) The Hidden Fortress (Kurosawa) The Story of Qiu Ju (Zhang) Straw Dogs (Peckinpah) ___

42. Elia Kazan

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Potemkin (Eisenstein) Aerograd (Dovzhenko) The Gold Rush (Chaplin) Flesh and the Devil (Brown) Open City (Rossellini) The Bicycle Thief (De Sica) Shoulder Arms (Chaplin) Target for Tonight (Watt) La Femme du Boulanger (Pagnol) Marius, Fanny, Cesar (Pagnol) (sinefesto.com) ___

43. Sidney Lumet

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The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler) Fanny and Alexander (Bergman) The Godfather (Coppola) The Grapes of Wrath (Ford) Intolerance (Griffith) The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer) Ran (Kurosawa) Roma (Fellini) Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly, Donen) 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick) ___

44. Mira Nair

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An Angel at My Table (Campion) The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo) Dekalog (Kieslowski) The Double Life of V?nique (Kieslowski) 8 ½ (Fellini) The Godfather (Coppola) In the Mood for Love (Wong) La Jet?(Marker) The Music Room (S. Ray) Pyaasa (Dutt) Raging Bull (Scorsese) Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica)

45. Alex Proyas

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Citizen Kane (Welles) Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick) The Exorcist (Friedkin) The Godfather (Coppola) It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra) Lawrence of Arabia (Lean) North by Northwest (Hitchcock) One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman) The Third Man (Reed) The Wizard of Oz (Fleming) ___

46. Joel Schumacher

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Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein) Lawrence of Arabia (Lean) The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (Greenaway) Bicycle Thieves (De Sica) Breaking the Waves (von Trier) A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick) The Conversation (Coppola) Sunset Blvd. (Wilder) Stalker (Tarkovsky) The Conformist (Bertolucci) ___

47. Steven Spielberg

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Lawrence of Arabia (1962) – D: David Lean Fantasia (1940) – D: Walt Disney Citizen Kane (1941) – D: Orson Welles It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) – D: Frank Capra 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – D: Stanley Kubrick A Guy Named Joe (1947) – D: Victor Fleming War of the Worlds (1953) – D: Byron Haskin and George Pal Psycho (1960) – D: Alfred Hitchcock Day For Night (1973) – D: François Truffaut The Godfather (1972) – D: Francis Ford Coppola Cartouche Ikiru Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) The Searchers Seven Samurai The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) ____

48. Gore Verbinski

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Chinatown (Polanski) The Conversation (Coppola) Dr. Strangelove (Kubrick) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone) McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Altman) The Night of the Hunter (Laughton) Sacrifice (Tarkovsky) The Servant (Losey) The Tenant (Polanski) The Wages of Fear (Clouzot) ___

49. Billy Wilder

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Potemkin (Eisenstein) Greed (von Stroheim) Variety (DuPont) The Gold Rush (Chaplin) The Crowd (Vidor) Grand Illusion (Renoir) The Informer (Ford) Ninotchka (Lubitsch) The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler) The Bicycle Thief (De Sica)

50. Geoffrey Wright

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Citizen Kane (Welles) Lawrence of Arabia (Lean) The Godfather (Coppola) The Godfather Part II (Coppola) Apocalypse Now (Coppola) Stray Dog (Kurosawa) Taxi Driver (Scorsese) Psycho (Hitchcock) Liste (Sinefesto) The Exorcist (Friedkin) Jaws (Spielberg)
turn 4.01: assorted thoughts

— Although we didn’t actually SEE Cato, I’m glad that the show at least gave him a shout-out. The focus is put on Mulligan, of course; I suspect that’s by virtue of his much greater fame (especially post-Hamilton), but it’s still unfortunate to continue the trend of ignoring the slave who actually smuggled the messages in favor of the master.

— The Anna & the Camp Followers subplot is off to a bit of an unfortunate start. I understand that relationships have to start somewhere in order to grow, and I am not opposed to the other women being leery of her at first, but it’s a bit tiresome to see such conflicts always involve slut-shaming, presumptions that she’s sleeping her way to privilege, has “spunk in her ear,” etc. It’s the same shit we’ve been seeing Anna deal with for far too long, and I had simply hoped for something more original. I mean, I’m guessing those women aren’t exactly virgins either, so who are they to judge anyway?

— As those who know me could probably guess, I’m not thrilled that the show has brought the topic of Selah – and potential reunion between him and Anna – up so swiftly in the season. My only comfort is that Anna’s response was essentially “new phone who dis”

— “You have to become the woman you portray even though you know you’re nothing like them. … I could never do what you do.” I can’t believe Peggy just murdered Philomena in cold blood

— I can’t believe Philomena came back from the dead to murder Peggy

— This thing Peggy’s pulling with having Freddie implicate Philomena as a spy, though, is a … WHOLE number level of actually potentially murdering her, and is really going way too far. I’m not terribly enthused to see Peggy take such a dark turn. I’m going to have more words about this later, I think.

— This Ben and Anna … thing? Turn … kindly desist.


— The conspicuous lack of A CERTAIN SOMEONE’S name in the credits displeases me, but is also not shocking. After all, LaToya Morgan hinted pretty strongly on Twitter that they had meant for Hewlett’s return to be a surprise, so they wouldn’t want to give it away in the credits.

Secrets, Spies, and Leather: The Masterful Espionage of ‘Velvet’

When the world’s greatest spy is assassinated, it’s up to his secretary to avenge his death and bring his killers to justice. Except the world’s greatest spy is the “secretary” because, of course, the real World’s Greatest Spy isn’t the world famous secret agent, but the operative who has been hiding in plain sight for years while dismantling nefarious criminal syndicates or saving the planet from nuclear annihilation. This is Velvet Templeton, agent of ARC-7. 

Such is the premise for Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser’s brilliant, bloody, and beautiful Velvet, whose final story arc (for now) has recently been collected in a lovely trade paperback entitled The Man Who Stole the World. Velvet could almost be thought of as the last James Bond picture. As in, James Bond dies and Moneypenny, who turns out to be an even better spy than James, goes off on her own violent and sexy adventure to avenge him. Obviously, such a premise could never happen on screen (or in comics due to copyright laws… existing) but the world of spy fiction does not stop with the legendary screen icon that is Bond. From Cold War thrillers to pulp novels to classic films like The Third Man or The 39 Steps, well-told spy stories permeate fiction and imbue it with excitement and style. 

That style has never been more remarkable than in the pages of Velvet. Of course Bond has his own signature style that has been a joy to behold for decades. But the best design and artistic choices in Bond films have not just been the great outfits or cool cars (it’s hard to make a tuxedo-clad Sean Connery driving an Aston Martin look bad). Rather, it was the production design contributions by visionaries like Ken Adam who, with his art, turned drab offices or interrogation rooms into screen iconography. Incidentally, it was Ken Adam who designed the shadowy War Room in the classic Dr. Strangelove. In the early Bond films, Adam was a master of accomplishing a great deal with very little. So does The Third Man, turning the sewers of Vienna into a labyrinthine living metaphor for the shadowy world of spycraft and the black market, as well as gorgeous cinema in its own right. The visuals of Velvet work the same astonishing miracle, transforming Cold War office buildings, parking garages, and the beiges and browns of 1970s fashion into breathtakingly beautiful art.  

The partnership of artist Steve Epting and colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser, as seen in the above image, recreate 1970s Time Square (an unclean den of iniquity if there ever was one) into a glowing monument to car chases, nights in the city, and the unpredictable thrill of life as a spy. This sort of magic is summoned all throughout the series, as the events of the story (gracefully scripted by Ed Brubaker) are anything but magical or romantic. Trust is betrayed, hopes are dashed, and years-long friendships are destroyed amid broken bones and bullets, yet the art is so beautiful that the world is one the reader can’t help but want to spend time in. This sort of push-and-pull, the romance with both the aesthetic beauty and the ugliness of the action and setting, is one of the most singular aspects of Velvet. While Soviet Bloc architecture has never seemed more enchanting than when rendered by Epting and Breitweiser, the events that take place in those buildings are rife with piles of dead men and secrets. A wonderful setting for a story but not a pleasant place to physically spend time in.

The story itself is a suitably serpentine tale of backstabbing spycraft, with Brubaker’s plotting and second-to-none character development consistently engaging throughout. Many of the antagonists are current or former ARC-7 agents themselves, trying to do their job the best way they know how in the face of their superiors telling them Velvet, a much better agent than any of them, is a traitor (which she, of course, is not). Many of them are not any more or less virtuous than the KGB goons or ex-agents Velvet encounters. The most reprehensible actors are often Velvet’s superiors, people in charge of her safety and the security of her identity as a secret agent. This makes Velvet a woman apart from the world, unable to rely on her agency’s resources for help, and totally exposed to the perils of being a spy “out in the cold.” Even allies she enlists to help her are not really allies, more like people with the skill set she requires at that particular moment, people she happens to share common enemies with. These alliances are most interesting when they are particularly painful for Velvet, as sometimes she does have a shared history with these individuals, which comes with camaraderie and even affection. The world Brubaker builds is one in which spies can’t trust anyone, live a life devoid of roots, where they know by heart the time it takes to get from London’s Heathrow Airport to, say, a covert airfield in Prague via a land route that would eschew monitoring from any intelligence agencies. When such a person is presented with what, under any normal circumstances, would be a genuine relationship but could never be so because of the perpetual mistrust inherent in spycraft, the reader feels for the tragedy of that life. For Velvet to be so resourceful, to be cognizant of the world around her both in its grandest movements and in the most minute detail, yet unable to protect those she loves (or perhaps could love in the future), makes her a remarkably compelling character. Along the way she kicks bad guys in the face in leather catsuits and crashes cars and makes bureaucratic blowhards grit their teeth in blood-red rage, but these moments are all the more impactful because the reader roots for her to win so hard

But is it worth jumping in now that the series has come to a potential end point? Enthusiastically, yes. I am such a Brubaker/Epting/Breitweiser fan that I could not resist picking up Velvet issue by issue (frequently re-reading past issues to immerse myself back into the gorgeously cold Cold War story), but now readers have the opportunity to read the entire story at their leisure. With the final story arc, The Man Who Stole the World, the series comes to as satisfying and thrilling conclusion as readers could ever ask for. Even with all the blood, explosions, and existential angst Velvet contained in its 15-issue run, it ends on what might be the most optimistic note Ed Brubaker has ever written for a series conclusion. It’s exciting, fun, beautiful, and with believable characters who communicate in terse spy-speak so effortlessly cool, it’s impossible not to smile while reading. Any fans of spy fiction, Ed Brubaker, Cold War stories, or interesting comics in general owes it to themselves to read this comic. 


“What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not. They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me. Little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong? Yesterday I would’ve killed Mundt because I thought him evil and an enemy, but not today. Today he’s evil and my friend. London needs him. They need him so that the great moronic masses you admire so much can sleep soundly in their flea-bitten beds again. They need him for the safety of ordinary crummy people like you and me.”

The Spy Who Came In From The Cold

anonymous asked:

idk if youve seen it but theres some "confession" post in the tag talking about how bucky/nat's relationship retconned nat's past. correct me if im wrong but wasn't it more like nat's past + "oh hey bucky was there too"? i cant remember what her canon was before that point but it didnt seem like it changed anything. it was more like their relationship was just added on.

Yep, I saw it and kinda rolled my eyes because that OP is clearly reacting to a telephone-chain of bad information that antis like to put out to taint everything Brubaker did with Natasha (therefore tainting all thing BuckyNat) in the minds of new fans.

Despite what some people may try to claim, Brubaker did not retcon Natasha’s backstory out of thin air just to make her Bucky girlfriend. Before Brubaker ever got to write Captain America, Natasha already had two different backstories – the Cold War spy (who may be much much older than she looks) backstory and the murder orphanage backstory. As with all things Natasha, FYBW has an in-depth write-up [Secret Origins Part 1] [Secret Origins Part 2] [Secret Origins Part 3] that I highly recommend reading, but here is a quick explanation:

Backstory 1, a.k.a. the Cold War spy backstory: So way back in 1972 (when Brubaker was all of six years old btw), Daredevil #88 laid out the groundwork for the Natasha backstory we know today – she was a war orphan that Ivan had rescued in Stalingrad, who chooses to join the KGB/becomes a Cold War spy and who later decided to defect and eventually become a superhero. Daredevil #88 came out about thirty years after the war, so the timeline made perfect sense. However, as we got further and further away from WWII, things got a little weirder. That’s when Uncanny X-Men #268 shows up in 1990. UXM #268 tells how Logan and Steve and Natasha first met in WWII:

While ignoring some of the specific details of DD #88’s timeline, UXM #268 doubles down on Natasha’s connection to WWII and is the first to suggest (but fails to explain) that Natasha is not as young as she appears to be:

The writer, Chris Claremont, left the book shortly after UXM #268, so he never went into more detail/gave any explanations for Natasha’s age. So it and the Cold War origins became a hanging plotline that more and more writers choose to ignore the further we got from the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. (Sidenote: The Red Room entered into the Black Widow mythos in 1999 with the introduction of Yelena Bolova.) Which brings us to…

Backstory 2, a.k.a. the murder orphanage retcon: 2004 was the year Marvel inflicted Richard Morgan onto Natasha, and he inflicted his murder orphanage retcon onto all of us. Morgan set out to tell a story about why sexism bad and proceeded to do so in the most mansplainy way ever with the added bonus of removing all of Natasha’s agency from her entire life. No longer did Natasha decide to join the KGB and become a spy. Nope, instead she grew up in the 1970s in a murder orphanage designed to produce perfect little spies. No longer did Natasha choose to deflect from the Soviet Union and become an Avenger. Nope, instead Nick Fury used special pheromone perfume that forced Natasha to do what he wanted. Seriously. (Keep that in mind next time these people try to claim that Brubaker retconned Natasha’s history just for Bucky’s dick. Because what they’re trying to do is convince people a gross AU retcon from a decade ago is Natasha’s ‘real’ origin story.)


Moving on to 2007 and Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America. In an interview following the release of Captain America #27, he states:

In the Winter Soldier origin issue, which is in my second Cap trade, we show the history and the timeline, and in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s he was deep in Department X. That was an actual Soviet special section during the Cold War, where they did their experimental stuff, like brainwashing and the like. So, when I was researching it, it occurred to me that the Red Room program would have been attached to Department X, and that if the Black Widow was being trained in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, they probably met. [X]

Brubaker either didn’t know about or actively chose to ignore a three-year-old recon, and decided to go back to Backstory 1 because it worked with the story he was trying to tell. The only thing he actually retconned was the ‘fact’ Natasha had a secret relationship with the Winter Soldier for a short time in the late 1950s. So basically all Brubaker did was bring the unaging Cold War spy backstory back into play (with a tiny extra dash of tragic romance), which was then followed by Cornell and Liu who each filled in details and shaped it into the backstory we know today.

On Spies (Personality)

“Intelligence work has one moral law—it is justified by results.”

-John Le Carre, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. (10)

Spying is a difficult business. Writing about spies with any accuracy is also an incredibly difficult business; this is why the foundational giants of the genre from Ian Fleming to John Le Carre have been ex-intelligence. Without that background, it can be easy to misunderstand that the ability to be a spy comes from the tradecraft and the training. It’s common among writers to build the character first, then give them their skill set. While this will work for a vast number of different character archetypes, functional spies require a fairly specific outlook and it is developed by a specific type of background though that comes from a generic set of circumstances.

Spies can’t be good people and that’s okay, because good people can’t be spies.


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