Anthony Burgess discussion

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  • Posts: 14,117
    007HallY wrote: »
    I need to read more Burgess. Only two I've read are A Clockwork Orange and Tremor of Intent. His script of TSWLM is an endless source of fascination for me (the whole thing sounds bonkers, but I can sort of see the tone he was going for from both Tremor of Intent and his views on the Fleming Bond novels vs the films).

    I don't when I'll go to the Foundation, I'm way overdue for a visit, but when I do I'll try to take a look at it.
  • Posts: 14,117
    echo wrote: »
    If I recall correctly, the woman in his TSWLM script had a facial disfigurement that was psychological and cured by falling in love with Bond...

    She had a rash that Bond cured with acupuncture.
  • Posts: 1,279
    echo wrote: »
    If I recall correctly, the woman in his TSWLM script had a facial disfigurement that was psychological and cured by falling in love with Bond...

    I think I've read a dozen things about this script by now, all of which become increasingly bizarre. Stuff like an anarchist group using a Swiss clinic to place bombs into celebrities and blow up landmarks I can get my head around. Then you've got weird little touches like Bond drowning a henchman in a pot of soup and seasoning it afterwards, something about the Pope being kidnapped (not even sure if this is the same script or if it was some sort of earlier treatment). The facial disfigurement is another odd one.

    I do wonder if it's still around in the vaults of EON or something. I've heard people speculate that Burgess was either not taking the assignment seriously or wanted to sabotage the Bond film series in some way... for what it's worth I'm not too sure about either one, but still...
  • Posts: 14,117
    007HallY wrote: »
    echo wrote: »
    If I recall correctly, the woman in his TSWLM script had a facial disfigurement that was psychological and cured by falling in love with Bond...

    I think I've read a dozen things about this script by now, all of which become increasingly bizarre. Stuff like an anarchist group using a Swiss clinic to place bombs into celebrities and blow up landmarks I can get my head around. Then you've got weird little touches like Bond drowning a henchman in a pot of soup and seasoning it afterwards, something about the Pope being kidnapped (not even sure if this is the same script or if it was some sort of earlier treatment). The facial disfigurement is another odd one.

    I do wonder if it's still around in the vaults of EON or something. I've heard people speculate that Burgess was either not taking the assignment seriously or wanted to sabotage the Bond film series in some way... for what it's worth I'm not too sure about either one, but still...

    Here's what I remember from Burgess' autobiography: the villain was an Anarchist terrorist organisation not interested in money or power, as the members already had plenty of both, but in the arbitrary use of said power. Basically, they did terrorism for thrill. Their demands were in the likes of giving the POTUS strip naked live on prime time, ordering the pope to destroy the walls of the Sistine Chapel and so on. When their demands were not met they blew bombs, destroyed planes and so on. The head villain was meant to be "a gross Orson Welles in a wheelchair" (a sort of proto Stromberg?), the Bond girl had a rash that Bond cured with acupuncture, which he learned to use on himself earlier on (in the PTS?). Halfway through the movie, a bomb exploded, killing Bond and a couple of other important characters. Burgess didn't develop it further than that.
  • edited September 2022 Posts: 1,279
    Ludovico wrote: »
    007HallY wrote: »
    echo wrote: »
    If I recall correctly, the woman in his TSWLM script had a facial disfigurement that was psychological and cured by falling in love with Bond...

    I think I've read a dozen things about this script by now, all of which become increasingly bizarre. Stuff like an anarchist group using a Swiss clinic to place bombs into celebrities and blow up landmarks I can get my head around. Then you've got weird little touches like Bond drowning a henchman in a pot of soup and seasoning it afterwards, something about the Pope being kidnapped (not even sure if this is the same script or if it was some sort of earlier treatment). The facial disfigurement is another odd one.

    I do wonder if it's still around in the vaults of EON or something. I've heard people speculate that Burgess was either not taking the assignment seriously or wanted to sabotage the Bond film series in some way... for what it's worth I'm not too sure about either one, but still...

    Here's what I remember from Burgess' autobiography: the villain was an Anarchist terrorist organisation not interested in money or power, as the members already had plenty of both, but in the arbitrary use of said power. Basically, they did terrorism for thrill. Their demands were in the likes of giving the POTUS strip naked live on prime time, ordering the pope to destroy the walls of the Sistine Chapel and so on. When their demands were not met they blew bombs, destroyed planes and so on. The head villain was meant to be "a gross Orson Welles in a wheelchair" (a sort of proto Stromberg?), the Bond girl had a rash that Bond cured with acupuncture, which he learned to use on himself earlier on (in the PTS?). Halfway through the movie, a bomb exploded, killing Bond and a couple of other important characters. Burgess didn't develop it further than that.

    Not gonna lie, I like the idea of a weird group of rich people committing acts of terrorism for thrills. From what I understand the thing about acupuncture was used by this group to implant celebrities with these bombs at a Swiss Health clinic which I guess Bond visited after nearly dying in the PTS... not too sure though, like I said I'm only going from what I've read and put together.

    The stuff about the POTUS stripping naked sounds silly, but something about it reminds me of the first episode of Black Mirror. Perhaps its a bit too outlandish for a Bond film, but there's something to it. I'm sure the idea of such a terrorist group using the threat of bombings to make a public figure do something compromising (ok, maybe not having the POTUS strip naked, but I dunno, having someone like M or the PM publicly reveal confidential/compromising Government information or something) could be adapted.
  • Posts: 14,117
    If you think about it, the villains in Burgess treatment were very much like Alex and his droogs up to eleven. I think it might have indirectly influenced SF. Silva's attacks were motivated, but very chaotic in their execution.
  • edited September 2022 Posts: 1,279
    Ludovico wrote: »
    If you think about it, the villains in Burgess treatment were very much like Alex and his droogs up to eleven. I think it might have indirectly influenced SF. Silva's attacks were motivated, but very chaotic in their execution.

    I guess there's a touch of Joker from TDK in Silva (certainly in his 'get captured to escape' plan mid-way through the film, but also the general sense of anarchism/generalised destruction of MI6). Then again I guess Ledger's Joker was also somewhat influenced by Alex from A Clockwork Orange anyway...

    Honestly, I think there's some interesting stuff in the synopsis of that script. As of late the Bond series seems to have had villains who are either out for revenge or have some sort of personal connection to MI6 or Bond. Even outside of Bond there's been a shift towards villains who commit acts of terrorism in order to rectify some sort of perceived injustice, albeit through morally questionable ways (I'm thinking of The Batman in particular). Maybe it'd be refreshing seeing a group of villains who are rich, have power and simply blowing up stuff/embarrassing important figures for the thrill. In a sense it'd be rather scary (potentially anyway) as Bond wouldn't be able to reason with them and one never knows who such a group will target.
  • Posts: 14,117
    Yeah, basically making villains kind of modernised Neros/Caligulas.
  • Posts: 14,117
    Here's the brand new podcast with Kim Sherwood:
  • Posts: 14,117
    And a list of all the Burgess novels, with a summary: https://www.anthonyburgess.org/anthony-burgess-bibliography/

    Pretty diverse topics: youth violence, Shakespeare, Napoleon, a poet trying to find beauty in a world devoid of it, Jesus Christ, Excalibur in the 20th century, nationalised cannibalism, the fall of the British Empire and the end of colonialism...
  • Posts: 14,117
    Today is Mozart's birthday, so thought it would be worth mentioning Mozart and the Wolf Gang on this thread:

    Also, it came to my mind that some of Burgess' ideas for his TSWLM script may have unvoluntarily found their way into NTTD.
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