As part of Dann & Raymond’s Movie Club, Daily Herald film critic Dann Gire and film historian and novelist Raymond Benson discuss movie topics and themes, illustrating their points with film clips, at public libraries in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. They will speak about early comedies at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Thursday, November 19, 2015.
The event (“The Great Comedy Films, Part 1 – Silent Era Through 1950s!”) will be in Hendrickson North and South from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friends of the Library is sponsoring the event.
One must register here to attend the event. The Arlington Heights Memorial Library is located at 500 North Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois 60004. Call (847) 392-0100 for more information.
They will cover Star Wars on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at the Schaumburg Township District Library. The event (“There is No ‘Try’ – Star Wars We Do!”) will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Audiovisual Theatre.
Registration is not required. The Schaumburg Township District Library’s Central Library is located at 130 South Roselle Road, Schaumburg, Illinois 60193. Call (847) 985-4000 for more information.
Mr. Gire and Mr.Benson will cover sports films at the Schaumburg Township District Library on Thursday, January 7, 2015. This event (“Going the Distance – The Greatest Sports Movies”) will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Benson will appear without Gire to deliver the slideshow presentation THE JAMES BOND PHENOMENON at the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District’s Winnetka Library on Saturday, December 5, 2015. Note that the Winnetka-Northfield Library District is calling the slideshow presentation “The James Bond Experience.”
Regardless of the name, Benson will cover the life of James Bond author Ian Fleming (1908-1964), the history of the novels and the films, and his own experience as the third author to be commissioned by the Ian Fleming Estate to write continuation novels (from 1996 to 2002). Benson had written over thirty books.
The first one concerning 007 was The James Bond Bedside Companion, first published in 1984. The Mystery Writers of America nominated it for the Best Biographical/Critical Work. A revised edition was published in 1988.
When he wrote this book, Benson met Fleming’s relatives and Peter Janson-Smith, Chairman of Glidrose Publications (now Ian Fleming Publications, Ltd.), the company Fleming established to handle literary business. In subsequent years, Benson did odd jobs for them such as writing a play adapted from the first 007 novel, Casino Royale, which has never been staged.
Late in 1995, Janson-Smith called Benson to say that English spy novelist John Gardner (1926-2007) had chosen to retire from writing 007 novels and ask if Benson would like to replace him. Benson went on to write six original 007 novels, three film novelizations, and three short stories.
In 1996, Benson worked on the novel Zero Minus Ten and the short story “Blast from the Past.” In April of 1997, Hodder & Stoughton published Zero Minus Ten in the U.K. Putnam published it in May.
Playboy published “Blast from the Past” in the January, 1997 issue and serialized Zero Minus Ten in the April, 1997 and May, 1997 issues.
Benson adapted Bruce Feirstein’s script for Tomorrow Never Dies (1997). The novelization was published in November of 1997.
His second original novel, The Facts of Death was published in 1998. An excerpt was published in the July, 1998 issue of Playboy.
Benson’s second short story, “Midsummer Night’s Doom,” was published in the 45th Anniversary (January, 19999) issue of Playboy. In it, Bond met Hugh Hefner at the Playboy Mansion and became involved with real Playmate Lisa Dergan while there to prevent Ministry of Defence secrets from being sold to the Russian Mafia.
TV Guide published Benson’s third 007 short story, “Live at Five,” in the November 13, 1999 issue. In 1999, Benson also saw the publication of the third original 007 novel, High Time to Kill, and his second novelization, an adaptation of Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, and Bruce Feirstein’s script for The World is Not Enough (1999).
The next year, Benson’s fourth original 007 novel, Doubleshot, was published. An excerpt ran in the June, 2000 issue of Playboy.
Benson’s fifth original 007 novel, Never Dream of Dying, was published in 2001. His sixth and last original 007 novel, The Man with the Red Tattoo, was published in 2002.
That same year, his third and final novelization was published, an adaptation of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade’s script for Die Another Day (2002). An anthology of Benson’s 007 novels, The Union Trilogy: Three 007 Novels , was published in 2008. A second anthology, Choice of Weapons: Three 007 Novels, was published in 2010.
Benson had taught adult continuing education classes at William Rainey Harper College in northwest suburban Palatine, Illinois since 2001. He has also taught Film History at the College of DuPage in west suburban Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
The presentation he will give at the Winnetka Library seems to be an adaptation of material from his class “The James Bond Phenomenon.” He has also taught classes on directors Sir Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980), Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), and David Lynch.
The event is also a book sale and book-signing. It will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event will take place in the Lloyd Room.
The Winnetka Library is located at 768 Oak Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093. For more information, call (847) 446-7220 or e-mail Shauna Porteus at sporteus [at] winnetkalibrary.org.