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Flashbacks of a Fool

Playing James Bond has tended to dominate an actor's career. Whatever else they were doing at the time - think of Sean Connery in Hitchcock's Marnie or Roger Moore in The Wild Geese - has not, to be polite, differed vastly from their interpretations of 007. And though I can't immediately name another George Lazenby movie aside from On Her Majesty's Secret Service (can he, I wonder?), I'm prepared to bet that he has never taken to the stage as Richard III or the Elephant Man.

Daniel Craig, though, has been slightly more successful outside the Bond franchise, perhaps because he was a more rounded actor to begin with. A highlight was his character Geordie in the mid-Nineties BBC drama Our Friends in the North, a nightclub bouncer who degenerates into vagrancy and mental illness over the course of three decades.

Quantum Of Solace, his second Bond outing, will be with us in the autumn, but in the meantime he stars in Flashbacks of a Fool (pictured below), a somewhat melancholy new film in which he plays Joe Scot, a fortysomething Hollywood star in decline. Joe wastes away in a Malibu beachhouse, harking back to his Roxy Music-soundtracked youth in a Seventies English seaside town. Was he happier then? Was he running away from his teenage self? Did he see Live and Let Die at his local Odeon? The film is the directing and writing debut of Baillie Walsh, previously better known for music videos and the Oasis tour movie Lord, Don't Slow Me Down.

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