What would it be like to share your name with legendary movie spy James Bond? In Matthew Bauer’s excellent documentary, The Other Fellow answers that question and delves into the rich culture that surrounds this icon. A full movie review can be read here, and as for meeting these blokes, it can now be freely viewed for Amazon Prime subscribers.
1952. ‘Goldeneye’, Jamaica.
When British author Ian Fleming creates the character of 007, he needs to christen him with a “really flat, quiet name”. Perusing one of his favourite books BIRDS OF THE WEST INDIES Fleming steals the name of a Philadelphia ornithologist by the name of James Bond…
2022. Seventy years later.
In SWEDEN we meet GUNNAR SCHÄFER. A superfan of all things 007 with his own James Bond Museum, there is more to his persona than simply fandom. The son of an escaped Nazi who vanished mysteriously after World War Two, GUNNAR now sees James Bond as a replacement father figure and immerses his life in all things 007.
In NEW YORK CITY theatre director JAMES BOND has made countless media appearances as his famous namesake and finds the name a reoccurring hindrance. As a gay man, JAMES has apparently very little in common with Commander Bond and the alternative version of himself ad agencies, concierges and casting directors always wish to exploit.
South Bend, INDIANA. JAMES BOND JR.’s life has been marred by several disbelieving police officers and the weight such a name lends a black man in Indiana. THE OTHER FELLOW finds him in Indiana State Prison where he is awaiting trial for murder. In the same town a white man also called JAMES BOND is about to be caught up in a confusing media frenzy and mistaken identity.
Somewhere in ENGLAND an unnamed mother chronicles a tough past with an abusive ex-husband. A bold identity change creates new challenges in the face of 007, and soon dramatically contradicts the other James Bonds across the world and their sometimes-shared experiences.
And in PHILADELPHIA – amid the 1960s Bond mania – ornithologist JAMES BOND and his loyal wife MARY travel to Jamaica to finally confront IAN FLEMING about an identity theft that is changing the lives of all James Bonds across the globe, including theirs.
Via Vancouver, Toronto, London, Denver, Guyana, Europe, the US and Baghdad, THE OTHER FELLOW paints a rich picture of the worldwide digital and cultural footprint of cinema’s most famous spy. And what being in that looming shadow actually means for people when it creates an identity crisis like no other.
THE OTHER FELLOW is co-written by Matthew Bauer and Rene van Pannevis and produced by Michelle Brøndum for Mission Brief and Jante Films.
The Other Fellow Trailer