Filmmaker Lewis Gilbert passed away on Friday, February 28th, 2018, at the age of 92. Gilbert was considerably more than a Bond film director, but his three Bond pictures–You Only Live Twice (1967), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), and Moonraker (1979)–are especially dear to my heart. They were significant films of my youth, each having left an imprint on my aesthetic consciousness.
Gilbert’s three Bond pictures are all something of a piece with one another, built on similar structures and images. Gilbert’s first (and, as far as I’m concerned, best) Bond film, You Only Live Twice, opens in the vacuum of outer space, and his last film, Moonraker, ends there, giving his time with Bond a pleasant symmetry. All three of his Bond pictures understood that the primary pleasure of the Bond series has always lain in its surrealism, and working with such talented collaborators as Roald Dahl, Ken Adam, Freddie Young, Claude Renoir, Jean Tournier, and John Barry, he gifted us with some of the most striking, immense spectacle the cinema has ever seen.
In tribute to Gilbert, I have collected some of my favorite images from his three Bond pictures.
May he rest in peace.