COMING TO THEATERS AND VOD ON FEBRUARY 17! Matthew Bauer’s documentary function, The Different Fellow, spotlights the notorious lives of males worldwide who go by the notorious identify of Bond, James Bond. The catch is that’s their actual identify. It’s about James Bond however has nothing to do with probably the most well-known James Bond.
At first, one might imagine that having this moniker can be a badge of honor, however while you’ve lived with that identify, it turns into a tedious sequence of the identical feedback and questions from a random stranger who thinks their being cute. These feedback embody “say the road” and “shaken or stirred.” As well as, they’re continually requested if their favourite quantity is 007 or to indicate their “license to kill.” The insanity solely ramps up when the subsequent installment of 007 hits the massive display or when speculating who the subsequent Bond will likely be.
The Different Fellow opens with Bond creator Ian Fleming’s inspiration for the identify from one in all his favourite books, Birds of the West Indies. Fleming was on the lookout for a really plain identify and stole it from famous ornithologist James Bond. This benign inspiration would quickly change the lifetime of the chicken scientist. Bond would in the future confront Fleming in individual about his flagrant use of identification theft.
“…spotlights the notorious lives of males worldwide who go by the notorious identify of Bond, James Bond.”
Then director Bauer strikes on to the lives of on a regular basis individuals legally possessing James Bond’s identify. New York theater director, James Bond, is a homosexual man who is usually requested about his capability to mattress random ladies, identical to his namesake. His expertise is a blended bag of enjoyable and frustration. He doesn’t essentially recognize the notoriety of his identify however discovered methods to earn a living off it from an look on a David Letterman High Ten Record and some commercials making the most of his identify. I get it. Don’t give it away without cost. When you’re going to make Bond say the phrase, you may as nicely pay him for it.
Most likely probably the most notorious story of a real-life Bond comes from a Black man in South Bend, Indiana. In his younger grownup life, James Bond Jr. was arrested for obstruction of justice for “playfully” saying his identify “James Bond” to a police officer. James Bond Jr. spent 60 days in jail for suspected phrase intonation. He would later discover himself with an arrest warrant in a homicide investigation. As phrase bought out on the information of a manhunt for “James Bond,” the residents of South Bend couldn’t imagine this unbelievable information. Including one other wrinkle to the story is that in South Bend, one other man named “James Bond” overhears information of the manhunt and wonders if that’s him.
The Different Fellow does function one instance of an individual who isn’t named Bond. It’s the story of a girl who entered an abusive relationship with an individual with that identify. She had a baby, and when she discovered the braveness to go away him to dwell a life in seclusion, she determined to alter her son’s identify to James Bond, after all. The rationale she did it was a stroke of genius (see the doc for the reply).
The Different Fellow is an odd documentary a few bizarre topic. It asks the query of what it’s like for individuals who have that notorious identify and the way it has affected their lives. The scope of the movie is broad. Bauer speaks to gents world wide and masterfully picks aside the difficulty in a complete method. The shared experiences of the Bonds world wide and the extraordinary penalties of getting that identify are attention-grabbing. For budding documentarians, that is an instance of a movie birthed from a easy “I’m wondering…” assertion. Via analysis and diligence, filmmaker Matthew Bauer managed to string collectively an intriguing and fascinating movie.
The Different Fellow screened on the 2023 SF Indie Fest.