The Italian Job - CoverIf you’re a fan of the 1969 Michael Caine classic, ‘The Italian Job’, then you might like to know that there’s a new book celebrating its 50th anniversary. It’s called, ‘The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of The Italian Job’, it’s 335-pages long, and it’s full of facts, trivia, images, and interviews relating to the making of the aforementioned crime-caper. Want to know more? Then please check out my interview with its author, Matthew Field. Please enjoy.

The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of the Italian Job [Hardcover]

1) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, Matthew?   I’m an author by day and I produce content for films by night. This all began way back in 2001, when I wrote my first book, ‘The Making of The Italian Job’, and continues right up to my previous one, ‘Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films’, which I co-wrote with Ajay Chowdhury in 2015. I recently spent 14 months working on the movie, ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’, creating all of the behind-the-scenes featurettes and documentaries. Then in 2017, I also directed the documentary, ‘T2: Reprogramming The Terminator’, in celebration of the 25th-anniversary re-release of ‘Terminator 2’.

The Italian Job - The Raid
2) What inspired you to create, ‘The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years Of The Italian Job’?   'The Italian Job' is more than just a film to me, it’s a measure of time. In fact, it was the first film I ever saw and the first film that entered my consciousness. If I remember rightly, I was four years old at the time, or thereabouts, and my Dad showed me the 15-minute Mini Cooper chase scene which I immediately fell in love with. 

Well, to be fair, my family have always been 'Mini enthusiasts', so to speak, because my parents own this brand of car and both my grandmothers each drove a Mini 1000. Back then, I would spend hours sitting on the driveway, clutching the steering wheel of my Nan’s chocolate brown Mini, lost in my own 'Italian Job dream'. Heck, I re-played that car chase scene over and over again until I wore out the videotape

3) After writing this book, what do you find is the most surprising fact featured in it?   For years, Mini enthusiasts and fans of the movie have desperately tried to work out the identities of the Mini Coopers used for the filming. So, for the first time ever, this book will reveal the identities of the six ‘hero cars’ along with the original number plates. Maybe someone, somewhere, has a Mini Cooper from 'The Italian Job' sitting in a barn? The hunt is on...

The Italian Job - The Plan
4) Apart from the obvious, what song would you say best represents this piece and why?   Well, if truth be told, it has to be the obvious! ‘Get A Bloomin Move On - The Self Preservation Society’ is an inventive, raucous, rabble-rousing song based on a series of cockney rhyming phrases (which was used during the finale when the Minis escape the city of Turin). What makes this quintessentially British song even more interesting, however, is the fact that it was written by Quincy Jones, an African-American musician from the south side of Chicago. In an interview I had with him for this book, Quincy said that David Beckham told him something that he never knew before: That this song was being sung in the stands at England soccer games!

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, who would you choose, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   Well, once again, I’m going to have to go with the obvious, Sir Michael Caine, because this is the fourth book of mine he’s supported, and fortunately, he’s been very generous with his time and written the Foreword for it.

The Italian Job - Sir Michael Caine
Some say never meet your heroes, but in my case, I’m glad I did, because he’s a true gent, raconteur, and all round legend. 

6) During your time in this field, what is the one thing that has kept you in good stead?   Passion. If you don't love what you’re doing, go home, and that applies to both my writing and film work. Even though the days are long and you will get many knockbacks and face many challenges, the minute you stop caring, the moment you are no longer giving 200%, bye-bye, you're done! 

7) If you had a personal motto, what would it be?   "Polite persistence pays off!": My sociology A-Level teacher, Mister Deakin, taught me that. Well, it is hard for someone to say ‘no’ if you remain polite and persistent, and this tactic has secured me so many interviews that were an initial 'No'. 

‘The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years Of The Italian Job’ is a 335-page hardback book published by Porter Press International. For any more information, please feel free to check out the Porter Press website, facebook, and twitter pages. Or better yet, why not pick up a copy on Amazon (Available August 6th, 2019).


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